Sires / Genetics

The problem of a limited gene pool. The terminal sire industry has traditionally come from small flocks of stud ewes, and South Suffolks are no exception. This means we have a small overall base to select from and any high performing bloodlines are quickly spread through the entire population, it can be extremely difficult to find different genetics with the traits you are after plus the soundness.

During the early days of the stud I purchased sires from various sources, some had positive impacts, others did not, as the stud has progressed I have become more confident in the quality of our sheep, and now am comfortable in using homebred sires (one 2th & 7 ram lambs 2015). This helps with the consistency of type and predictability of offspring. Outside sires will still be used if they have traits we are looking for. I try to attend the major ram fairs in the North & South islands to keep up with what is available plus other scouting trips.

Due to persistent enquiries I relented in 2014 and purchased a Texel ram to use over a number of South Suffolk ewes in 2015. He was mated to 20 of darkest headed ewes, it will be interesting to see the results. At this stage, all ram progeny are pre-ordered! My main reservation is that the rams may not be dark enough to sufficiently colour mark their progeny, apart from that I think the cross should be a good one, and I know it has been successful before elsewhere.