We sell recorded pedigree Suffolk and Texel shearling rams and ram lambs.
In 2007, this website was set up jointly---and hastily, in 6 days---as a means of alleviating the problems of movement restrictions following the recent FMD outbreak and in the absense of livestock auction markets.
Since then, we have found that our buyers are wanting more detailed information, not only on EBV's and indexes, but also on such matters as health status, immunisations, feeding and management; and of course how our flocks compare with other flocks within our respective breeds. Because of this, we have decided to set up two separate web-sites, so for more details, please go to : handbanktexels.co.uk
On two separate farms in South Yorkshire, the Midhope Flock of pedigree Suffolks produce Signet recorded shearling rams and ram lambs which are birth-notified with the Suffolk Sheep Society. The Handbank Flock of pedigree Texels produce Signet recorded shearling rams and ram lambs which are birth-notified with the Texel Sheep Society.
Our interest in recording started about 20 years ago when commercial farmers could often be heard at ram sales in local markets expressing doubts about some tups being too "pumped up" with corn, and adding that they would "melt" if they took them back to their farms. There are clearly wide variations in performance with any group of sheep, and although most (if not all) pedigree breeders corn their sheep, it seemed important also to remind ourselves that the majority of sheep will need to finish on grass. As a result, it was essential to find out which sheep had good growth rates and muscle depths, regardless of being fed corn.
Over the years, we have become increasingly convinced that the use of recording has been a reliable tool for assessing how a ram's progeny is likely to perform. As we have seen repeatedly, that good growth rates in the parents are more likely to be passed on to their lambs. Similarly, good muscle depths and smaller back-fat coverings are equally likely to be a feature in their off-spring.
However, this has not been a slavish commitment to recording at the expense of all other factors, for we have always tried to bear in mind the end product, and recognise that it is also important for stock to have good conformation and to be correct.