I am an honest straight up ram breeder: no gimmicks, no self serving slant, no bullshit. Regarding my South Suffolk rams, what I say, what you see, is what you get. Breeding a bloody good sheep is becoming secondary to the marketing spin that is used to sell it. We’re not a hobby ram breeder with a large commercial flock making our money; we specialise in breeding rams, so they have to perform as it’s our livelihood, if you dont trust the breeder, you shouldn't be buying rams off him.
Extensive performance recording: 50 years plus of it. Everything is weighed at weaning and again 6 to 7 weeks later, eye muscle scanning for close on 10 years now, 30 week wool weights and of course fertility recording. All this allows us to breed and bring to you a sound, high growth and high meat yielding ram.
All flocks SIL performance recorded: We upload and download all our data ourselves and, as such, I can produce a report on my South Suffolk rams tailor made to the client’s needs if required. If anyone has any special needs, let me know I will ensure the appropriate report is readily available to you. You also have the actual data relevant to all the BVs provided.
Sires DNA profiled for footrot and cold tolerance: We have been testing all South Suffolk sires for the last 10 years or so with all sires at the top end of the scale.
Pocket Pc: This rides in the bike, everything is tagged at birth (not left till tailing or on an unreliable Dna test). Any poor mothers, poor milkers, poor constitution, assisted lambing etc is recorded on the Pocket PC and later uploaded to the computer. This translates into reliable SIL figures (as accurate pedigrees) and this accurate recording allows me to be confident that I only retain genuine easy care sheep as any problem sheep are accurately recorded and can’t slip through the system.
Scientific Research: Most of our involvement is through Lincoln University or Ag research, through beef and lamb, where in the past we have assisted in footrot and cold tolerance trials and a longevity trial. We have done meat yield and growth trials and are an active participant in the Romney NZ meat yield trial, now in the North Island that has been running for many years now. Last coupler years been involved in some fly research work. All this ensures that we are aware of the latest research and are ready to uptake any meaningful scientific developments that will improve our flocks.
Stockmanship: Fast becoming a lost art, a lot of breeders are relying solely on performance data. You need a combination of both to breed good rams. I still cull everything on visual appraisal first, I cull for eyes, colour, pasterns, legs, poor hindquarter, heavy shoulders, teeth, poor wool, poor loin etc; (I am always doing this); all such bad traits if not culled for, will, I guarantee you, lead to a decline in the productivity of your flock in the long term. Good stockmanship is vital if you are to breed stock with good ongoing productivity; without it, after the hybrid vigour is gone, your productivity will decline I Guarantee it!!!!! I consider this the most significant advantage we have over many breeders.
Worm Resistance: Our ewe flock never gets drenched and we practice an extended drenching programme with all young stock we retain.
Type of Sheep I want to Breed: A lot of breeders seem to be unsure of what type of sheep they are trying to breed,I am NOT. I no longer am trying to reduce the size of any of my breeds, I want keep animals weights as they are, but do it with a more compact thicker deeper, gruniter and smaller sheep, but NOT LIGHTER and keep these growth rates right up there!! I think this means not only do we have a meaty sheep with growth rates, but generally we will have a more efficient sheep with constitution that will handle the country that the expansion of dairy farming has forced sheep back on to. Moreover, I think I am beyond trying, I am succeeding in breeding this type of sheep.
Southdown: Since 2001, we have put a southdown back over our pure South Suffolks, which as we have very good southdowns, has been a absolute success. Our South Suffolks are just as big as they ever were, but they are many times meatier, with hindquarters like southdowns, hardier rams, which also mature quicker. It is this injection of southdown blood that is the significant difference as to why you should buy these rams. Our sale rams consist of some half/half, 3/4 and 7/8ths as well as the odd pure, our focus is on breeding a grunty meaty heavy ram that leaves offspring of the same type.
The last 4 years (2016 writing this) I put a Suffolk back through them, which gives me greater acess to a genepool, while still maintaining the integrity of the breed. Paki iti 56-11, pictured to the right, has bred exceptionally well, heavy deep grunty thick set rams, very pleased, so much so that last two years I have given all ewes, except those of his daughters, to him. He really is breeding the type of terminal sire I want to breed.
Like all terminals depth of genetics is a problem, but with south suffolks, I have put good southdowns back through them and now a bloody good Suffolk without compromising the integrity of the breed.
We are committed to breeding South Suffolk Rams that:
- have exceptional muscling. They deep with good hindquarters with good size.
- Have a good hindquater, loins and spring of rib. We have been eye muscle scanning now for close on ten years.
- are high in fertility, which is important more for us than you.
- have no lambing problems.
- We have been DNA profiling our sires for footrot and cold tolerance for 7 or 8 years now, to the point that we are confident we have improved their tolerance to footrot.