Please note: if ordering more than one ram of this breed with different trait options,
you will need to add to the Holding Pen separately.
- Read Aberfield Case Study
JIM BEARY – ABERFIELD – APPEARED IN ‘THE FARMER’- JULY 2014
Thinking about a new low cost high output enterprise? Then sheep will provide a solution, says new entrant, Jim Beary. “Combine carefully selected Innovis genetics with detailed attention to management, and I don’t know of any other livestock enterprise that could beat sheep in terms of profitability for a starter like me, and one which I can run alongside other enterprises,” he says.
Jim’s objective is to maximise kilos of lamb per acre produced solely from forage on his tenanted, unit at Aston Bank, Stafford where he has established a 400 ewe Aberfield cross flock. This season his April born lambs sired by the Abermax terminal sire, have averaged 0.48kg daily liveweight gain (DLG) in their first eight weeks, and the entire crop is on course to finish at 19kg target weight within 16 weeks. Rearing rate is scheduled at 175%.
“2013 was my first year lambing sheep, they were in fact ewe lambs and I was really pleased with performance. The crop of Abermax cross Aberfield lambs averaged 0.35kg DLG and achieved 18.9kg at 14 weeks, all lambs graded within the R3L specification and every single lamb was away finished within 16 weeks. This season performance is considerably better, however I think there’s still potential to push growth rates to an average 0.5kg DLG.
“The unit has very average permanent pasture offering 9t DM/ha and 18% protein that I’m grazing on a rotational basis stocked at 15 ewes and lambs per acre and reduced to lower rates in later in the year when deferred grazing is introduced. I’m basically mob stocking NZ style in spring and early summer, moving the fence weekly and taking grass from 10cm to 5cm. I’ve just started an annual reseeding programme with a high sugar perennial rye clover mix which should be able to offer 14t DM and 25% protein and subsequently improve growth rates. I’m aiming to reseed 20% of the farm each year using forage rape as a break crop for grazing replacements over the winter.”
A farm manager’s son, Jim always had an ambition to farm in his own right. After graduating from Harper Adams University 10 years ago, he gained further practical livestock experience in New Zealand, built up capital from a contracting business and eventually applied for the Aston Bank Staffordshire County Council small holding tenancy. “I was lucky it was the first I’d applied for. A former dairy unit, the infrastructure required a huge amount of capital to continue dairying, and TB is very apparent in the area so instead I opted for a sheep enterprise as it requires less capital and frees up more time for off farm contracting. Sheep have such low capital cost requirements and provide a relatively quick cash flow.
“I’d heard of Innovis genetics, did some research and initially invested in 90 Aberfield cross lambs. Not only did I like the performance, in particular high growth rates as well as ease of management, especially lambing, but the fact Innovis sheep are backed by science. Every single ewe is performance recorded and accompanied by a set of EBVs. So far they are ‘doing what it says on the tin’ and enabling me to run a high output low input system,” he explains.
The ewes are grazed on grass throughout, and mineral blocks are the only form of supplement fed pre lambing. The shearlings lamb outdoors in late April, whilst the ewe lambs are housed for 24 hours, pre and post lambing. “This year literally 95% of the shearlings lambed within three weeks, they make good mothers, the lambs are lively and I leave them to grow away.
“Fast finishing off grazed grass reduces total inputs – the number of drenches and subsequent number of gathers to two, and in turn frees up the remaining grass for other purposes.”
“My goal is to grow the flock to 700 ewes and eventually to 1,000 ewes, a manageable size for one person,” he says adding: “To succeed in farming, then I think we all have to become increasing efficient, and for the sheep sector, the tools are emerging to do the job well. Innovis has taken a lead in sheep genetics, whilst grass varieties also being selected for productivity and grassland management is becoming more precise. In addition, the marketplace is looking more favourable with fewer imports and more export opportunities.”
INNOVIS ABERFIELD SR® MATERNAL SIRES
COMPACT, EFFICIENT AND HIGH QUALITY
ABERFIELD SR RAMS ARE SELECTED FOR MATERNAL ATTRIBUTES AS WELL AS GROWTH AND MUSCLING.
An Aberfield SR ram is bred with a combination of Aberfield and Lleyn genetics, it was first introduced in 2016 and is available for sale online for the first time in 2018. These maternal sires are bred off grass under commercial conditions and have a mating capacity of 80-100 ewes. Aberfield SR rams will produce an efficient replacement ewe averaging a bodyweight of 60kg to 65kg while achieving a scanning percent of 200%.
Aberfield SR will suit your system if you:
- Want to maintain a closed flock system, breeding your own replacements
- Would like to produce replacement ewes of 60kg to 65kgs.
- Increase prolificacy with a scanning percentage up to 200%
- Want to reduce production costs but maintain lamb output
Our Aberfield SR rams stem from two of our breeding partner flocks in Wales
Who is my local technical sales advisor?
If you have not bought a ram through Innovis before your local technical sales advisor will be allocated dependant on postcode area. If you are unsure of who to contact you can call the office on 01970 828 236 and they can advise who your technical sales advisor is. The phone numbers for all of our technical sales advisors appear on the left hand side of this page under ‘Contact the team’.
How do I know which breed to pick?
It is important that you are fully informed about all Innovis breeds and their benefits before making your decision. If you feel you need more information regarding a breed, or would like personalised advice based on your farming systems, please contact your local technical sales advisor, their information is on the left hand side of this page.
What if more than one of the key traits is important to me?
If there is more than one key trait that is important to you please highlight the most important trait. You can advise that another trait is important to you in the ‘Any other information or comments’ box.
Why do I need to provide information about my farm?
Providing detailed information about your farm can help our technical sales advisors when choosing your ram. If they are fully informed they can ensure that the ram chosen has the most suitable Estimated Breeding Values for your farming system and will meet the needs and targets you have set for your farm. The more information you provide the better!
What if I want more than one maternal/meat sire, but I want different traits in each ram?
Buying rams for the same purpose, but with different traits is simple. Follow the process for either maternal or meat and click the ‘ADD TO HOLDING PEN’ button once your selection has been made. A pop up will then appear telling you what you have just placed in the holding pen, your choice will also appear in the holding page on the top right hand corner of the page. Once this pop up has disappeared you will be on the same page where you had previously made your choices. You are able to change your choices on this page to choose a new ram by following the same process as you have previously done. Clicking the ‘ADD TO HOLDING PEN’ button will add this new ram to your holding pen, where your previous choice is waiting.
I want maternal and meat sires, how do I get both?
If you are looking to buy both a maternal and a meat sire you are able to do so in one transaction. Follow the process for either maternal or meat until you reach the ‘ADD TO HOLDING PEN’ section, click the button and your choice will appear in the holding page on the top right hand corner of the page. You can now click on the left hand side of the screen to choose our other category of rams and follow the process to add another ram to your holding pen.
How will you pick my ram?
Rams will be picked on the 27 th, 28th and 29th of July with a confirmation email containing information regarding the individual ram tag numbers of your ram(s). This email will also contain further specific information about the collection or delivery details for your ram(s).
How do I pay?
You will pay an initial 50% deposit on your specified ram online when completing the buying process. The remaining 50% balance is paid on collection or delivery of you ram(s).
How will my ram get delivered?
Rams will be delivered, once selection has taken place, to collection centres based throughout the UK. You are able to collect your ram(s) directly from collection centre within a specified time, or delivery can be arranged directly to farm from a collection centre. For further information please talk to your local technical sales advisor.
What happens if my ram gets delivered and it’s not suitable?
During the ram selection process we will be choosing the ram that is most suitable to your farm based on the information you have provided. All rams are fully MOT’d and will be delivered or collected fit and correct. Upon signing for your ram we will understand you are happy with the condition of your ram(s) and normal Innovis terms and conditions and the Innovis seal of approval applies. Rams will not be delivered and cannot be collected without a signed delivery/collection note. If refusal should take place. without just cause at the time of delivery/collection please see our cancellations policy for more details. If you have specific needs in regards to the physical appearance of your ram please provide further information in the any other comments / information box. All problems with any rams purchased must be reported to your local Innovis technical sales representative.
I don’t want to buy online, how else can I get a ram?
If buying your ram online is not a suitable option for you, there are other ways of getting Innovis genetics on your farm. You can come to one of our sales, which are held throughout the summer and take place in an ‘auction-style’ setting, where Innovis breeds are run through the ring with each ram being bid on individually accompanied by their individual set of Estimated Breeding Values. If you would like further information about sale dates you can visit our news section by following this link: INNOVIS SALE DATES 2015, or you can call the main office on 01970 828 236 to register your interest for a sale catalogue.
If you need a ram for a specific date before a sale, you can contact your local sales representative to discuss your needs, their information is on the left hand side of this page, or you can call the main office on 01970 828 236.