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Using Innovis genetics to utilise land and maximise output from a commercial flock. 

With kind permission of Frank Lloyd, Dorelands, Abbey Dore, Hereford  

Farm Facts

30 acres owned

350 acres rented grass, combination of permanent and rotational.

20 Acres arable

450 Aberfield and Abermax ewes for Ram Production

500 Commercial Highlanders crossed with Aberfield

150 Rams

150 Aberfield/Abermax Ewe lambs 

Until 2014, Frank Lloyd was keeping Suffolk cross mules at his home farm in Abbey Dore, Herefordshire. Although the Suffolk cross was producing good quality fat lambs, Frank decided it was time to move on, reducing the stocking density on his 350 acres of rented ground. Therefore, he introduced an Aberfield x Welsh ewe to the farm. Although rearing 1.6 lambs compared to the Suffolk’s 1.7 lambs, being 10-15kg lighter than its predecessor meant that the stocking density could be significantly higher with the Aberfield x Welsh and ultimately increase lamb output. 

Frank was impressed by the performance of the Aberfield crosses, lambing with minimal assistance and demonstrating good mother-ability, producing vigorous, fast growing lambs and weaning their bodyweight by 12 weeks post lambing. All while eating 50% less concentrate in the final 4 weeks before lambing. 

Fast forward a few years and the system at Dorelands has adapted further. Changing circumstances with regards to rented ground meant that the Lloyds needed to build more flexibility in to their sheep system, to achieve this they have introduced the Innovis Highlander. 

A commercial flock of 500 Highlander ewes are crossed with Aberfields to produce quality, high health status ewe lambs for sale to supply a growing demand. The Aberfield x Highlanders retained within the flock are lambed as ewe lambs to a Primera terminal sire and later in their lifetime, to high index Abermax rams – this system produces lambs suited to both live and deadweight outlets. 

The Highlander ewes run on marginal land and frequently scan at 180% - 190%, Frank takes advantage of the versatility of the Aberfield by selecting breeding rams with high growth rates and a lower scanning percentage EBV in order to manage the prolificacy of the Highlander and produce well framed progeny with wether lambs that grown and grade out well. 

In 2015, Frank joined Innovis as a breeding partner and now breeds 150 Aberfield and Abermax rams for Innovis. Each ram is fully performance recorded for 40+ traits as part of the breeding programme and forage reared. 

A selection of Frank’s rams will be available at the Innovis Ram Sale to be held at Hereford Livestock Market on Monday the 10th of August; viewing is available from 12.30pm with the sale starting at 2pm. Catalogues can be downloaded from www.innovis.org.uk/ramsales/hereford/ 

Sheep Genetics in Practise

“Combine carefully selected Innovis genetics with detailed attention to management, and I don’t know of any other livestock farming enterprise that could beat sheep farming in terms of profitability for a starter..."

Jim Beary – Aberfield

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“We’re having a trial run over a portion of the flock. Our first draw of Primera cross lambs reached 19kg target finishing weight at 11 weeks, both the twin Primera and Abermax cross lambs..."

James Teasdale – Abermax 

 

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Since introducing the New Zealand bred Highlander to his Devon unit three years ago, finished sheep production has increased by 42% to 342kg per acre while a traditional indoor...

Mike Tewson – Highlander

 

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Producing tailored made replacement ewes featuring Innovis genetics within a traditional stratified system is proving to be a win win venture for two sheep farming businesses...

Ben Anthony - Aberfield Crossbred  

 

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Contact Innovis

Email: enquiries@innovis.org.uk or complete our contact form

Innovis Ltd, Peithyll, Capel Dewi. Aberystwyth, Wales, UK SY23 3HU.

Tel.: 01970 828236

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