Keep up to date with all the latest technical news and information to help you manage your Texel flock more productively.
Ensuring ewes receive sufficient nutrition post-lambing is the best way to reduce the risk of mastitis developing, according to research from Warwick University.
Genetic improvement and breeding programmes play an important role in flock performance, but to get the best out of any animal still requires good management and stockmanship.nbsp;
Grass is by far the cheapest and best feed for sheep, but it must be managed properly to get the most from it.
To ensure accuracy in performance recording data breeders should remember that lambs can be divided into up to nine different management groups when submitting eight-week weights, says Signet breeding consultant Sion Parry.
Genomic technology will become increasingly available to UK sheep breeders and could lead to a revolution in the number of traits that are selected for and the speed at which selection can occur.
Genomics is a term which is increasingly being used in livestock breeding, but just what is genomics and how can we use it to further Texel breeding?
Taking time to record lambing ease and lamb birthweights may not seem the highest priority in a busy lambing shed, but both can play a vital role in the genetic progress of the breed, explains Signet breeding consultant Sion Parry.
Extensive use of embryo transfer (ET) to accelerate genetic progress in the Texel breed is an important tool in multiplying important and influential breeding lines.
Breeders are urged to consider vaccinating their stock against Bluetongue as the threat of an outbreak in the UK grows ever higher.
Taking pride in the health, welfare and presentation of animals is a good thing. Combined with protecting the environment through sustainable management practices this forms the basis of the message that needs to go out to consumers that lamb is a healthy and safe product.
Articles and literature introducing the basics of sheep husbandry are often associated with a picture of a sheep having its feet trimmed. Why is the association between the sheep and trimming so strong?
The ability of a ram to get ewes in lamb is a breeder’s reputation. As well as a sensible approach to feeding, making sure all rams are given an ‘MOT’ before sale is vital.
Larger ewes may be desired by some breeders, but others are considering whether this increase in ewe mature size is detrimental to their flock, explains Signet breeding consultant Sion Parry.
Anthelmintic resistance is a growing problem across the UK, taking time to check if wormers are working on your farm could help improve lamb performance.nbsp;
The end of tupping and the coming onset of lambing are exciting times, with the high expectations that come with the use of new genetics and a new breeding season. But while there is an obvious need to focus on the next crop of sheep it is also a good time to reflect on past issues and try to eliminate these in future generations.
A good grass growing autumn is to be welcomed, but has left some breeders concerned about their flocks being in too good condition in the lead up to lambing. In general, ewes being too thin is the bigger problem, but over-fat ewes bring their own issues with a risk of twin-lamb disease and lambing difficulty.
Performance recording can be a useful tool in flock management and genetric selection, but like many things the information you only get out what you put in. The more reliable the data used to make the calculations the better the information will be.