Case Study: Jim and Frampton Jeffery, Midleton, Co. Cork; Bawnard Flock
Jim and Frampton Jeffery run a flock of pedigree Charollais, Suffolk and Texel ewes. The flock has been performance recording with Sheep Ireland since 2014 and since then has started to build up a bank of information on the bloodlines within the flock. This data has been recorded by both Jim and Frampton as well as during flock visits by Sheep Ireland.
For the purpose of this case study we are going to look at the pregnancy scanning results for the 2017 January lambing Charollais flock which comprises of 61 breeding ewes. In the first chart we have divided the ewes by their EuroStar rating for number of lambs born (This is displayed on all Sheep Ireland sales catalogues) and then found the average scanning result for each of the groups. The difference in the ewes rated in the bottom 20% (1 Star) and the ewes rated as being in the top 20% (5 Star) of the breed for number of lambs born was 0.64 lambs per ewe. That’s an extra half a lamb per ewe !!
Jim commented “The results are quite interesting in that the higher rated ewes are also our better performing ewes within the pedigree flock. Keeping females from these ewes should improve our flock prolificacy”
Below is the same data except this time we found the average star rating of each ewe for number of lambs born and then split them into groups based on their pregnancy scan result. Again the results are quite remarkable. The average star rating of ewes that scanned with one lamb was only 2.8 compared to 3.42 and 4.33 for twins and triplets respectively.
Sheep Ireland commented “This study is just further proof that farmers can and should use the €uroStar indexes as a tool to help increase the scanning results in their flocks“