Our fifth and final nominee for the Most Improved LamPlus flock 2019 is Crannóg Texels owned by Rosemary Madden and Etienne Pinot. Rosemary and Etienne established Crannóg Texels in 2014 in Co. Meath. Crannóg Texels have been a member of the LambPlus programme since 2015 and the €uro-Star system has been used to improve the flock ever since. When selecting replacements or purchasing new animals Rosemary and Etienne focus heavily on the replacement and terminal index of the animal while also ensuring the animal is physically correct and true to breed. They also put great emphasis on purchasing from genuine breeders with a history of high performing animals and good data collection. The use of the €uro-Star values to select replacement females and breeding rams has resulted in the 2019 lambs from the Crannóg flock having an average €uro-Star value of €0.29 on the replacement index and €0.84 on the terminal index.
Rosemary and Etienne have put great effort into improving data recording of all traits over the past few years resulting in this nomination. The have found an improvement in handling and weighing equipment has helped improve data recording and they intend to use the LambPlus app in the future to further improve data collection. Health data is also recorded such as lameness, mastitis and prolapse, as well as, dag score and body condition score throughout the year. Recording of a large volume of accurate data has resulted in Crannóg Texels having a DQI of 79%.
All ewes are mated naturally with no AI or embryo transfer being used in the flock although the intention is to get involved in the RamPlus programme to improve the flock’s linkage. Rosemary and Etienne provided their stock ram Bawnard Abraham to the CPT Programme in 2017 and this really helped the flock linkage and the overall accuracies with the flock’s average index accuracy standing at 47%.
Bawnard Abraham (JJF1705127) has been the most influential sire in the flock and has sired the vast majority of lambs in both 2018 and 2019 but the Sheep Ireland Inbreeding checker has been put to good use to ensure all matings are safe crosses and inbreeding is avoided. There are many different bloodlines in the Crannóg flock with daughters from 11 different rams currently in the breeding flock. Rams with the greatest number of daughters in the flock include Kilclammon Rover (LDE10003), Alepat Ysobcause (CQI16007) and Crannóg Wilbur (RSF15009).
Rosemary and Etienne are the fifth of five nominees to be announced for the most improved LambPlus flock in 2019 with the other four being Ciaran Coughlan (Noggus Vendeens), Flor Ryan (Lawn Texels), Maria Philpott (Duhallow Charollais) and Ornaith Clarke (Trojan Texels). All five nominees will be given an award at the ICBF and Sheep Ireland genetics conference on January 17th 2020, with the overall winner being announced on the day. More information and tickets to the event can be found here.