Excellent growth rates plus good killing out percentage makes the Hampshire a winning formula.Gayle
The Hampshire Down breed as a terminal sire is working well for Gloucestershire based farmers, Phillipa and Sam Page. The good eating quality of the lamb is attracting more customers to their farm shop and the excellent growth rates and good killing out percentages are ticking the boxes for the deadweight market too.
Mr & Mrs Page are in year 8 of a 15 year tenancy on Grange Farm rented from Gloucestershire County Council. The farm is 100 acres with some winter grazing taken every year in the area. Their Farm Shop was opened five years ago and sells lamb, pork and turkeys reared on the farm, plus fruit, veg, cheese, beef, honey, milk, cakes and bread produced locally. The shop was selling 6-8 lambs a month at the start and has now grown to 16 lambs a month.
‘The lamb sales have doubled since we started helped by the Corona Virus increasing our footfall significantly with customers looking to buy locally. Now they have tasted the lamb we’re confident that we can keep them coming back’ said Phillipa. ‘The new customers like the fact they can ask questions and see where their food is produced as well as the quality of the product’
The 300 ewes that are kept are a mixture of early lambing Suffolk Mules which lamb in January/February to the Hampshire and the North Country mules are lambed in April which gives them a good supply of early lambs for the shop and then right through the year. Historically a combination of Meatlinc and Texel rams were used and a maternal Suffolk to produce replacements. A Hampshire was introduced a couple of years ago and it was found that they produce good lambs on both types of ewes. ‘We aim to have the Hampshires killed at 38kgs as the smaller joints are easier to sell in the shop’ explains Phillipa. ‘We like to be able to lamb early too as generally the commercial prices are better then’
The remainder of the lambs are sold through Randal Parker or Dunbia Carnaby with pleasing results due to the good killing out percentages.
Phillipa added ‘With the good growth rates the lambs are on the farm for less time which is a big plus point, they fit both of our markets of finished lamb production sold deadweight and lamb specifically for our farm shop and we find their temperament easy to work with’
So if you’re selling direct to the customer or selling commercially the Hampshire breed has a lot to offer so why not give one a try!
Take a look at the great comments Coombe Hill Farm Shop are getting on their lamb: HERE