Brothers-in-law Damien McElroy and Paul Rooney who live near Castlewellan, Co.Down combine their business in the building trade with that of part-time farming. They have quickly identified the importance of a terminal sire that produces good quality lambs with minimal labour input. Damien first used Hampshire Down Rams 25 years ago before he spent 14 years working in America, on his return home he established a flock of cross-bred breeding ewes and three years ago purchased two Hampshire Down Rams at the breed's Annual Show and Sale in Saintfield. The rams were put out with 80 ewes, all of which lambed outside during April. It was a particularly wet month that year but despite the unfavourable weather conditions he found the Hampshire Down sired lambs were hardy and able to withstand the wet and cold. Lambing was trouble free and the lambs were quick to suckle. Damien's flock management is heavily reliant on grass, producing good quality well fleshed 21 kilo carcases within 12 weeks. Paul was impressed by the easy care system that Damien had established with the use of Hampshire Down Rams, offering hassle free lambing and lively lambs at birth with a strong will to live. After experiencing a less than satisfactory lambing season Paul decided to use Hampshire Down Rams with his flock of 100 ewes this year. He was very impressed with an excellent lambing percentage in excess of 185% with a loss of only 2 lambs. Again he like his brother-in-law was delighted with the hardy lively lambs sired by the Hampshire Down Ram a dramatic improvement from the previous year and within 10 -12 weeks he had lambs achieving top grades. Paul stresses that as Hampshire Down sired lambs reach the target weight of up to 21 kilos so quickly they should be weighed regularly to ensure a quick return with maximum prices per kilo.

Additional information