Hampshire Downs beat climate change

ON FARM: Evan Haugh and daughter Lisa from Lurgan with some of their commercial lamb crop.

EVAN Haugh and daughter Lisa from Lurgan, have been using Hampshire Down rams for over ten years.

“We keep around 100 commercial ewes and start lambing in early February aiming to sell our lambs from the end of April onwards. We used to just use continental rams but had lots of problems lambing” explained Evan.

“We were advised by our vet to look for easier lambing rams as it was essential for easy management that the lambs were quick to get up on their feet and suckle. Since deciding to change to Hampshire Down rams we have had very few problems lambing and less mortalities and this has improved our bottom line.

“We have found the Hamp lambs are fast finishing off grass. It was great to have all my lambs sold before this year’s prolonged dry spell which has eased my grazing worries.

“We also retain the Hampshire cross ewe lambs to use as replacements. We find them to be great mothers, very milky and easy to lamb compared to other breeds. We sell our lambs at Markethill in the live ring and averaged £110 this year.”

This year’s Hampshire Down show and sale will be judged by Harry Elsden from Hertfordshire, England. Harry farms 30 pedigree Hampshire ewes and 200 commercial ewes. He produces his fat lambs for high-end butchers in London. Harry remarked “The butchers’ customers love the Hampshire lamb due to its outstanding flavour.”

The Hampshire Down sheep show and sale is on Monday August 6 at Ballymena Livestock Market, show 4.30pm and the sale starts at 7pm.

The show is kindly sponsored by Danske Bank. This is a great opportunity to invest in high quality rams and females from some of the top flocks in the UK and Ireland.


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