THE Northern Ireland Texel Sheep Breeders’ Club will be holding their open night on Saturday, August 4 at the farm of Peter Boyd, Poseyhill Texels, 193 Hillhead Road, Ballyclare, BT39 9LW.
Farming has been in Peter’s family for three generations and he shares fond memories of farming with his father and grandfather who kept pedigree Large White pigs.
Keeping up the family tradition of farming, Peter works as a full-time farmer, farming 70 acres of dry ground including conacre. Preferring sheep and horses to pigs, Peter runs 35 pedigree Texel ewes alongside a commercial flock and breeds thoroughbred racehorses.
Peter comments that the dry ground is really suitable for the pedigree Texel and supports his farming practice of “getting ewes and lambs out to grass quickly after lambing”. Daughter Kathleen helps Peter in her spare time outside her normal working hours.
Peter recalls purchasing his first Texel ewes 15 years ago from Damien Tumelty’s Castlescreen Texels. Feeding his passion for sheep farming Peter explains he bought three Texel ewes, bought a ram from neighbor David Boyd, purchased his own farm and expanded from there.
Peter practices AI and embryo transplant as a means to support intensive lambing over seven-10 days. Daughter Kathleen is Peter’s main help at lambing and the use of AI means she doesn’t need to take a long period of time out from her normal job.
Peter said: “I aim to lamb mid-February and quickly get lambs out to grass within two weeks. AI works well allowing lambing to take place at the one time. It also means that lambs are all ready for sales at the same time.”
Peter commented on how he likes the way the Texel lambs thrive – one of the reasons he chose to breed Texels over any other sheep breed. When choosing stock rams Peter looks for overall good conformation.
“I like rams that have a good body, stand well on their feet and have a good pair of ears, spark and character,” he said.
Peter’s stock rams this year were purchased from the Kiltariff Flock at Ballymena Premier and Garngour Flock at Lanark Scottish National.
The Poseyhill Flock has been named among those claiming rosettes in the last number of years at Balmoral RUAS, Ballymena Show and Antrim shows with 2016 being one of his proudest years for show success.
Peter can also claim success in recent years in the sales arena with ram lambs selling at 1800gns, 2500gns and 3000gns at the NI National Sale and Balmoral RUAS Maze sale and this year’s Open Night will give both pedigree and commercial breeders an opportunity to get a preview of this year’s Poseyhill sales consignment in advance of the NI National Premier on August 29 in Ballymena Livestock Mart.
As well as an opportunity for a tour of the Poseyhill Flock, the evening promises the usual stockjudging competition, various stalls and business stands, a Ninja Warrior competition, bouncy castle and charity auction in aid of Diabetes NI.
Peter and Kathleen Boyd would like to thank the sponsors for the evening’s events, namely HVS Animal Health.