Rare and minority British sheep for meat production: the Shropshire and Ryeland as sires, and the Cotswold and primitive breeds as dams

Hall, Stephen and Henderson, Ruth (1999) Rare and minority British sheep for meat production: the Shropshire and Ryeland as sires, and the Cotswold and primitive breeds as dams. Small Ruminant Research, 35 . pp. 55-63. ISSN 0921-4488

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0921-4488(99)00054-1

Abstract

Two groups of comparisons were made between rare and minority British breeds of sheep, and numerically stronger
genotypes. In the sire breed trial, Shropshire (n�5) and Ryeland (n�4) rams were compared as sires of meat lambs with
Suffolk, Oxford Down, Texel and Dorset Down rams at two farms (total lambs marketed: n�732). At the ®rst farm, lambs
sired by the Ryeland and the Shropshire made poorer prices than those sired by the Suffolk and Oxford Down, because of
small size and low price per kg respectively. At the second farm, the Ryeland and Dorset Down performed similarly in respect of days to slaughter, carcase weight and sale price. The Shropshire conferred rather poorer conformation on lambs than the Suffolk. In the maternal breeds trial, commercial crossbred (control) ewes (n�84) and ewes of rare breeds (Cotswold n�10; and the primitive breeds Manx Loghtan n�17; Hebridean n�26; Shetland n�16) were mated with terminal sires on four farms. Lambs from Cotswolds reached slaughter condition earlier than control lambs, but were not as remunerative. Lambs from Hebrideans made a better price, per kg and per kg of ewe body weight, than control lambs from commercial crossbreds,
but took longer to reach slaughter weight. Generally the primitive breeds produced lighter lambs but their production of lambs per unit of ewe body weight was no different from that of the commercial crossbreds. In this preliminary trial, economic advantages of using rare breeds were not demonstrated, but neither were there obvious economic penalties.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:sheep, livestock
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D420 Livestock
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:5723
Deposited By: Stephen Hall
Deposited On:29 May 2012 05:47
Last Modified:02 Sep 2014 09:21

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