Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

Chance to take home Suffolk ram

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Visitors to the Suffolk Sheep Society stand at Ratheniska this week could well be in with a chance of winning a purebred registered Suffolk ram from the well-known flock of John Hanly, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Born in January, the ram was sired by Cairness Legend and will be on display throughout the Ploughing Championships.

The ram will be joined by a selection of pedigree Suffolk ewe lambs, Suffolk x Cheviot ewes, Suffolk x Cheviot ewe lambs and a Scotch ewe with her Suffolk-cross lambs.

These sheep were sourced and nurtured by Jim Gahan, a well-known Suffolk breeder from St Mullins, Co Carlow, to demonstrate the many ways a Suffolk can contribute to a commercial farm.

The Suffolk breed is one of the oldest in the world and is the leading terminal breed in Ireland today. The breed's outstanding terminal qualities include superior growth rate, great fleshing ability and longer carcasses with extra meat. However, the breed also comes out on top for milk yield, as well as mastitis resistance and scrapie resistance, according to Anne Mitchell of the South of Ireland branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society.

"These outstanding qualities lead to the production of high-quality lamb most suitable for both the home market and the vital export market," she said. "The Suffolk's delectable meat eating quality is also a noted feature of the breed and this is very appealing to the modern customer."

Ms Mitchell added that she was delighted to see an ever-increasing number of commercial breeders using purebred registered Suffolk rams in their flocks, helping them to produce excellent lambs to meet consumer demand.

This year also saw an increasing number of its Suffolk breeders becoming involved in the 'Lamb Plus' recording scheme through Sheep Ireland, which had very positive results in the sales ring.

Ms Mitchell urged potential Suffolk customers to take their last chance to purchase a purebred registered Suffolk ram at Roscrea Mart on Wednesday, October 2.

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