I recently went to one of the NSA ram longevity focus group which made for an interesting evening. The handful of farmers there were very forward thinking looking for forage reared performance recorded rams to improve the profitability of their farms. These guys were innovators,fascinating to listen to and has different priorities to the farmers I deal with day to day.. I know that Hampshire would be ideal terminal sires for any system that looks for fast finishing on forage based systems and sells deadweight but here’s my dilemma:-
I aim as far as possible to rear my rams on minimal concentrate but being born in December rearing them on none at all really isn’t an option. It would be great to lamb in march and see these lambs fly on quality spring grass but that would severely restrict our pedigree sales which at the moment are the main income of the flock. However rearing lambs with creep feed until the spring grass comes is putting off my potential commercial market so what to do?!?