Pedigree Sheep Flock History
have been breeding pedigree Île De France sheep, Texel
sheep and Suffolk sheep for over 20 years on our farm at
Chapelizod, Kells, County Kilkenny, in the southeast of
All our pedigree ewes lamb in march and are managed with our commercial flock with no special treatment, this allows us to produce rams which perform well on our customers farms where low inputs are essential to remain profitable.
To boost profitability in recent years we have moved back to out wintering on grass with no concentrate feeding and even lambing twin ewes outdoors if weather conditions allow.
Our policy is to produce top quality Hardy Pedigree Rams bred and fed to work in commercial Texel, Suffolk and
Île De France flocks under commercial conditions.
All of our pedigree rams are run alongside the 600 ewe commercial flock; which lamb in late February and early March. No concentrates
are fed to ewes post lambing and only small amounts of creep fed to lambs.
Lambs which exhibit potential are selected at weaning in June and provided they have HIGH LMI figures are retained for breeding.
Some are sold as Pedigree Ram lambs, but the majority are used on the commercial ewes and allowed to develop naturally. These are then sold as shearlings the following year.
We have come across a very interesting document which highlights the problems with overfeeding Rams. You can view the overfeeding Rams document here.
Ram Breeding policy
As commercial sheep farmers first and foremost, our aim is to supply rams that will produce fast growing top quality lambs in abundance.
By selecting sires with good growth rates and muscle depth and strict culling we have achieved this.
Our Texel and Suffolk flock was consistently ranked one or two for growth rate under the Dept of Agriculture L M I scheme and continues to produce Rams with 5 stars for production in the Sheep Ireland lamb plus programme.
Our purebred sheep are run with our commercial flock ,lambing in march with little or no concentrate feeding to ewes or lambs except in extreme weather conditions. Lambs are scanned and weighed at weaning with only the very best retained to sell as shearlings the following year. This system allows us to produce CHAPELIZOD RAMS that grow and develop naturally.
- Naturally produced rams do not “melt”.
- Naturally produced rams have the ability to serve more ewes and live longer than overfed housed cereal and cabbage fed rams.
We prefer to sell our Pedigree Rams from home, as this allows the potential customer to view our rearing system and the flock that produces hardy rams bred and fed to work.
Visiting the farm allows the customers to discuss their varying requirements and visualise ram potential under real commercial conditions.
We have a Closed Flock into which no female sheep have been introduced in the last ten years.
- Covexine 10 is used to prevent clostridial diseases.
- Toxovax is used on all replacement breeding females.