Our commercial ewe flock comprises mainly Suffolk cross ewes. For the last 3 year we have been working closely with Sheep Ireland as a MALP flock . MALP was set up to follow the maternal traits of rams in replacment ewes and to demonstrate that €uro star evaluations work at Farm level.
All MALP ewes and their lambs were DNA and EID tagged in order to have full parentage and management Data. This was gathered by us and sheep Ireland field staff during the year:
- Weight of ewe at mating.
- Scan results.
- Weight of lamb at 40 days.
- Weight of lamb at weaning.
- Weight of lamb at sale.
All MALP farmers have a Handheld /EID reader with which we record lambing difficulty ,fostering, severe foot problems etc on an incidence basis. All this information is uploaded to the Sheep Ireland computer and used to develop breeding values for the progeny.
The MALP farmers have also rotated rams around their flocks at mating time to build up Genetic linkages and to allow for different management systems on different farms.
For 2011 Suffolk, Belclare, Vendeen ,Rouge Ile de France ,Texel and Easy care are all being evaluated and indeed we may have some ewe lambs to sell later in the year.