Suffolk Sheep Society – Wording for UKTAG/BLG Website
Suffolk is the flag-ship domestic breed in the British Isles and has been to the forefront of the British & Irish sheep meat industry since the 1800’s. The Suffolk ram is still the leading domestic terminal sire throughout the UK and Ireland. Since 1886, the Society’s key aims are to protect the integrity of the breed, support our members and promote Suffolk Sheep. Our membership is now international with registered flocks not only in the UK and Republic of Ireland, but also throughout Europe. We also have associate members in South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.
Because the Suffolk can deliver in a variety of environments, is not adversely affected by hot summers, and associated respiratory problems in some breeds, commercial farmers are becoming more reliant on the Suffolk ram because many other breeds struggle to perform in these conditions. We are now experiencing an increase in demand for British Suffolks in Spain and Portugal because of these traits. Traditionally a terminal sire, more and more farmers are also using Suffolks ewes for their maternal qualities and are discovering that difficulties such as mastitis are not an issue with Suffolk females.
Recent studies by AHDB/Signet’s RamCompare project and the Ulster University’s Food and Consumer Testing Suite have highlighted the benefits of the Suffolk breed for both producers and the consumers. Not only do Suffolks finish faster and outperform other breeds for muscle depth, Suffolk sired meat is also first choice for 70% of consumers with key attributes being taste, flavour and texture.
Introducing Suffolk genetics into a commercial flock can only benefit financially, a faster finished lamb, with excellent muscling and marbling makes perfect financial sense. So whether your business is prime, store or breeding lambs, Suffolks continue to deliver for the producer, the processor and the consumer.
“We use Suffolks extensively in our farm sheep enterprise because we like a fast growing lamb that quickly reaches a saleable weight at a young age. The Suffolk provides a hardy active lamb that is quick to suck, and finish faster than other breeds. Being finished off grass, there are minimum input costs and they are ideal for our approach”
Allan Johnston, Commercial Sheep Farmer, Northumberland, England
“Our approach to breeding Suffolks has been very much commercial with the ewes lambed in February, getting the ewes and lambs outside at a week old. We have succeeded in breeding a Suffolk which is long, clean and full of flesh throughout the top line and hind quarters with a good covering of fat. We have raised our fat levels over the years which we think is vital to keeping a healthy flock and producing rams from grass. Another unique part of our breeding has been to cull any sheep with excessively heavy bone and heads as we have found they don’t milk as well, and the rams look poor from grass and don’t last long enough for our customers.
Our aim is to carry on increasing the number of commercial Suffolk rams for sale. The Logie Durno vision is for Suffolks to continue to deliver as the leading domestic terminal sire, a functional sheep with great growth, fleshing and a nice sized silky head to breed both prime lambs and breeding femalesWe see a fantastic future for the breed and think it’s a great choice for commercial farmers who want to produce abattoir lambs and replacement ewes.”
Gregor Ingram (Logie Durno Flock), Suffolk Breeder, Aberdeenshire, Scotland