A Comparison of the Performance of New Zealand Suffolks with UK Suffolks in a Welsh lowland Environment
Suffolk genetics from New Zealand are being promoted throughout the UK on the basis of their ‘easicare' attributes. However, the extent to which these genetics contribute to ease of management when run under the same management conditions as UK Suffolk genetics had not been quantified. The objective of this project was to quantify and compare the performance of the progeny of New Zealand Suffolks with UK Suffolks when used as terminal sires on commercial crossbred ewes in a Welsh lowland situation.
This demonstration project compared the performance of progeny of Mule type ewes when sired by either New Zealand Suffolks (preferably 100% NZ breeding) born in the UK, High index (all top 5% index) UK Suffolks or Average UK Suffolks (from non-recorded or average index flocks). Primary performance indicators included slaughter weight, age at slaughter, conformation and fat class as well as benchmarking the ‘ease of management' traits of lamb vigour, ease of lambing and faecal egg counts.
Who did the work?
The project was carried out by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in collaboration with industrial partners Innovis Ltd and the Suffolk Sheep Society. The study was funded by HCC, Innovis Ltd and the Suffolk Sheep Society.
The full report can be found here.