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Thread: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

  1. #1
    YC
    Guest

    Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Just a pondering whilst looking at some Charollais yesterday - are there ANY Suffolks that are 'good' left? People breeding not for massive heads and bones (from the pics I see in FG) but good on grass, fertile, easy lambing etc?

    I just thought there must surely be some commercially minded suffolk breeders out there somewhere?

  2. #2
    Sh3pherdess
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    There's the NZ ones but they don't really look like Suffolks to me. Same colour tho

  3. #3
    spudie
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    What about Suffolks with clean backends.When i had them they were magnets for maggots

  4. #4
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Iv often thought the exact same thing YC.... in principle the breed has many good points, but the direction the breeders went in mean there are more negatives to outweigh the good

    IMO the breed needs someone to have the balls to breed a brown-faced texel or charolais flock.
    IF anyone could do this the Suffolk could easily be king. I understand and respect those who wish to preserve the breed as it is and there can be breeders who do this. But as a purely mainstream, commercial breed the animal needs to change abit.

    But to answer your question, i cant think of anyone :cry:

  5. #5
    andybk
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Its such a shame , a lady in devon used to breed excellent suffolks , she had a few at the bath and west some years ago that were long and tidy looking , but goodness didnt they touch well , was well impressed , ,
    but they wernt big boned or have huge heads , though , she gave up just after getting fed up of the higherarchy playing silly games .
    such a sad state of affairs , that a once great breed is reduced to show ponies by a few silly buggers pandering to the ring .
    All breeds should beware no matter how good they might be now it can all be gone in a few generations , with a few influential sires .
    The charollais were getting that way through the 90s (big tall and lean) as were the texel (french types) , but glad to say that trend is now reversing to some degree .

  6. #6
    DrDunc
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    My grandfather bred the parkhouse flock. Hit the breeding peak in the 70's with excellent terminal sires producing easy lambed long bodied carcasses that grew meat from grass....

    He'd be spinning in his grave now if he hadn't been cremated

  7. #7
    blindside
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by spudie View Post
    What about Suffolks with clean backends.When i had them they were magnets for maggots
    I'm surprised the breed has not tried (or maybe they are) to do something about this. Every time i pull one out the race when i'm shearing I know what awaits me

  8. #8
    Tim W
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Peter Baber----www.baber.co.uk
    Suffolk/Texel breeder with right attitude---FEC/dag score/birth ease scoring etc.
    No dirty back ends on them last time i saw them
    Operates a one mistake = cull policy

  9. #9
    Poorbuthappy
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sh3pherdess View Post
    There's the NZ ones but they don't really look like Suffolks to me. Same colour tho
    Easyram who posts on here is the obvious one who breeds these - excellent pedigree on the commercial traits of easy lambing,finer boned, good maternal traits if you want to keep the x ewes, good on worm resistance, good growth rates, all done off grass alone. The only criticism people have levelled is lack of shape, though Robyn will tell you they muscle scan well. Have lambs by one on ground now and whilst they're definately finer, and more wedge shaped, the lambs look to have as much back end as previous years lambs by more traditional suffolks. Time will tell how they finish.

  10. #10
    easyram1
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by YC View Post
    Just a pondering whilst looking at some Charollais yesterday - are there ANY Suffolks that are 'good' left? People breeding not for massive heads and bones (from the pics I see in FG) but good on grass, fertile, easy lambing etc?

    I just thought there must surely be some commercially minded suffolk breeders out there somewhere?
    YES we have them at EasyRams. We only breed for the commercial farmer and produce grass fed rams that will serve lots of ewes and sire lambs that are easily born and quick to suck and which will finnish off grass. These attributes are essential as over 80% of our rams are used in outdoor lambing flocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sh3pherdess View Post
    There's the NZ ones but they don't really look like Suffolks to me. Same colour tho

    EasyRams are the UK's only 100% NZ Suffolks. All NZ Suffolks were sourced from the UK's leading flocks inthe first half of the last century until 1952, so what we have brought back in are the Kiwi development of where the breed was 60 years ago. Their driving philosophy wasto produce sheep that required minimum shepherding and had maximum ability to grow and develop on grass . Basically UK Suffolks did not change that much until the late 1970s. From then on ever greater attention was paid to size, heads, and bone and the whole skeletal shape of the breed altered with the sheep ending up with shorter legs and much broader bodies.Whether this change was due to too much line breeding ( inbreeding ) or the use of other breeds I do not know but I have no doubt that our Suffolks are much closer to "Traditional Suffolks" than a lot of todays show ponies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nithsdale farmer View Post
    Iv often thought the exact same thing YC.... in principle the breed has many good points, but the direction the breeders went in mean there are more negatives to outweigh the good

    IMO the breed needs someone to have the balls to breed a brown-faced texel or charolais flock.
    IF anyone could do this the Suffolk could easily be king. I understand and respect those who wish to preserve the breed as it is and there can be breeders who do this. But as a purely mainstream, commercial breed the animal needs to change abit.

    But to answer your question, i cant think of anyone :cry:
    We have used NZ Texels in order to introgress the Myomax muscling gene into some of our Suffolks and we call these sheep Sufftexes. The 3/4 Suffolks and some of the 7/8 Suffolks have the brown faces you refer to but more importantly they have the extra meat yield we are seeking.
    In terms of having balls breeding brown faced sheep is easy enough even if retaining the correct attributes is slightly more challenging. However a far bigger problem for any individual is that Breed Societies normally consist of like thinking breeders who normally talk only to each other and convince themselves through groupspeak that what they are doing is correct.Going outside this cosy world you soon find yourself in a pretty lonely place and certainly trying to sell something new into such a conservative industry as the sheep industry is very hard work to begin with. Thus I am very grateful to those 190 clients who have been open minded enough to give us a chance over the last 5 years

  11. #11
    socksitis
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    They are about - but not in the show ring. We breed suffolks, nothing too big, the best place I think to look would be the non accredited tents at the big Builth Wells ram sale in September.

  12. #12
    easyram1
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDunc View Post
    My grandfather bred the parkhouse flock. Hit the breeding peak in the 70's with excellent terminal sires producing easy lambed long bodied carcasses that grew meat from grass....

    He'd be spinning in his grave now if he hadn't been cremated
    I remember when we first went to Edinburgh in the late 70s Parkhouse was right at the top of the tree and Arnott Barron had great rams out of Parkhouse Welcome ewes. We thought that these Scotish sheep all had great size and strength but their bone was minimal compared to todays modern Suffolk. In those days the Edinburgh rams bred really well when put on our more traditional southern Suffolk ewes. I am sure many of your grandfather's contemporaries would be spinning with him if they could

  13. #13
    40cows
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    America has suffolks http://u-s-s-a.org/suffolks.html
    I think they are the same as what the original suffolk might have been, But too tall & narrow,They seem to have gone to the other extreme

  14. #14
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    best ones may not show in in show rings or name in bright lights in the paper

    true about them being black at both ends but any one stop to think it's whats being feed in to them we only had probs with them on wet gut less grass

  15. #15
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Why wasn't the the NZ Suffolk ram sheared at Scot sheep to get a proper look of him? Was the same two years ago. What they hiding?

    Will NZ Suffolk sired lambs be ok for the Morrisons traditional breeds scheme?

  16. #16
    mghadley
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Recently cast my eye over Suffolk sheep champion at one of the major county shows. Big head, front legs as thick as your fore arm, over fed and appearing lazy/immobile, It might be what the judge wanted to see but when will pedigree breeders breed for the traits that commercial farmers are increasingly looking for:- yes good conformation / muscling but combined with, ease of lambing, hardiness/mobility and vigourous healthy lamb with a will to suck at the earliest opportunity. The breed seems to be loosing its way.

    MGH

  17. #17
    skoda
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by spudie View Post
    What about Suffolk's with clean backends.When i had them they were magnets for maggots
    Copper bolus IMO are a God sent make all the difference here and makes them grow and put on weight as they should do .

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDunc View Post
    My grandfather bred the parkhouse flock. Hit the breeding peak in the 70's with excellent terminal sires producing easy lambed long bodied carcasses that grew meat from grass....

    He'd be spinning in his grave now if he hadn't been cremated
    I have heard nothing but good things about Hugh Allan , same could be said about Jock Allan (his brother I believe) who bred sheep with good backends.

    Quote Originally Posted by socksitis View Post
    They are about - but not in the show ring. We breed Suffolk's, nothing too big, the best place I think to look would be the non accredited tents at the big Builth Wells ram sale in September.


    Quote Originally Posted by JD_Kid View Post
    best ones may not show in in show rings or name in bright lights in the paper

    true about them being black at both ends but any one stop to think it's whats being feed in to them we only had probs with them on wet gut less grass
    The advent of the feed trough has had the biggest influence covering up the faults by feeding on flesh instead of giving them the chance to flesh out naturally , problem is Suffolk's have had a head start on other breeds but the others are not that far behind

  18. #18
    easyram1
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny400 View Post
    Why wasn't the the NZ Suffolk ram sheared at Scot sheep to get a proper look of him? Was the same two years ago. What they hiding?

    Will NZ Suffolk sired lambs be ok for the Morrisons traditional breeds scheme?
    The ram was not sheared because the farm he came off - Derek Steens at Lockerbie - does not shear till later( all the sheep on the stand were offthe same farm and none were sheared). Nothing to hide but obviously I can not make an owner do something just for my convenience. I would hope that he was judged as much by his offspring that were also on the stand. I will get photos taken once he is sheared and let you see them. Certainly he handles very fit for a 3 sh sheep reared and maintained on grass and forage particularly as he has served 410 ewes in his first 3 seasons

    In terms of the Morrisons deal I do not know all the details but in general I believe the deal is restricted to members of the Suffolk Sheep Society and on the basis that I ceased registering my sheep with the Suffolk Sheep Society last autumn I guess not. Having said that we will naturally investigate what is going on and will endeavour to get in on this scheme so that our clients can benefit from any premiums that will be offered.

  19. #19
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Copper bolus IMO are a God sent make all the difference here and makes them grow and put on weight as they should do .

    intresting we give copper too last place suffolks went OK here don't do as well ( in saying that corries and pollies crash a bit too )

    just putting copper bolus in to all sheep at the mo 90 odd cents each + time etc

    have not done any trials on farm to see if there is a huge gain but do know wool is better along with less leg breaks even tho liver tests show level in the OK range altho at the lower end of OK

  20. #20
    petec
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Have watched the Charollais do the same thing over the years, they now have been crossing with Texels bigtime, to get some meat. Big and woolly for the showring. The only good things are feet and teeth when being heavily fed.

  21. #21
    NeilO
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by petec View Post
    Have watched the Charollais do the same thing over the years, they now have been crossing with Texels bigtime, to get some meat. Big and woolly for the showring. The only good things are feet and teeth when being heavily fed.
    You don't gain meat from adding Texel blood, you make the loins much weaker & shorter. You will add width a frame, which doesn't necessarily mean more meat. As alluded to in PBH's post about NZ Suffolks, CT scanning has been enlightening. I have a stock ram that was Champion at Builth a couple of years ago and him & his progeny would put the very best Texels to shame for hindquarter frame/shape. CT scanning has shown that actual meat yield from that hindquarter (& loin) is a hell of a long way behind some of my taller, longer lines. That fact also shows up in his ebvs, which sit at 150, when our average lamb is at 380. They look good though, in an ugly kind of way.

  22. #22
    Global Ovine
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilO View Post
    You don't gain meat from adding Texel blood, you make the loins much weaker & shorter. You will add width a frame, which doesn't necessarily mean more meat. As alluded to in PBH's post about NZ Suffolks, CT scanning has been enlightening. I have a stock ram that was Champion at Builth a couple of years ago and him & his progeny would put the very best Texels to shame for hindquarter frame/shape. CT scanning has shown that actual meat yield from that hindquarter (& loin) is a hell of a long way behind some of my taller, longer lines. That fact also shows up in his ebvs, which sit at 150, when our average lamb is at 380. They look good though, in an ugly kind of way.
    This is a point well made by NeilO which I feel most UK farmers do not appreciate.....the difference between live shape of an animal and meat yield. Since boning out trials and CT scanning has occurred, there has been a huge shift in thinking in the NZ sheep industry for the most productive and profitable. The conclusion is those which have the most red meat in the high priced regions of the carcass and grew the fastest.
    This has lead to 74% of the NZ sheep kill moving toward measured yield payments, as 86% of NZ lamb is sold dead wt. and the processors pay for what they get, not what they think they will get. Yes it has been a boon for the Texel breed (Texel also incorporated into many other breeds now) but EBVs are taking on a whole new significance to increased muscling as NZ farmers are paranoid about changing the skeletal shape which will adversely affect the whole NZ ethos of lowering the cost of production by increasing labour and losses at lambing and decreasing mobility on hill country.

    CT scanning is the proof that is needed. I have seen scan results from Easyram1's Suffolk and Sufftex flocks showing meat yields equal to better than UK Suffolks. The difference is in skeletal shape. If you like huge leg bones, big heads and shoulders, then learn to like lambing difficulties. That is one obvious difference between NZ and UK Suffolks, not meat yield as a % of carcass weight.

    I'm all for correcting trace element deficiencies, but I find no reason to excuse any genetic weakness in any breed by continuous pharmacutical treatment. If a breeder has Suffolks which get daggy because of failure to pellet dung, or more susceptible to worms etc....then sort them out genetically. I know of flocks of NZ Suffolks as clean as any other breed because the breeders have tackled this head-on instead of masking the problem to breed on in commercial flocks. Fortunately for the UK these flocks were sampled for recent importations.

    I'm impressed by Charollais' ease of lambing and their yield too, hence I am involved with that breed along with others in other parts of the world. I am not one eyed about a breed, but bloody minded about sheep farming being successful. There is more to breeding than big heads and beachball bums.

  23. #23
    andybk
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    interesting posts above and i concur , we have built up a good trade in commercial rams that are from grass all year , (not just the summer months ) they are always smaller at point of sale but they last , do the job and people just keep coming back , but has cost us dear over the years , often missing the star prices , as we never sale through society auctions any more due to not wanting to feed .

    the biggest problem on this isle is the vast majority of rams are sold as seen often through a ring so biggest and best fed make the most money, many buyers sell offspring as stores , so no feedback and the same mistakes are made over and over , with rams getting bigger and bigger to satisfy demand
    How many at the two builth or kelso sales would be natural and unfed ? , very few, if any .
    This method of ram selection (ring and show)and the way breeders respoded to it , was main contributor to the suffolk decline im afraid
    The signet scheme offered a credible alternative to this problem , but huge mistakes in the early years over feed management and selection for the wrong traits left keen early buyers feeling their fingers burnt and has put many off , even though i will conceed things are different now ,

  24. #24
    b slicker
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    The Suffolk suffers from the same problem as the Simmental.

    It is bought as both a terminal sire and a maternal sire. For example, a Suffolk to put over Scotch Halfbreds to produce Suffolk cross breeding females is bought on different points compared to a Suffolk for crossing with a Mule to produce Suffolk x Mule ewe lambs.

    But if anyone wants a Suffolk purely as a terminal sire, there are plenty of Suffolks with good feet and skins, and which haven't been overdone, to choose from. Whatever you do, don't buy an over-done Suffolk which suffer from foot and liver? problems because of over-feeding.

    Stock should be bought on reputation rather than appearance.

  25. #25
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    The Suffolk suffers from the same problem as the Simmental.

    It is bought as both a terminal sire and a maternal sire. For example, a Suffolk to put over Scotch Halfbreds to produce Suffolk cross breeding females is bought on different points compared to a Suffolk for crossing with a Mule to produce Suffolk x Mule ewe lambs.

    But if anyone wants a Suffolk purely as a terminal sire, there are plenty of Suffolks with good feet and skins, and which haven't been overdone, to choose from. Whatever you do, don't buy an over-done Suffolk which suffer from foot and liver? problems because of over-feeding.

    Stock should be bought on reputation rather than appearance.

    The problem is irrespective of what your buying aim is - maternal or terminal - they all have the same problems: Dirty arses, they all throw lambs which put all their growth into frame and not flesh, the majority are heavy boned (although there are some breeders seem to be breeding finer-types, same goes for the heads). Some pine easily on land whare other breeds (continental cross lambs) thrive.......

    The foot problems are a cross-breed thing, as would be any internal damage to big over-fed rams. Youl find both these in any breed.

    Maybe the big boys in the society need to split the breed into 2 types, and breed them in speperate directions tailored for the job? if the BFL boys can do it any breed can!!

  26. #26
    HI YIELD SUFFOLKS
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Yes, I have some high indexed sheep, above 75% are in the top 5% of the signet records. I have left the show ring, due to my finer head and bone characteristics for ease of lambing, however, have fantastic growth rates and muscle depths.

  27. #27
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by HI YIELD SUFFOLKS View Post
    Yes, I have some high indexed sheep, above 75% are in the top 5% of the signet records. I have left the show ring, due to my finer head and bone characteristics for ease of lambing, however, have fantastic growth rates and muscle depths.

    Great to hear - do you know of other breeders doing the same, or are you alone? Also, are yours bred from UK lines, or have you introduced NZ into them?


    The other thing im now wondering - is there anyone breeding like this (UK or NZ bloodlines) in Scotland, as most seem to be away down south.

  28. #28
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by HI YIELD SUFFOLKS View Post
    Yes, I have some high indexed sheep, above 75% are in the top 5% of the signet records. I have left the show ring, due to my finer head and bone characteristics for ease of lambing, however, have fantastic growth rates and muscle depths.
    Yes that is good news, wish more would do it even if they fiddled a bit & used other breeds to speed up the process.

    It must be a problem for you finding stock tups?

  29. #29
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Was just doing some looking around on 'tinternet for suffolks and came across this site:

    http://willow-drive-south-suffolk-st...vepictures.htm

    They are in Australia, havnt really looked their site - but i was taken by the looks of this ram:




    Wouldnt bother me the light face colourings compared to traditional UK suffolks, if someone was selling something like that i would be very interested.

  30. #30
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Does ANYBODY breed good suffolks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nithsdale farmer View Post
    Was just doing some looking around on 'tinternet for suffolks and came across this site:

    http://willow-drive-south-suffolk-st...vepictures.htm

    They are in Australia, havnt really looked their site - but i was taken by the looks of this ram:




    Wouldnt bother me the light face colourings compared to traditional UK suffolks, if someone was selling something like that i would be very interested.
    You get white suffolks in Aus too. According to wiki they have Poll Dorset in them and by your picture there he could have the same. Does look a good ram tho

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