Please visit the for sale page to view the latest list of animals and semen for sale this year.
We have been delighted so far with the number of visitors that we have visit to select their choice from the depth of breeding available this year. Many visitors appreciate the opportunity to spend time looking at both the animals on offer and also understanding the system they are produced in.
This provides a far more revealing experience than visiting a market and seeing pens full of sheep that have been produced by artificial breeding methods (sometimes from female lines who have never lambed themselves) and then are fed the finest food and vegetables available!
The Kimbolton flock is grounded in commercial reality and not caught up in the hype of “high priced show types”. Our diverse customer base want sheep that can perform off forage and a commercial system without excessive inputs.
Feel free to get in touch to see what we could offer.
The Kimbolton flock has been collecting flock data for over twenty years and this information is used to inform breeding decisions and goals. We view this as a vital way to ensure the animals we breed perform with their new owners to make commercial lamb production as smooth and predictable as possible.
Today this is a key factor in ensuring profitability and as we move into a world where there will likely be taxes introduced on CO2 and equivalents, the time is right to futureproof your business by using the right genetics.
It is therefore pleasing to see the results of the latest genetic evaluation which shows the Kimbolton flock leading the way for key commercial traits of interest.
Kimbolton Gigantic is currently the top Terminal Index ram lamb in 2023 with a value of £11.43 which means that using him will provide £11.43 profit per lamb more than the average Texel would have in 2010. Assuming that 100 lambs per year were produced over 3 years this would represent almost £3,500 in additional lamb value compared to using an “average” alternative. Gigantic will be offered for sale at the English National Sale at Worcester on 29th August 2023.
If you are looking to select for specific sub traits that make up the overall Terminal or Replacement indexes then Kimbolton genetics also lead the way here too.
Of course we understand that being number 1 in evaluations isn’t the only objective, but it is pleasing to see that it is possible to combine structurally sound and functional sheep that also perform well when independently evaluated against other flocks. As Paul says “using data, the latest technology and evaluations is more profitable than being judged at a show. Profit is sanity, winning rosettes is vanity!”
If you are interested in knowing more about how our genetics could help your business, get in touch!
Our list of animals for sale has been added to the “For Sale” section of this site.
Please contact Paul to discuss anything of interest as many are sold direct from Farm.
Visitors are welcome with no obligation to purchase.
Visitor feedback is that a visit is “very informative and the only way to see the entire flock and the system they are produced in. It is far more relevant and three dimensional than just seeing a small selection of animals like you get at a normal sale.”
One of the benefits of having a Texel flock is that you get to meet and interact with other Texel breeders not only in the UK but from all over the world. This provides an opportunity to learn and share experiences. A great example of this was that we were thrilled to welcome visitors from Argentina recently.
In 1977 José Plumet established the Cabaña EPU CLA Texel flock near Buenos Aires, this was the first Texel flock in Argentina and since its inception he has enjoyed great success, now being joined by his son Javier who is continuing to ensure the flock is at the forefront of the Argentinian sheep industry.
The superior carcass attributes of the British Texel have improved the quality of prime lambs produced in Argentina and the Plumet’s have a large number of loyal repeat customers to sell their breeding stock too who are also benefitting from their vision and hard work.
In the last two years they have spent time setting up a pioneering import of embryos and semen from some well known flocks in the UK. The first embryos are due to be born in 2023.
Contained in the genetics they selected was some Kimbolton breeding so we were honored that they chose to spend some time during their UK trip visiting us to find out more about what we do.
If you are interested to know too, feel free to get in touch.
Update – A recent YouTube video for Modo Ovis by José Plumet shows some of the video taken during the visit.
Over the last seven years the Kimbolton Flock has supplied our genetics to a number of key research projects. These projects have ranged in focus from improving welfare (eg mastitis and foot rot) to improving the eating experience.
One of these projects was focussed on finding out if Intramuscular fat could be measured using visible and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) in an abattoir environment.
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is an important proxy for the eating experience of meat as the correct levels of IMF increase succulence and juiceness but too much makes it taste fatty. In recent years Wagyu in Beef has seen a surge in popularity and this is a great example of a highly marbled meat with a great eating experience that has high levels of IMF. It is therefore not surprising that a similar eating experience could be achieved for lamb.
However, continental breeds of sheep are renowned for their lean carcass and high killing out %, so how can you get a carcasse that has the right amount of subcutaneous fat but with high levels of IMF? Well that is the easy bit – use the right combination of sire and dam but the hard bit is measuring IMF levels in a meat processor at line speed as traditional methods are slow and expensive. Without this measurement there is no way to provide continual feedback to breeders so that they can make informed breeding decisions.
This project bred lambs from a range of Texel sires including ones selected from the Kimbolton flock. These were finished on grass and then sent in batches for slaughter where their loins were then analysed with IMF levels being measured using NIR.
The project found that:
Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy can predict intramuscular fat in lamb loins.
Spectroscopic predictions can be taken in an abattoir on intact meat cuts.
Meat quality predictions could feed back in the supply chain to inform breeding.
This could mean in the future IMF measurements get incorporated into a quality assurance scheme as the tools developed and proved during this project show there is a feasible measurement method. Of course only time will tell if this happens. In the meanwhile the Kimbolton flock is utilising the breeding values that are produced by the Texelplus evaluations to try to increase IMF levels in the Kimbolton flock.
What a year 2020 has been, if lambing wasn’t exciting enough with the storms and floods, then lock down, then a heatwave!
Despite all of that the sheep have quietly got on with it and we have now sold out for 2020 earlier than ever before.
With the advent of COVID many buyers visited early to secure their choice of genetics taking advantage of viewing the Rams and Ewes on farm in their natural clothes whilst maintaining social distancing.
This method of purchasing is different to buying at auction but has the massive benefit of being able to see all of the animals for sale as well as the parents and the system they were reared in. This is very different to just seeing a pen of animals on sale day that you have decided to take to that particular sale. Many buyers commented that this was a much more three dimensional experience which they found highly valuable.
As a result we would like like to thank all of our customers, both old and new and wish them luck with their purchases.
If you are still looking for something for this year we have a tremendous range of semen for sale (details can be found on the For Sale page), and if you are still looking for a Ram give Paul a call on 07730 700390 as he may be able to put you in touch with other flocks with suitable stock for sale that use Kimbolton genetics.
Now to focus on getting the ewes back in lamb – another year gone!
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that sadly CAP died today aged thirteen and a half.
He has been an intrinsic part of the family and flock since we were lucky enought to buy him from our neighbour Derek Lloyd (who in his lifetime won the National twice).
CAP was a rare blend of a family dog and a determined and capable worker who didnt take any nonsense from the sheep. He would move the largest of Rams or the smallest of lambs all with care and compassion. Many visitors have commented on him when they came to look at the sheep as he quickly got them rounded up and under control without the need for hurdles!
He was one of those rare dogs who would do what ever you asked of him and the bond that was created between us was truly special. 100% loyal and dependable you have been my dog of a lifetime.
Thank you CAP, rest peacefully, I hope we get to meet again.