Despite having sold our consignment in advance of the sale, today was a great day for the Kimbolton flock at the Shropshire & Borders Texel Club sale at Welshpool as Kimbolton Frisky was tapped out as Reserve Champion by judge Andrew Reed in the pre sale showing.
Frisky is a powerful son of Kimbolton Eagle and was the top priced ram lamb sold at the Shropshire & Borders Texel Club sale at Shrewsbury in 2022. He was purchased by the Pryce family for their Caereinion flock and was successfully used as a ram lamb.
Speaking after the sale Paul said ” Its great to see Kimbolton breeding featuring in not only progressive commercial flocks, but also in discerning pedigree flocks too. Cefin has enjoyed success with Kimbolton genetics selling to 8,000gn, plus it was great to see the 24,000gn champion at the NSA Builth sale this year from Andrew Reed also had Kimbolton in the back pedigree too.”
As well as being busy with sales this year, of course the groundwork goes into planning the 2024 lamb crop.
Paul has been busy evaluating ram choices that will enhance commercial traits of interest that support the flocks breeding objectives and the following rams will be used.
Kimbolton Great Shape is a naturally born twin by Kimbolton Dynamite (who is by 40,000gn Garngour Alabama). Great Shape’s dam is by the 8,000gn Duhonw ram who was NSA champion in 2017. He has style and a serious carcass being the lamb who had the best killing out percentage of all Texel lambs CT scanned in 2023 (52.5%). He is pictured below the day before he won his class at Tenbury Show.
Kimbolton Glorious Gigots is another naturally born twin who is a block of a lamb. He is by Kimbolton Forever Ready who is a muscular son of Wallington Special Brew who has produced serious gigots in all his progeny (hence the name!). On the dam side is Kimbolton Yeoman who has bred well for a number of flocks. He too has been through the CT scanner and carries more carcass fat than the other choices so will be used to balance ewes who are leaner.
Kimbolton Gladiator is a very long naturally born twin by Kimbolton Commander who has produced some tremendous fast growing, shapely sheep for us. Gladiators dam is by 7,000gn Hilltop Cobra who has done a great job for us.
Also back by popular demand is Kimbolton Dynamite who has become Garngour Alabama’s highest index son (in the August evaluation run he was the sixth highest stock sire in the breed).
Also we are excited to introduce Highcraigs Feldspar who is a very interesting addition to the breeding programme. A Glenway Dynasty son out of a the most successful female line in the Highcraigs flock which goes back to some tremendous Drinkstone breeding. We are grateful to Duncan MacNiven for allowing us the opportunity to try him out and we look forward to seeing the results.
Sale season is well underway and demand has been humbling with both new and repeat buyers seeking out Kimbolton genetics to add to their flocks.
What is particularly pleasing is listening to stories from existing customers of lambs finishing faster with better shape and increased weights (particularly important for live sales this year). All this drives more efficient production by getting lambs off their farms faster which is a key driver for profit!
Shearling rams have all been sold now but we still have a limited selection of high index ram lambs for sale direct from the farm as well as some lovely breeding females who would make good additions to an existing flock or a nice starter flock.
As always please go to the “For Sale” page to download the latest list of animals for sale. Also listed are the semen choices that we can offer too if you are thinking of using AI.
If you are unsure about what to do, just give Paul a call and he will be happy to talk things through to make sure you get the right outcome for your breeding objectives.
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.”
Once of the key benchmarking tools that are used extensively to manage our flock are regular measurements of weight and carcass quality.
Our regime of data collection starts with recording the birth weight within 24 hours (measuring straight after birth is too messy!), this is applied consistently each year to ensure year on year comparisons can be made.
Then following birth the lambs are weighed each time they are handled, so the next weights are done when they receive their Ovipast vaccination around four weeks of age. As this routine is repeated we begin to build up a picture of Daily Live Weight Gain which we can review in our farm software. Whilst this is crude as it doesn’t take into account birth/rear type (single/twin/triplet), it does provide an early indication of growth rates and allow actions to be taken on any poor performers. This allows decisions to be made about removing any lambs who mothers might be struggling to rear multiples, they can then be marked for culling.
Weigh data is then submitted to The Texel Society via its iTexel platform so that it can be evaluated in a statistical model that allows an “apples and apples” comparison between sheep and also between flocks and production systems.
Additional data is added following ultrasound scanning for muscle depth and backfat and then the “best” five ram lambs are CT scanned with this data also being included within the evaluations.
Once evaluated we then have reasonably accurate information to make our breeding decisions as we know about carcass composition and growth.
Obviously technology improves all the time and we are excited about the prospect of using genomics in the next couple of years to improve accuracy even further, particularly on ram lambs.
The pictures below show some of the ram lambs on their day out to the CT scanner.
Its always pleasing to see purchasers enjoying success with our genetics and we were therefore delighted to see Kimbolton Commander lambs being awarded Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion in the Texel section of the MacKenzie A&P show.
2023 was a good lambing for us following a record scanning percentage. There are some exciting prospective lambs on the ground and we look forward to seeing how they perform in the coming months as they grow and mature.
Selecting for ease of lambing and good maternal traits is something we have done since the start of the flock and we have found now the families that are working well and removed those that don’t. Obviously we are dealing with nature and something unexpected always happens!
We have tested our colostrum for the last few years using a Brix refractometer that was bought cheaply on Amazon. This quickly shows colostrum quality and is a useful indicator of if ewe nutrition and is directly correlated to lamb survival. Also over the last three years we have taken the opportunity to tube every lamb with colostrum as soon as possible after it is born. This has significantly reduced early losses and also meant that lambs have had better early growth. Equally importantly it has provided peace of mind and meant that we can leave the lamb that was born before bed confidently knowing it has had milk.