With a more positive start to the new season lamb with prices well up on last year, the Hampshire Down Club Ireland is holding an open day on Saturday, 23rd April.
The event is hosted by Mr Peter and Frances Lawson at Glenbrook Farm, 33 Back Road, Baillies Mills, Co Down BT27 6TR. The day will highlight the modern Hampshire Down as one of the breeds most suited to minimum cost production system.
The farm consists mainly of low land, and some wet. A major fencing and grassland improvement program is in place with drainage and the sowing of new high clover swards.
The main focus at Glenbrook is the production of high quality lamb at minimum cost. The commercial flock currently numbers about 200 mainly mule ewes with plans to grow as the grassland is improved.
Main season lamb is being produced from a grass only system without any expensive feed supplementation.
Sean Doyle, the farm manager, explains the choice of terminal sire was based on the best breed to achieve maximum red meat production per hectre, in the quickest time and at minimum input cost.
Peter, after much research, identified the Hampshire Down as best meeting these requirements and was particularly impressed that the high number of flocks recording which give much evidence to these low cost claims.
Sean has been particularly happy with the ease of lambing and the quick get up and go which has helped keep labour demands to a minimum.
As well as the farm visit there will be other activities with workshops on reducing feed costs, vaccination programs, carcase judging, mineral supplementation and commercial branding of lamb.
The day will start at 12 noon and everyone is welcome.