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The following information was provided by Richard Garner and may be of interest to Signet clients


High Genetic Merit Ortum Suffolk Flock for Sale

The Ortum flock established in 1978, has performance recorded since the early 80’s and consistently ranked within the Top 3 flocks in the country over the last 10 years for growth and muscling.

We have used ultrasound scanning and CT to select heavily for increased muscling across the loin, with 99% of the 2015 lamb crop in the Top 5% of the breed. Ortum blood is in all the top recorded flocks.

DSCF0909smallThe average genetic merit of our shearling ewes is as follows:

  • Average Scan Weight EBV of 11.61 =   Top 10%
  • Average Muscle Depth EBV of 4.84 = Top 5%
  • Average Index EBV of 5.01 = Top 5%

Within the stock ewes for sale, we have 56 with indexes in the top 5% of the breed –to a top of 6.13 index points.

The pedigree and performance information is all on-line for those wishing to study the flock in more detail at

carcassThe Ortum flock doesn’t regularly show, but it has performed well in carcase competitions; including a Championship in the Christmas carcase competition at Skegness Meat Traders, where the next 4 places were secured by lambs bred by our rams on other farms. We recently achieved a 19.5kg carcase from a lamb under 10 weeks of age – so we know what the commercial attributes of these sheep can do.

We know what they can do within the pedigree sector, having supplied two widely used reference rams to the Sire Reference Scheme (with 492 progeny on the ground and indexes still within the top 5% of the breed) and semen exported to Norway, and stock to Holland, Germany, Ireland and two rams in a research centre in Hungary.

DSCF0919 smallThis year I understand we have produced one of the highest recorded eye-muscle depths in the Eastern Region Area for 2015 so far, with a ram lamb weighing 60kg at the time of scanning.

I have bred the ewes for easier lambing and vigour in the new born lamb using the best UK breeding lines for growth and carcase traits; I have not introduced New Zealand blood lines. The basis of my breeding strategy being founded on my interest in genetics and the findings from my Nuffield Scholarship Tour in New Zealand and Australia, which focussed on breeding for performance.

DSCF0906 smallWe are reducing the Suffolk flock to concentrate on other activities within the farm, but I sincerely feel these genetics would provide an excellent and unique starting point to anyone wishing to establish a high performance Suffolk flock – or enhance an existing one.

Richard Garner