Russell and Rhys Edwards, farm at Hendre-Ifan-Goch farm, Blackmill, Bridgend. Bought in 1975 it is a 250 acre hill sheep farm ranging from 650-1350ft above sea level. They run 550 ewes which are mainly white face mule ewes crossed to terminal sires. Alongside run a flock of improved Beulah speckled face ewes which are crossed with an Aberfield ram for ewe lamb replacements.
All sheep are lambed indoors in early March and fed pit silage via a TMR system using limited compounds along with soya to boost protein levels late pregnancy. All ewes have been EID recorded since 2014 via a Shearwell psion. All lambs are linked to their sires and dams with breed, sex and weight recorded at birth. Lambing percentage in 2017 was 170%.
All lambs are finished from grass using high sugar leys to keep costs to a minimum and currently sold deadweight to St Merryn or Dunbia, as well as selling through live markets or as breeding lambs. With regular monitoring of DLWG, lambs are treated and grouped accordingly after turn out with weaning taking place at 12 weeks.
Since 2016, purchasing rams based on looks is a thing of the past with performance recorded Texel, Charollais and Aberfield rams purchased for their 2017 lamb crop.
“Having actively learnt how to use Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) we are now very interested to compare our farm stock rams performance against sires brought in through the RamCompare trial” said Rhys.
“We are very excited to be part of the Ram compare project and looking forward to seeing how different breeds compare for lambing ease, survival rates, growth, worm resistance, killing out grades and percentage.”
At Hendre Ifan Goch they have diversified running a 60 pitch campsite and lease out a wedding venue on the farm. They have installed a hydro-generator and a ground source heat pump to provide all their electric and heating for the farm.