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New gains from the breeding programme
The most recent progeny tests have shown additional gains in intramuscular fat and Omega-3 traits among the sires. A further 214 new sires were released on to our farms in the second quarter of 2016, selected from a core of 2000 rams which are all progeny tested for maternal performance, carcase merit, intramuscular fat and long-chain Omega-3 traits.
The progeny tests are showing useful correlation between fat composition in the lamb and their mothers, and between hill ewe performance and increased good fats.
This means there’s a ‘sweet spot’ for improved market quality and improved ewe condition without suffering unwanted characteristics such as excess subcutaneous fat in lambs. This data is allowing the Project team to zero in on animals that are good for the hill and produce lambs that are healthier and tastier for customers.
The fatty acid profiles of lambs on our chicory and chicory/red clover blends are at least as good as we’d hoped. All Omega Lamb Project lambs move from the hill country at weaning to live on a diet of chicory herbs on specialist chicory properties.