Photo: Lleyn & Texel x Lleyn lambs
Breeder: David Knowles, Cragg Farm, Kendal
Upland farm, with lambs reared from 750-1000ft
Lambs sent to slaughter from September - December 2016 to St Merryn Foods
Predominantly grass fed
Number of lambs in batch: 207 in total (38 Texel x Lleyn and 169 pure Lleyn)
Overall average carcase weight = 19.19kg
Overall average price = Â£74.14
Texel x Lleyn: average weight 18.93kg, average price Â£76.43
Pure Lleyn average weight 19.25kg, average price Â£74.85
Average price difference between Texel x and Pure Lleyn = Â£1.58 per carcase
David sells lambs both liveweight and deadweight and has done for many years.Â He has noted how the pure Lleyn lambs are now killing out with better grades then they were several years ago.Â David comments â€˜the Lleyn always kill out consistently with a large percentage of R grades.Â Because they are consistent I know what the grade sheet will look like and what I will be getting paid without any disappointing results.â€™
The Lleyn is renowned for her maternal traits.Â As well as producing female lambs for flock replacements or sale the Lleyn ewe produces male lambs which are destined to go for slaughter.Â Approximately half of the lamb crop will be male and should not be over looked or their potential dismissed.Â Producing a consistent quality prime lamb that readily falls into specification can increase margins on any farm.
Here is an example of a batch of lambs sent deadweight, some pure Lleyn and some Texel x Lleyn.Â Although not having the same level of conformation as the Texel x, the pure Lleyn are able to produce the weight of carcass with consistent grades.Â The average price difference between the two breeds on the kill sheet is Â£1.58 per head.Â Bear in mind that the Lleyn tend to be more prolific hence produce more lambs you can see how the value of the Lleyn lambs can add up.
The Texel x has a higher percentage of E grades, where as the pure Lleyn more R.Â Both have a similar percentage of U grades.Â There are only 4 lambs in the O grade.Â
Over the years with careful selection and hard work of forward thinking Lleyn breeders a little more conformation has been introduced into the breed, coupled with the Lleynâ€™s ability to continually produce consistent carcases, the pure bred Lleyn can improve the profitability of any flock