Recognised Lleyn Breeder to Judge the Royal Welsh
Lleyn breeder through and through is probably the best way to describe this year's judge for the Lleyn classes at the prestigious Royal Welsh Show.
Ifor Jones of Pen y Bryn, Betws yn Rhos, Abergele, flock 223 has been given the honours of judging this year. Having run the family farm since he was 17 years old there is no shortage of knowledge.
Ifor farms alongside his wife Ann for whom he has been married to for 34 years with daughter Meinir and two sons Eilir and Elwyn Pen y Bryn is made up of 155 acres mixed farm with a further 200 acres of rented grassland. 20 acres are put down to barley for own use.
In 1980 a Lleyn ram was purchased to cross over the Welsh ewes. Seeing the beneficial traits from the breed, registered Lleyn ewes were bought in 1983 when Ifor also became a member of the Lleyn Sheep Society. Since then he has also become a Council Member.
The foundation of the flock were ewes purchased from flock 64 - the late Sam Griffiths. Flock 223 now consists of 500 registered ewes with 8 stock rams. All the registered Lleyn sheep are signet recorded and Maedi Visna Accredited. With 200 ewe lambs kept every year, 100 are kept for replacements and the other 100 are sold through the Society sales. 10 shearling rams are also sold through the sales. The rest of the lambs are sold finished through the local markets.
Lambing begins around 20 th March with very little supplementary feeding and no lambs are creep fed. All the ewes are scanned with triplets brought inside one month prior to lambing. Twins are brought in a few days before for ease of recording; they are put back out soon after lambing. The singles all lamb outdoors. The typical scan is 185% - 195%.
At Pen y Bryn the sheep and beef cattle are run side by side. The 60 suckler cattle are made up of mainly Limousin cross but there has been the recent introduction of Pedigree South Devon cattle. The cattle are sold off the farm through local markets as stores.
Ifor says "the Lleyn sheep has a very bright future, with excellent mothering ability for both pedigree and crossing systems".
Ifor and Anns recent success was winning the championship at the North Wales Club Show in 2011 and being crowned winners of the North Wales Flock Competition 2011. They have shown at the Royal Welsh and many North Wales Shows in the past.
So why not come down to ring 8/9 at 9am on Monday 23 rd July to see Ifor in action with what I am sure will be a stunning display of the breed.