The Main Advantages Of Using A Border Leicester Ram
The Border Leicester is a very versatile animal, either producing commercial halfbred females as flock replacements, or butcher’s lambs.
The Border Leicester’s key strengths are as follows:
- Hybrid vigour – producing high performance breeding ewes.
- Excellent maternal characteristics – producing early maturing lambs.
- Fast growth – producing fast finishing butchers’ lambs.
- Easy lambing – the clean aquiline head, and not over-heavy shoulders mean that the Border Leicester Ram can safely be used on the smallest ewes, e.g. the very successful Welsh Halfbred which is produced from one of our smallest hill ewes, the Welsh Mountain ewe.
- Quality fleece – Strong and white with bulk and value preferred by the quality carpet manufacturers. Valued as a crossing sire, the influence of Border Leicester wool on the British clip is considerable. Pure-bred, the wool is white and semi lustrous, without kemp or coloured fibres and giving a staple length of up to 20 cms. On crosses and half-breds, these characteristics help to give versatility to the whole clip by producing slightly finer fleeces and reducing the incidence of coloured fibres and kemp, often found in the wool from hill and mountain breeds. Put on the Cheviot, good quality white wool is produced by the Scotch Half-bred; on the Blackface, the cross wool is whiter and resilient.
- High survival rate – of newly born lambs in harsh climatic conditions is legendary through their thick covering of wool, inherited from the Border Leicester.
The Greyface ewe, sired by a Border Leicester out of a Blackface ewe, is a very hardy prolific lowland ewe. The wether lambs have an excellent conformation and grow to good weights.
The Scotch Halfbred
A Cheviot ewe crossed with a Border Leicester ram. Known as the” Queen of ewes”. This one has been put to a Suffolk to produce a Suffolk Halfbred- very much sought after.
The Welsh Halfbred
Sired by a Border Leicester out of a Welsh Mountain ewe. This again gives all of the above traits.
Known in the sheep industry as the “Great Improver”, the Border Leicester is the crossing sire for producing profitable, commercial, breeding stock. It is often crossed with hill breeds to produce a half bred lamb. Hybrid ewes are recognised as outstanding mothers for a crossbred ewe flock, while the halfbred wether lamb can reach good weights, giving a sound financial return in it’s own right.