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Sad as it may seem I’ve just spent a good half an hour perusing the catalogue for the Northern Area Suffolk sale at Edinburgh next Friday. Having recently ceased breeding Suffolks I’ve still got a keen interest in the breed after a lifetime of involvment and find sale catalogues fascinating.
However, there is one striking feature about the catalogue for me this year. Despite all the Suffolk Sheep Society’s publicity about peformance recording and the breed having “Figures to kill for” just 36 ram lambs out of 252 entered have any performance recording figures published in the catalogue. That, for a breed which could claim to be the second most popular terminal sire, is a shameful 14% of the sheep entered for sale.
This leaves anyone wanting a recorded sheep a limited choice and anyone wanting specific traits even more stuck. What’s really baffling me though is that Suffolk breeders are offered basic level recording as part of the membership package, so why aren’t they taking it up?
In the modern world anyone not making use of recording risks being left a long way behind the rest of the industry.
However, true to form many breeders have waxed lyrical in the notes about their entries about the power certain sheep offfer and the wonderful heads and bone they offer. Now call me a cynic, but these are all things of no use to anyone, barring the butcher’s dog that is! Its high time for a reality check for many I suspect.