Case Study: Richard Clay, Gaynes flock of pedigree Texels


Test lambs under commercial conditions for commercial success

A commercial focus is at the heart of the Gaynes flock breeding policy and it is paying dividends, as Richard Clay has bred the top Texel stock ram in England in 2015.

Gaynes Valliant II (CMG1401162) is sire of three of the top seven Texel rams lambs in the country. This is no small achievement in an analysis containing over 60,000 lambs.

As Signet’s longest standing client, the Gaynes flock has seen many changes since its pioneering involvement in the early Sire Reference Schemes. Much of the credit can be attributed to the dedication of Richard Clay, the farm manager who oversees both this 80-ewe pedigree Texel flock and a large commercial flock that runs alongside it.

The flock, which has not set foot in a show-ring for a decade, has a strong commercial following, selling shearlings to a loyal group of local clients, many of whom are attracted by the flock’s commercial ethos. Lambs are reared at pasture with their mothers, typically weighing 45-50kg at scanning time. A number of the ram lambs are then used on the commercial flock, where their genetic merit shines through.

The farm markets more than 800 lambs from their Texel cross Lleyn ewes, typically achieving 20kg liveweight at around 15 weeks of age. The pedigree flock also makes good use of homebred rams, with influential sires including Gaynes Major, which is the reference ram being used in the new jointly- funded commercial progeny test, RamCompare.

Tips for success

  • Rear the pedigree flock in the same commercial conditions as their progeny will be expected to perform 
  • Make good use of homebred rams. Their genetic merit has been proven on the holding and their performance is known 
  • Use proven, shared genetics to benchmark how the flock performs relative to other flocks

From the Signet website