IMPROVED LAMB grades and more lambs meeting abattoir specification are just two of the benefits seen by Warks producer William Morton since he attended a BRP live-to-dead training day in January.

Mr Morton, who runs a 550-ewe March-lambing flock, says he went on the training course because he started drawing his own lambs for slaughter. Previously, he relied on a fieldsman from the co-operative he belonged to.

“Grading lambs alive and then seeing the same lambs hung up after slaughter put into context exactly what the EUROP grades mean. Many lambs grade out fatter than they handle and I am now drawing some lambs sooner than I would have been and getting more lambs in specification,” says Mr Morton.

“I now feel better able to draw lambs to meet market requirements.”

While Mr Morton felt he knew how lambs he had drawn would grade, he believes the training day reinforced what he already knew and highlighted where he may have been going wrong.

“But market requirements may change, so a refresher course in a couple of years time may be useful,” he adds.

A point echoed by Herefordshire producer Mike Lewis. “The course highlighted that I may have been drawing lambs a bit too fat before.”

“Being able to examine lambs alive and dead and equate the grades to actual carcasses was particularly useful,” adds Mr Lewis, who attended a course run for members of Herefordshire Young Farmers.

Mr Lewis has put into practice the skills he learnt on the BRP day on the sheep flock on his family’s unit. “We’ve been selecting lambs in recent weeks and it has definitely made a difference.

“The course has been a real eye-opener as far as drawing lambs suitable for the market is concerned. I”m now drawing more lambs in spec and getting better prices,” he adds.