14 July 1995

Excess of overfat lamb

THERE are too many overfat lambs being brought to market this summer.

A good growing season has caught some producers by surprise, and many lambs are being overfed and kept on farms a week or so longer than they ought to be, particularly first draw Continental crosses.

That is the way it appears to Brian Pile, sheep auctioneer at Banbury Stockyard, Oxon.

"There are just too many overfat lambs coming forward this year for both the home and export market," he told a group of Australian Texel breeders visiting Britain last week at the end of a three-week European study tour of Texel and Finn sheep in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Holland.

"To get the best price lambs should be sent just as soon as they are fit. It is no good trying to slim them down once they have become overfat," said Mr Pile.

&#8226 To see how good finished lambs should be produced, the Aussies also visited a local sheep farmer who puts all his lambs through Banbury (see page 45).