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We, the farm and the sheep
On the west coast of Sweden veterinary surgeon
Helen Björk Averpil and Benny Averpil run the farm Lindholmen with round about 80 Gotland ewes. The Gotland Sheep is an unique breed from Sweden, hornless with short tail, black face and a silver-gray curly and lustrous fleece. The ewes are easy to lamb, prolific, milky, motherly and hardy and adaptive suitable for extensive and rough grazing.
On the farm there are two Border Collies – Bess and Maggie.
The farm is beautifully, coast near situated just 30 km south of Gothenburg, the 2nd city of Sweden and with 100,000 inhabitants within 10 km with one of the country´s strongest purchasing power. The concept is shaped from this and stands on high end products that are solely sold from the farm. Focus and key is quality. The production is organically certified and the concept is capitalizing on the strong trend “locally produced “ with the own trade mark “Saltörtlamm®” (Salt Herb Lamb). A core business is also selling recorded high quality ram- and ewe lambs on auctions and from the farm – the latter under the trade mark ”Lindholmen High Index”. One ram from Lindholmen participated in export of semen to USA, Canada and Norway during 2011.
For best performance the production is carefully followed up by a sheep designed computer program Elitlamm and by own Excel models and the owners are active in bench-marking for seeking best practice.
From 2012 The Swedish Sheep Farmer Association introduced a new breeding system based on the method of BLUP – Best Linear Unbiased Prediction. Since then Estimated Breeding Values (EBV´s) has deeply been adopted in the selection process by a tailormade own index for growth, conformation and fleece traits called LINX –
Below chart shows the genetic trend for the lamb crops of Lindholmen each year for the most important traits – growth, conformation and fleece.
Breeding values 120 – 130 means within Topp2% of the population and 130+ within 0,5%.
Key expressions are “quality before quantity” and “satisfied customers always come back”. Profitability and professionalism are important in all dimensions.
The Flock Health Strategy
Firstly the breeding is based on healthy animals and for adequate feeding the ewes are scanned for foetus (also for easy care in lambing), the ensilage and concentrates are analyzed and calculations are made for the ewe´s need in different phases of her cycle.
Secondly the management is based on knowledge and experience by: best hygiene during in house season, monitoring all lambing, clean pastures for lambs (pastures where no sheep have been grazing the last two winters and the summer in between), parasite strategy and prophylactic measures as E- vitamin/selenium, vaccines and tics. Focus is on early taken measures when ill thrift and disease are detected.
Thirdly there is a distinctive biosecurity strategy for animal, people and tools that for the animals can be expressed with “close the flock” meaning that only breeding rams are taken in and are treated in quarantine by the book. “Healthy animals are the base for profitability”
Ram – and ewe lambs for further breeding, fur skins for home styling, grandchildren and elderly, meat as Saltörtlamm® on pre booking – all lambs are sold before they are born, meat of ewes are processed to sausages – ”Lindholmare”, Merguez and smoked meat products, wool spins to yarn, other processed products as pillows, blankets, ponchos, scarves etc. and last but not least nature grazing for EU- supports.
(Average for 3 years)
Qualitative; Carcass weight 18-19 Kg, fat class 3-, conformation class R-, finishing time 170 days, scanned lambs/ewe 1,9, barren ewes <1%, lambs to final purpose 1,9/ ewe, ewe losses 1%, birth weight 4,3 Kg, weight at 110 days 36 Kg, sales of lambs for further breeding ca 30%
Mobile telephone: Helen +46708635406 and Benny +46708635407
E- mail: email@example.com