Boasting one of the largest Blue Texel flocks in the republic of Ireland, Philip Crowe’s flock has been snowballed since its establishment.
A suckler, sheep and pig farmer involved in the Agricultural circles for over two decades, Philip has recently ventured into Blue Texel, a new breed starting to gain footing on Irish soil.
In the Sheep game for eight years now, five years have passed, since Philip introduced the breed to his farmland based in Lisenanagh, Ballinagh, Co Cavan.
Philip travelled the hop and jump of the Irish Sea to Holland in order to source the foundation females of the flock.
‘I discovered the breed at shows in U.K. I conducted my research then and found a breeder that had twenty-two Blue Texel ewes to sell. I bought those and the rest is history.’ Philip told That’s Farming.
Thirty-five pedigree Blue Texel ewes are now owned and managed under the ‘Powerful’ prefix.
1st February every year see the lambing season kick off.
A synchronised breeding programme and the utilisation of artificial insemination are core elements of Mr. Crowe’s breeding programme.
‘Easy lambing, with low birth weights, high fertility, docility and tremendous quality carcasses are the main reasons I was attracted to the breed I find the smaller types ewes are breeding more kilos of meat.’ Philip explained.
The flock is sky-rocketing to success and is home to fields full of championship sourced from some of the globe’s best breeding flocks.
Emphasis is placed on the selection of top quality genetics and since the Blue Texel breed has started to dominate the breeder’s land in Cavan, several journeys have been made to Holland and most recently Belgium.
Rams from Philip’s flock are sold on for pedigree breeding purposes, along with the retention of some of the farms ewes as replacements, as the remainder exit the farm gate to become the foundational stock of new emerging flocks.
In the 2017 calendar alone, Mr. Crowe exported four Blue Texel rams to British breeders and another deal for a fifth ram is in the pipeline.
One of the farm’s most famous offering, 609 is renowned for placing a rather unique stamp on his progeny.
With several championship titles under his belt, he has claimed the Belgian national champion rosettes twice and gone on to top the Dutch National Championship twice.
Now close to one decade old, 609 is still in perfect working order and in high demand, with semen acquired by both Irish and U.K. breeders.
Following hot on his heels, 644 is another ram, making his mark.
Fifty doses of semen were exported into the U.K. earlier this year, showing tremendous shape and producing exceptional carcasses.
‘644 has surpassed all our hopes. He is displaying extreme shape, with demand for his sons. Semen purchases are very strong. His best son has been retained; the most extreme-muscled Blue Texel Lamb, we have ever seen.’ Philip said.
Philip currently farms one hundred pedigree ewes of breeds White Texel, Blues and Rouge.
As Blue Texel rams 609 and 644 continue to wow breeders, Philip has placed the specific breeding criteria right throughout the farm.
‘Glenkeen Nimrod was champion in Carlisle 2014 was purchased for £1700 sterling , this year we have bought the Paris show Champion Rouge Ram from the Charbonnier flock in France .
White Texel stock ram Baltier Wellington was purchased for £6000 at the Scottish national Sale Lanark 2015.’ Philip said.
The Cavan manis continuing to make history, claiming to introduce the first Dassenkop to the Irish island. A shipment of ten ewes and one ram is expected early next week, in order to establish the flock.
‘I discovered the breed in Holland. Every breed over there seemed to have Dassenkop. There is just something to them; easy lambed and good mothers.’ He added.
Apart from excellence on the sheep breeding scene, Mr. Crowe is renowned for a herd of Limousin cattle, also managed under the ‘Powerful’ prefix.
The farm is home to twenty-five pedigree Registered Limousin cows, the craft he has been involved in the longest for.
Keeping ahead of the curve, identifying a niche in the market, a focus is being placed on producing heavy-muscled E-grade Limousin cattle for the U.K. market.
One of the farm’s home-bred stock ‘Powerful Irish’, a homozygous Culard, possessing two-copies of the double-muscled gene, scooped the prestigious Scottish sire of the year in 2016.
‘Aside from our international customers, we also have a large number around Ireland. We use top-notch 90% British genetics and 10% French genetics to achieve this.’ Phillip added.
Mr. Crowe will continue to implement a strict breeding policy, as his flock and herd, managed under the ‘Powerful’ name continues to perform.
‘I will continue to source the best quality genetics that I can possibly get.’ Philip added.
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