Farmer Alan Smellie of Kailzie Mains Farm and butcher Mike Forsyth of award winning Forsyth’s butchers Peebles in the Scottish Borders recently featured in the 3 video ‘shorts’ used to highlight the benefits of using Suffolk sired lamb.

Alan runs 2,200 ewes and finishes over 3,500 lambs every year with a flock of Suffolk’s to produce rams to run with Scotch Mules and Texel cross ewes to produce prime lambs. Cost of production is always important for the sheep enterprise and it is the Suffolk sired lambs that meet the criteria of a grass-based system perfectly with high growth rates and natural fleshing. Lambing starts at the beginning of April with both Suffolk and Texel sired lambs – the Suffolk sired lambs easily finish at twelve weeks of age but it is always three weeks later before the Texel sired lambs are ready to market.

The Suffolk lambs weigh twenty kilos plus with predominantly U grade carcasses and are marketed at a time of year when the market price is at its peak. In 2016 Alan Smellie had a meeting with Mike Forsyth of Forsyth’s butchers Peebles at SAC Colleges Edinburgh.

Mike Forsyth

Mike had witnessed scanning of a Suffolk ram that was owned by Alan Smellie who was CT Scanning his sheep at SRUC Edinburgh, the award winning butcher was very impressed with the size of cuts of meat on the animal, the size of the chops and the amount of fillet that was on the loins and the marbling which was threaded throughout the meat. After Mike Forsyth and Alan Smellie discussed the scanning results Mike wanted to try some of the progeny from this particular ram through his butchers’ shop.

The Suffolk sired carcasses were perfect for Mike Forsyth’s customers’ requirements, everything that had been visible on the scan had followed through to the rams progeny, with large eye muscle and incredible marbling of the meat, this is a feature of Suffolk lamb that Mike Forsyth does not see in other breeds, the marbling enhances the flavour and texture of the meat as it cooks which keeps it tender and succulent and makes a fantastic eating experience for the consumer.

“Consistency in the lamb we buy is massively important to be able to ensure a great eating experience for our customers, and this is something that Suffolk Lamb does well, our lamb sales are increasing and this is due to the high-quality grass-fed Suffolk lamb we sell”

Mike Forsyth
Published in Commercial Suffolks 2019