The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK’s largest and longest established independent veterinary school and has been named as the top veterinary school in the QS World University Rankings 2021.
Based on the RVC’s Hawkshead Estate in Hertfordshire, Boltons Park Farm has been an essential part of the RVC’s activities for over 45 years. The farm is the RVC’s farm animal practical teaching facility where they host a wide range of student practical tasks and demonstrations. The students have their lambing lectures and practicals at the farm before they go off on lambing placements across the UK.
We chatted to George Kemp, who runs the sheep enterprise. “We lamb 200 North Country Mules in early February which are all put to the Suffolk ram, lambing inside with minimal lambing difficulties, the lambs are strong and very quick at getting up on their feet and to suckle the important first colostrum. Using the Suffolk suits our system perfectly as the lambs grow quickly and are perfect for our target markets as they have a daily liveweight gain of 350 – 400 grams a day, whilst also achieving good grades and consistent fat levels. We sell some of our lamb through our own small farm shop and the rest normally leave the farm as finished lamb.”George Kemp
The sheep flock consists of 300 sheep, a mix of North Country Mules, Texel and Charolais Mule crosses. The farm also has a dairy unit of 100 Holsteins plus replacements as well as 250 turkeys which are targeted at the Christmas market and 30 laying hens.
The unit is now sourcing high health North Country mules as it tries to become MV accredited. The Suffolk Rams are all sourced from one flock to achieve consistency of the lambs produced from the North Country Mule.
RVC Boltons Park Farm Foods is the collective brand for their current and expanding range of RVC farm produced products. Their primary objective is to grow and produce top quality, low food-miles food for the on-site kitchens and local customers.
Graeme Webster the Farm Manager at Boltons Park Farm said, “we will continue to use Suffolk rams on the early lambing flock as they give the best results on our system and Suffolk Rams produce very strong fast-growing lambs which is an asset on any commercial sheep unit”.
For more information contact Graeme Webster