Lowerye Bert. updated: 03/06/2008
Lowerye Bert (ZVY 1001) has been described by several breeders as the best son of Highway Mr Softie (ZDG 8014) that they have seen. He is certainly the best that I have seen to. Bert is the result of the purchase of 10 doses of semen from Mr Softie and the subsequent use over 10 fleshy "RR" scrapie resistant ewes. Bert was born and reared as a twin out of a Lionheart daughter and both lambs stood out as the best pair in the 2001 crop. He was genotyped for scrapie resistance along with 50 other lambs and we were ecstatic when he came back as ARR/ARR, putting him firmly in the R1 resistant category that we were hoping for. Next came ultrasound scanning. Bert was the highest eye muscle lamb other than sons of senior stock sire, Foulrice Lionheart, who continues to excel. He had a scan weight of 79 kg with an eye muscle of 35.5 mm and a fat depth of 5 mm, in our view, just about perfectly balanced.
Lowerye Bert (ZVY 1001).
Lowerye Bert is absolutely correct in every way. His mouth is perfect, his pasterns short and upright and his feet hard and dark. He is an extremely long ram with a wide, deep loin and a dense fleece. His rump is wide and well rounded with a deep, firm gigot. He carries himself with style and presence with a fantastic head carriage and certainly knows that he is a bit special!
Sire: Highway Mr Softie (ZDG 8014) is a high index son of Foulrice Rival (DG 6177). He consistently breeds very high growth rates and tremendous muscling in the loin. Mr Softie was top priced ram lamb at the 1998 Premier Sale at 2,100 gns and went on to win many breed and interbreed championships as a shearling, culminating with Breed Champion at the Royal Show in 1999. His progeny exhibit his length, fleshing and style and many have followed in his success in the show ring and sold to a top price of 2,000 gns. I was extremely taken with Mr Softie as a ram lamb in 1998 but was put off by his Scrapie Genotype of ARR/ARQ (R2). For this reason I purchased 10 doses of semen in 2000 to put over 10 ARR/ARR ewes in order to try and breed a good RR son. I may well have bred one better than his sire!
Dam: ZVY 9016 is a daughter of senior stock sire, Foulrice Lionheart (DG 5137). She is out of a huge ewe by Netherallan Envoy (KS 4149) that is "as long as a train" ands weighs in excess of 130 kg! Bert's dam is extremely milky and reared him as a twin with an incredibly high growth rate. I am told that Mr Softie also breeds very milky females so Bert's progeny should certainly excel in that area! His twin sister is also one of the most stylish and well grown lambs of the 2001 crop and gives me further confidence in his pedigree.
Below are a couple of pictures of 2 of Bert's first lambs, ZVY 2072 & 2073, at 3 weeks of age. These are just two of his first ten lambs, all exhibit long, deep bodies and their father's presence.
On ultrasound scanning (16/5/2002) the 2 lambs above scanned as follows: ZVY 2072 weighed 82 kg (our heaviest lamb) with an eye muscle of 36.6mm and a fat depth of 5mm. ZVY 2073 weighed 76 kg with an eye muscle of 33.1 mm and a fat depth of 3.9 mm. Bert had several other lambs that scanned at up to 37 mm muscle. ZVY 2073, Lowerye Casper, was used as a lamb with good results, his progeny are long and smart with wide rumps. As a result his index has increased to 350 as a stock sire (shown below). We have retained a good many of his daughters and have sold a high index son at the 2003 Premier Sale for 680gns.
Our highest index ram lamb born in the 2003 crop is a son of Bert out of a Lionheart daughter. ZVY 3198 scanned with 36.3mm of muscle and 2.8mm of fat and weighed 60kg at 150 days. He has always been a great shaped lamb and is absolutely correct in every detail, in fact he scored very highly on one of the practice sessions of the new breed evaluation system, introduced to point out superior stock sires. On CT scanning, his true fleshing qualities were evident and he has been given a muscularity EBV of 8.36, only one other sheep in the entire scheme scoring over that, truly a fantastic sheep! Unfortunately, being line bred to Foulrice Lionheart already, I have very limited use for him at the moment but he will come back for use in the flock in a year or two. I have now sold a half share in the ram to the Edstaston (TG) flock of R & G Gregory in Shropshire.
L.Bert as 2 shear.
Three sons of Bert were sold to Eire in July 2003 and another, Lowerye Double Entendre (ZVY 3162), has been retained for our own use. Double Entendre (below) has been used extensively in a ewe lamb ET program in October and over all of the March lambing Charollais ewes.
Another son of Bert, Lowerye Dynamo (ZVY 3294), was exported to Eire in 2003 and has already bred the highest ranked lamb in their Sire Reference Scheme. Dynamo has been selected as a reference ram in that scheme along with 2 of his sons.
Sire Reference EBV's:
Lowerye Bert was used by AI and natural service over 30 ewes in 2001, another 50 ewes have been put in lamb to him in 2002, another 20 ewes lambed to Bert in January 2004. His son, Lowerye Casper (ZVY 2073), was used over 28 ewes in 2002 with some extremely thick, deep bodied, well muscled lambs resulting, these have grown into some tremendous flock ewes and I wish I had used him more. I consider Bert to be one of the best lambs that I have ever bred, combining Scrapie Resistance, Index and incredible style.
Scrapie Genotype: ARR/ARR.