Lambing: Low labour, low losses: County Durham

Past Event - booking closed

21 February 2019

10:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Broom House Farm, Witton Gilbert, Durham, County Durham


Join AHDB Beef & Lamb and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) for this timely workshop on preparation for the lambing season. During the workshop you’ll be able to see the Broom House flock and discuss practical means to increase flock productivity.

Mark Gray manages a 2500 Lleyn ewe flock with 200 Angus sucklers on 566 ha (1400 acres) near Durham at around 230 meters above sea level. Previously, an open cast mine, the exposed farm dries up easily and waterlogs easily. The flock have the most ewes per labour unit (~1300 ewes per full time staff equivalent), yet one of the greatest rearing percentages (160-170% in ewes) in the Live Lambs focus group. 

The flock is kept as closed as possible with five families managed to reduce inbreeding effect.  The lambing system is set up for simplicity so less experienced labour can be brought in. As the farm is organic, Mark makes good use of red clover for high quality, cost-effective late pregnancy rations and lamb finishing.  They also run a butchery, coffee shop and host various community activities.


Arrival, registration and refreshments


Welcome, introduction and objectives, Poppy Frater (SRUC) & Mark Gray (host)


Nutrition - an update on feeding options, Poppy Frater, (SRUC)


Using antibiotics responsibly for joint ill and flock performance, Marion McMillan (SRUC)


Ewe behaviour – top tip insights from her Oceania tour, Prof Cathy Dwyer (SRUC)


A hot lunch in the on farm coffee shop


Lambing set up tour, Mark Gray, (host)


To book your FREE place ring Val Angus at SAC Consulting St Boswells on 01835 823322 or email


*Booking is essential. Please bring clean boots and warm outdoor clothing.