The Spicy Lamb Farm is enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) where we keep records on Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in order to quantify the genetic value of our ram and ewe lambs. We routinely collect other collect data using a stock recorder with electronic identification ear tags to record breeding, births, weights, treatments, movements, etc. This helps manage the productivity and health of our flock. We are constantly working on improving our genetics and have even followed our breed around the world to Australia, New Zealand, and England.
The Spicy Lamb Farm (www.TheSpicyLamb.com) and K Bar K Farm (www.kbarkfarm.com) are the only American Dorset breeders to import genetics from Britain. In 2019, a six-year ban was lifted on allowing trade of United Kingdom ovine genetics to the United States to reopen. The Spicy Lamb Farm began the difficult and expensive process of selection back in 2014. After long-term testing and quarantine required of the donor rams, straws from the Blackdown Flock in Devon (www.greatgarlandhayes.com) were imported in 2020.
In 2021, The Spicy Lamb Farm has its first lambs from Blackdown Achilles 01164, the 3rd in British Dorset National Stock Ram listing in the top 5% of national Index figures, if not the top 1-2%. The Blackdown Flock is only ranking at the top of Signet ranking (England's BLUP program), but also one of the most genetically connected flocks in England. The Blackdown flock of Dorset has been recognized by EBLEX as the Most Improved Flock of Dorset Sheep in England Award twice – both in 2003 and 2014.
The Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets is a closed flock of superior genetic merit, with a high health status. It is managed using modern methods, but makes the most of their traditional characteristics. The Blackdown Flock of 125 breeding ewes is part of the Centurion Group of Polled Dorset Breeders, originally buying above average in-lamb stock from members to start the flock. Their mantra is “without accurate measurement there can be no performance management”, selective breeding and careful development of trait inheritance has taken the whole flock EBV averages to record levels. No individual EBV or Index is targeted, but a balanced approach to match rams to ewes to develop even and sustainable improvement is taken.