The performance of predominantly Suffolk-sired lambs from Border Leicester (BL), Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and ABRO Damline (DL) crossbred ewes was compared on 18 commercial and college farms throughout England and Wales. The comparison took place over the 5-year period 1977 to 1981 and was the second stage in a comparative study on the productivity of the crossbred ewes. A total of 1277 crossbred ewes were involved with data on up to 3 years lambings per ewe, giving a total of 3522 mating records and 4864 lamb records.
The BFL lambs were heaviest and the DL lambs were lightest. The DL lambs had the lowest survival rates, and the BFL lambs the highest. The BFL lambs were slaughtered earlier (12 days) and at heavier weights (1·4 kg) than the DL and BL lambs, and had slightly heavier carcasses. The DL and BFL carcasses had better MLC carcass classifications than the BL, resulting in an advantage of 4 p/kg of carcass.
In productivity per ewe, the BFL litters had the highest slaughter and carcass weights and the highest income per litter, with the DL litters intermediate. An attempt was made to express productivity per unit of sheep weight maintained, taking account of ewe weight, litter size and the lamb slaughter date. On this index, the DL were marginally superior to the BFL, and both were superior to the BL.