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Animal Breeding Research Organisation
Introduction
I joined the Farm at Stanhope, one of Farms belonging to the ABRO in the August 1969. The project that was running on the farm was a 25 year long breeding experiment, which had started in mid 50's, designed to establish how long it would take improve carcuss quality and fleece quality should a Farmer wish to improve either of these characteristics in his commercial flock
The Yearly agenda and daily Routine had continued since its inception.

Daily Routine
Every Day
09:00 Record the Weather at the Farm Weather Station.
10:15 Coffee Break
13:00 Lunch
15:30 Coffee Break
17:00 Finish
Unless outside work required it to complete the clerical work for the experiment.

Yearly Agenda
MonthOutside WorkOffice Work
NovTupping StartedRecord Daily Numbers
DecTupping FinishesRecord Daily Numbers
JanNonePrepare Tupping Reports
FebNoneWrite data for Extrapolation
MarNonePrepare for Lambing & Data recording
AprilStart LambingRecord Births
MayEnd LambingRecord Births
JuneEwe Weighing & Administer medicationRecord Weights
JulyShearingRecord Fleece weights
AugWorking on the FarmRoutine Work
SeptLamb SalesRecord Daily Numbers
OctLamb Sales Prepare Weigh Boards - Pre Tupping

Summary of work
Primary Task
This was to record all the data to be fed into the computer and to the research team to allow them to calculate the progress of the experiment. The breeding stock of the farm was split into 6 lines. 2 for fleece (Fine & Coarse), 2 for carcuss (Short & Long) and 2 others (Random & Control). There were about 3000 breeding ewes. It is not my intention to summarise the experiment which is well documented elsewhere.
Responsibilities
  • Prepare data grids - These were boards with cutouts so that blank sheets could be placed under the grid to record the data. The Sheeps identity was written on the grid. Deaths being crossed off. These were used for body weights, fleece weights and grades and offspring identity.
  • Preserve all identities - 5 characters (Year,Line,birth no ie 2S218 means it was the 218 birth - short - 1972)
  • After all recorded activities cut data from sheets (under grid) and stick in appropriate column in stock book.
    • Pre and Post Tupping Weights
    • Tupping Information service dates (0 to 9Y), Sire (5 digits) Remarks by code (0-2).
    • Lambing details - Date, Sex, Fosterings, Rearing (coded 0 to 9), Twins, Birth coat (c/vc/s/vs), Birth Weight
    • Post Lambing weights June
    • Pre shearing weight July and fleece weight
    • Lambs Weaning weights Sept
    • Fleece Grades at Woollen Mill
  • Ensure the Records taken were as accurate as possible and all the preparatory work was carried out in time for their useage.
  • On the Farm we were involved with Silage Making, Hay Making, Harvesting & Threshing of Oats, Fencing Repairs, Hand Milking the Farm Cow as relief.
  • Agro Met. To record the weather daily as well as mid month at 1000ft and month end and the top 2500ft.
  • As I had shepherding Experience I was responsible for the Lambing on one of the hirsels.
  • We were also available to help other Government research bodies with their work such as the Medical Research Council and Cattle Blood Typing Project.
 
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Interesting links to:
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E & O E - please note that this is written some 30 years after the event.
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