«LA FALDA» breeding farm is located in the department of Lavalleja (South-East of Uruguay), 70 km away from Punta del Este. 25 km away from the City of Minas (department’s Capital ) and 100 km away from Montevideo. The get “La Falda” from Montevideo please go through route 8 until km 91. Take route 81 to the right (heading east) and follow 8kms (5 miles) more where you’ll find a ballast road. From here, 4 km away heading north, you’ll arrive to “La Falda”. Its geographic location is very picturesque and its lands occupy only the part of the valley.
The farm dedicates primarily to HAMPSHIRE DOWN rams and flocks of Purebred, Pedigree ewes. Its object has been always to improve its large breeding flock by incorporating new genetics imported from New Zealand or with good rams acquired in Sheep Shows as well. A tight selection in terms of fertility, development and breeding phenotype demonstrates that today, “La Falda” has an excellent sheepfold with more than 250 specimens wherein 100 ewes for production purposes may be found. Moreover, more than 50% ewes have been classifíed as twin and triplet ewes, their products (lambs) having a live weight between 25 and 30 kg, 60 days after parturition.
Description and History
The herd started in 2000 with the acquisition of the first 30 ewes Pure Origin and Pedigree ram from a cottage which had a very good track record in the country. In 2003 we competed for the first time with a lot in the Expo-Minas, getting the first prize among four participants in the same cabins. From there,we started inseminating our breed with material imported from New Zealand, starting a very demanding selection based controls such as size, weaning weight, precocity, pigmentation, etc., trying to maintain and increase as much as possible the racial label which characterizes it. Since then, we attended the most important rural country exposition, the Rural Prado in Montevideo every year without interruption, achieving better prizes every year. In 2007 we got the two grand champions Pure Source (male and female) and the reserve grand champion. Also in the Pedigree category, our lamb got the Champion Lamb Prize.
Mothers are encarneradas at the end of March and sent to pasture during the winter months, supplemented with mineral salts, thus achieving a very good lambing in September with more than 100% signaled. Both females and males get two years (four teeth) weighting around 80 kg and 120 kg respectively.
Since 2007, we belong to Hampshire Breeders Society, being co-founder partners of the South American Federation Race.
In 14 years of continuous presence on Prado exhibitions, we got the following prizes:
- 12 Big Champions
- 11 Reserved of Big Champions
- 30 Category Champions
The production is sold mainly in their own farm to visit interested parties, gaining both bellies like rams, which then used in crosses terminals. It is also sold in regional fairs or extra-departmental, and copies of the shed, in exhibitions. The establishment maintains a stock of frozen semen from very good rams winners that used for the sale and/or personal use, being its main destination to export. Crosses Hampshire sheep with specimens yield excellent results, ending up producing early lambs weighing 40 kilos and just over four months of age. Meat Hampshire (without belittling the other meat breeds) is highly sought after for its special flavor, as it is well marbled.
The establishment is also dedicated to the wintering heifers on pasture rotation system. The sale is direct in refrigeration plants. Another equally important activity is the breeding of native horses, which started in 2000 with products purchased in prestigious cabins. The bellies were crossed with stallions winning at major exhibitions and have made very good offspring. Mining Expo in 2007, the cottage was the Grand Champion Female of the Breed.