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Highly Productive Merino

 

We boldly aim to produce the perfect Highly Productive Merino. A Merino that not only produces wool and surplus sheep sales, perfect for our markets. But a Merino that is also able to thrive under New Zealand High Country conditions.  Through a careful balance of the use of science and stockmanship we are achieving our aims.

Since we have introduced the use of breeding values we are able to fully utilise the data we have collected on our animals for years.  This information is now completely integrated into our selection strategies and the rapid changes in the sheep are clearly evident.  Our initial strategy of largely eye appraisal had been very effective in improving the wool attributes and productivity of our flock. However it was difficult to identify the truly robust animals under this strategy. We have now completely embraced the use of ultrasound scanning for fat and muscle with the aim of breeding an animal that maintains higher condition score and higher welfare on the hill. The results are nothing short of amazing.  The change in shape of the animals is clear and our breeding objective is now to produce a moderate framed merino that has:

  1. Rapid early growth (PWT EBV of +7 or above)

  2. Matures early (YEMD EBV of 2.5+)

  3. Maintains condition score (YFAT EBV of 1.2+)

  4. Highly fertile with high lamb survival

  5. Natural resistance to internal parasites
    (YWEC EBV of -20 or lower)

  6. Enough wool (YCFW of +18% or above)

  7. The right fibre diameter ( YFD EBV of around -1)

  8. That can be shorn twice per year (YSL EBV of +20 or above)

  9. Bright, white, deep crimping wool

  10. Natural resistance to footrot.