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Dr Steven Johnston. Utilising the genetic pool. NI Red Meat Task Force Strategy. 1 full time job = 2000 ewes Annual stocking rate 10 ewes/ha Use of easycare selected genetics Grass/forage based systems Minimal fixed costs 1.75 lambs reared per ewe to ram. What is global reality ?.

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dr steven johnston
Dr Steven Johnston

Utilising the genetic pool

ni red meat task force strategy
NI Red Meat Task Force Strategy
  • 1 full time job = 2000 ewes
  • Annual stocking rate 10 ewes/ha
  • Use of easycare selected genetics
  • Grass/forage based systems
  • Minimal fixed costs
  • 1.75 lambs reared per ewe to ram
what is global reality
What is global reality ?
  • In NZ productivity as measured by kgs of lamb/ewe has increased by 3.7% per annum during recent years. (NI at best 0.4%).
  • Less than 5% of rams are sold at ram fairs (Feed them for sales attitude persists in NI).
  • Genetic evaluations are across breed (Within breed in NI).
  • Typically2000+ ewes per labour unit with low fixed costs (NI – High quality lambs at any cost).
what are the characteristics of a good ewe
What are the characteristics of a good ewe?
  • Mated early in the 1st cycle
  • 60kg ewe cheap on winter feed
  • Trouble free outdoor lambing
  • Twin lambs vigorous from birth
  • Grass fed achieving 300g/day until weaning
  • Wean 1kg lamb/kg ewe to ram
  • Less animal health treatments
what are the characteristics of a good ewe5
What are the characteristics of a good ewe?
  • Mated early in the 1st cycle
  • 60kg ewe cheap on winter feed
  • Trouble free outdoor lambing
  • Twin lambs vigorous from birth
  • Grass fed achieving 380g/day until weaning
  • Wean 1kg lamb/kg ewe to ram
  • Less animal health treatments
creating a maternal composite
Creating a Maternal Composite

Combine complementary breeds

NZRomney – Can perform in a wide range of outdoor lambing grass fed conditions, good feet

+ Finn – fertility (too much?), small lambs, lambing ease, free from prolapse, high fat milk, medium udder small teats(<mastitis), hard teeth

+ NZ Texel – increased lamb birthweight, wool bulk & survival, carcase conformation

= Highlander Maternal Composite

slide8

Highlander™ EWE EFFICIENCY INDEX

Number of

lambs born

x

Survival rate

Carcass weight

x

Length of reproductive life

x

Mature ewe weight

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