WHITE DORPER STUD
Registered stud No. 47
White Dorper Composite Sires
The main focus of our White Dorper stud is the development of composite sires that combine all the exceptional traits of White Dorper genetics into a White Suffolk base producing a lamb carcase that is better suited to the Australian lamb market. Traditionally the White Dorper is suited to producing lambs in the 14-16 Kg range, however our composite sires are consistently producing 22-25 Kg lambs with just the right covering of fat.
Our focus in this intensive breeding program has always been to retain the exceptional feed efficiency, management advantages and carcase characteristics of the White Dorper breed but to minimise some of the less desirable traits such as coarse medulated fibre and the short 'stocky' frame size. By carefully selecting specific White Dorper sires and crossing/back crossing to a White Suffolk ewe base we have developed a sheep that is providing great commercial results. Our careful attention to breeding against the visual presence of any coarse medulated fibre has led to the development of sires that are visually free of any coarse chalky fibres and have a soft silky feel to their coat. Attention has been given to ensuring that the shedding ability of these sheep is retained resulting in the wool consistently being lost from the areas of the body that ensure easy management. Visually these composite sires have all the characteristics of the White Dorper but are structurally larger than the the traditional White Dorper genetics and consequently are able to produce lamb carcases that are heavier at the same fat score.
Through our association with a growing number of commercial breeders, we have assisted them in developing maternal lines based on White Dorper genetics from a variety of genetic backgrounds, including Merino and traditional 1st cross, and with the use of our maternal composite sires are reaping the rewards of our breeding program. The resulting lambs from these ewes are establishing a reputation of having outstanding carcase attributes resulting in some lucrative contacts being given for the supply of these lambs to quality markets. The high feed efficiency and easy management of these developed genetics ensure that these sheep are a win-win situation for commercial lamb producers.
With the use of performance testing, we have benchmarked these composite sires against the highest ranking terminal sires in Lambplan and subsequently have been able to tailor the carcase traits to achieve our objectives. High muscling, low birth weights and good early growth ensure that the type of lambs produced fit very nicely into the quality of lamb that processors and consumers are demanding. That is, lamb that has just the right amount of fat, good muscle shape and the ability to produce a 22Kg carcase in a relatively short time frame. The do-abilty of these genetics ensures that producers have the best chance of getting lambs to targeted weights without the risk of a set back, which can often lead to lower eating quality lamb, resulting in a high quality product that retailers are demanding for their customers. By benchmarking these sires against our accurate White Suffolk base through Lambplan, we are able to specifically adjust the breeding objectives of our composite program.
By maintaining some degree of flexibility in our composite stud ewe base through the continual introduction of new breeding lines, we are able to produce sires that range from 75% to 95 % White Dorper genetics. Given that these composite sires have no visual coarse chalky fibre, commercial producers have the option to use them as they would any terminal sire with all the management advantages that go with the use of White Dorper genetics.
The interest in these composite sires continues to grow and the commercial producers using them are achieving great results through easy management and financial rewards. We will continue to develop these composite sires maintaing a White Dorper percentage around 75-85% which we have found to produce the best type of lamb for the Australian market. Our focus will continue on the issue of lowering medulated fibre as we see this as one area where the industry will increasingly discriminate and we feel the soft silky covering on our composite sires goes some way to addressing this issue. We also have a suspicion that this softer covering is correlated to better meat quality, a real plus for consumers.
Below is a draft of ewes bred using our composite genetics that sold on Auctions plus (Jan 2010) for $210. These ewes were bred from an original base of Pendarra White Suffolk ewes and then using some White Dorper and specially selected composite sires (including the ram pictured bottom right in the above photos). Lambs from these ewes consistently achieved premium prices from processors, congratulations to W & K Hamblin, Matong, NSW on their success.
& Diane Long
Copyright © 2007 Pendarra
White Suffolk Stud