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Welcome to the news page for
PENDARRA WHITE SUFFOLK STUD and PERFORMANCE plus GENETICS.
We will frequently use this page as a notice board to let you know what is happening within our stud and allow new visitors to our site to see some of the highlights over the past few years.
Impressive young sire sighted
For many years I have been assisting Yanco Agricultural High School (McCaughey White Suffolk Stud, No 542) in the development of their sheep stud through both hands on classing and donation of genetics. As an old Yanconian, I have been pleased to witness the development of both the quality of their sheep and the knowledge of the students in relation to both breeding strategies and the art of showing their genetics. While holding a prac' day at Yanco recently, I, and several of the students were impressed by a young sire that stood out amongst the lambs that had just been weaned. McCaughey 110011 is currently where he should be, out with some ewes, but once his task is completed, he will be collected and possibly prepared for a for a few shows by the students. Every now and then you see a young ram that has most of what we are all looking for; good structure, great carcase and great type and this young bloke has all that and some more.
We will certainly be using him next year in our AI program and he is currently being benchmarked at Yanco against a very accurate and well used sire so expect his performance data to improve. The current figures, while impressive, are being influenced by a lack of previous performance data as this is the first year data has been entered into the Lambplan data base.
Definitely a ram to watch! Low birth weight, high muscle, not lean and sired by Bundara Downs 097626 from a "Cracker" daughter, there is not too much left to say but watch out for him at the shows later in the year.
DNA Testing and Feed Efficiency
We have DNA tested 24 young sires as part of the Sheep CRC Pilot Program II. The testing will give us some indication of not only growth fat and muscle but also the eating quality in relation to Intra muscular fat and tenderness. 18 of the sires we used for the 2011 drop lambs are represented in these DNA tests and several of the rams being tested will be retained for use at Pendarra.
In addition to the Pilot program testing, we will be once again putting these sires through our feed efficiency evaluation trial with at least 2 young ram lambs from all sires used used for the 2011 lambing represented, including some of our White Dorper composites. It is hoped as well as collecting frequent weight measurements, we can manage to get some detailed muscle and fat measurements at several points over the period of the trial. The success of our previous feed efficiency work has encouraged us to once again test the wide and diverse range of genetics we used this year. Sires used include Pendarra 086802, Pendarra 075630, Pendarra 043050 (Benchmark sire), South West Genetics 090002, Farrer 090170, Langley Heights 090353 and 090160 to name less than half of the sires being tested.
We look forward to getting some interesting information from both the Pilot Program and our feed efficiency trial and hopefully can use this information to refine our future breeding program.
New sire purchases
The recent Leahcim on property sale included some outstanding young performance tested sires that exactly suit the lamb market specifications that are so important in ensuring that we produce the right type of lamb. We targeted 3 sires Leahcim 100172, 100227 and 100257 all with similar ASBV's and pedigree and they will play a very important role in our breeding program over the next few years. The carcase and structure of these 3 sires will ensure that the gains we have worked to achieve in the past are maintained and we can establish a solid genetic base to build the next phase of our breeding objectives.
Leahcim 100172 is perhaps the best young sire to be offered for sale by Leahcim this year and semen is being retained by Leahcim for future use. Leahcim 100227 is a very similar type of ram with great balance and length and 100257 compliments the other 2 sires exceptionally well with a great carcase. We have had great success with Leahcim genetics in the past and are confident these 3 young sires will continue that level of success.
Semen will be available from these sires on request.
A good season has produced an outstanding drop of lambs this year. With the ewes having plenty of feed right through joining to lambing time, we have achieved an outstanding 187% lambs to ewes conceived with over 50 sets of triplets being born in the mature aged ewes. We also achieved a good conception rate in our ewe lambs with around 160% lambs born. Reasonable weather and good feed conditions during lambing has seen relatively low losses resulting in plenty of lambs to wean over the next few weeks.
The growth rates on the lambs to date has been exceptional and difficult to pick any individuals as being obvious twins or triplets. Our decision to condense lambing this year with a majority of lambs dropped between mid June to mid July has resulted in a very even line of lambs with some promising young sires difficult to pick amongst some very good ram lambs.
All our sires performed well, especially Pendarra 106802 "Majestic" who already has an outstanding sire prospect @ just 6 weeks of age somewhere in the mob pictured on the left. Some interesting lambs from our AI program, with Leahcim 090098 and Farrer 090170 having the 'early runs on the board'
6-10 week old 2011 drop lambs
Mated ewe purchases
The recent mated ewe sale at Detpa Grove saw some very high prices paid for excellent quality ewes. We managed to secure 4 ewes scanned in lamb with multiples that were carefully selected to potentially provide some additional quality genetics to our stud. We have had some great success with Detpa Grove genetics in the past, both with purchased sires and through the purchase of ewes scanned in lamb and we are confident these ewes will continue that run of success. These ewes were the pick of the offering and are outstanding quality carrying multiples by 3 different sire lines; we may just find something special once the lambs hit the ground. Anden 090168 (Supreme Ram Adelaide 2010), DG 100205 "CONCORDE" and Burwood 095774 are the sires represented by the progeny from these ewes and all potential progeny have very well balanced mid parent ASBV's.
Both Pendarra 097342 and 096924 were as a result of the last ewes we purchased from Detpa Grove.
Congratulations to David and Michelle on their sale result, averaging well over $1000 for the 100 ewes offered.
Sheep CRC Pilot program
Several of the young sires we used from the 2009 drop were DNA tested as part of the Sheep CRC pilot program and the results from these tests are very encouraging. Apart from traits such as growth, fat and muscle that we already measure and have good accurate data on, eating quality traits such as tenderness and intra muscular fat are not able to be measured directly and we had hoped to get some idea from this pilot program just where our genetic base was in relation to these traits. All the young sires we tested were well above the average for intra muscular fat ( better eating quality) and all but 1 sire were significantly more more favorable for tenderness than than the average. These results are very encouraging given that we have had no physical measure on which to select either for or against these eating quality traits but whatever we are doing is working.
Further investigation through the use of our sires in the latest CRC joinings will increase the knowledge we have in this area, not just on our sires but all within the prime lamb industry. We hope to further increase the selection pressure on eating quality traits with more DNA testing in the future, allowing us to assess these areas within our sires prior to using them as ram lambs. While these Research Breeding Values are in the early phase of being generated and are only an estimate based on DNA samples, they do provide a basis on which to select sires that are better than average for these otherwise, un measurable traits. At least we are are seemingly on the right track.
The sires selected by the Sheep CRC for inclusion in this years joining are Pendarra 097342, Pendarra 096924 and Langley Heights 090353. Pendarra 7342 has also been selected in the current series SuperWhites team and has been used in 5 studs within that group.
The best test of any breeding program is to fully evaluate the genetics in a commercial operation. We are constantly getting feedback from our ram clients and this feedback is an important part of our evaluation process that allows us to fine tune our breeding objectives.
The past season and current situation within the sheep industry has given lamb producers plenty to get excited about. One of our clients recently sent through some information on the lambs from his 2010 season, more than pleased with the results from his lambs. These lambs were sold in 2 lots, one through Auctions Plus and the second lot direct to Woolworths. The mob of over 1000 lambs were sold 4 months (121 days) after the first lamb was born so average age over a 5 week joining would have been around 105-110 days. This sale was 85% of the total drop of wether lambs from this joining, the ewe lambs have been retained. The weaning percentage of lambs from these ewes was over 150%.
The lighter mob of lambs (pictured left) were sold on auctions plus and no data on carcase weight is available but had a curfew weight of 34.85 Kgs.
The heavier draft of lambs had an average curfew weight of 45.5 Kgs and averaged 23.97 Kgs carcase weight giving a dressing percentage of 52.7%. The carcase conformation on these lambs was described as exceptional as can be seen by the photo - remember these lambs are less than 121 days old.
Our Comment; After weaning over 150% lambs from this mob of ewes and marketing almost the entire drop of weather lambs at an average age of no more than 110 days with the top draft averaging close to 24 Kgs, is a credit to the client for the manner in which he has managed his prime lamb enterprise. Genetics obviously plays an important role (we need to take some credit!) but the right genetics coupled with very good management will produce extraordinary results. Congratulations to our valued client on achieving this result and we are currently working with him to improve this result even further;.... remember he retained the ewe portion from this draft of lambs.
Congratulations to all our clients who are reporting to us some great results in what has been a good year for prime lamb producers. Not only have they performed well during some very dry seasons, but are excelling in better seasons.
2011 Joining well underway
The use of some very interesting new sire choices and the continuing use of our high performance benchmark sires has us looking forward to this years lambing already.
Our AI program included South West Genetics 090002, a high performance composite ram, and Farrer 090170, an appendix White Suffolk sire that has attracted plenty of attention. Both have outstanding carcase attributes and will fit into our breeding program and provide some degree of genetic diversity. We have also used a very impressive young sire Leahcim 090098 as well as our allocation from the SuperWhite program.
In building on the White Suffolk maternal side of our breeding program, we have reintroduced one of our older sires Pendarra 3685 through the AI program, and used several of our young 2010 ram lambs over approximately 200 ewe lambs. Pendarra 108202 and Pendarra 108371 both have positive fat levels and plenty of muscle and are perfectly matched to the needs of the current prime lamb industry. Another high muscle young composite sire, Tastit 100026, is also being trialled in our ewe lambs.
We are joining over 1100 stud ewes this year and have a good mix of well tested accurate high performance sires combined with young impressive 2009/10 drop sires.
Our Composite program is progressing exceptionally well with the ewe lamb portion being joined back to a 50% White Dorper (Glen Park 040680), Pendarra 108060 who ranks very high on the Self Replacing Carcase index, to fine tune our very popular composite genetics. The continuing performance testing of our composite genetics has allowed us to make some big gains in the area of carcase weights and lamb carcase suitability to the Australian Prime lamb market.
We are finding many lamb producers prepared to develop their own composite maternal flocks containing a combination of whichever breed or mix of breeds suits their specific management structure. The number of White Suffolk first cross ewes that have been joined this year is significant due to, not only the high cost of replacement ewes, but a willingness of lamb producers to focus on the excellent maternal and carcase qualities of the White Suffolk genetics. We have a high number of clients doing similar programs with our White Dorper Composites and achieving outstanding results.
The majority (750 ewes) of our lambing this year has been condensed into a June lambing to obtain some good benchmarking across all our sires. Around 1000-1100 lambs in 25 days, roll on lambing time!
& Diane Long
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White Suffolk Stud