Te Whangai Hill Country Romneys

FERTILITY & SURVIVAL

For 30 years, entry into the recorded flock is only by first rearing a top set of twins as a 2th. Including screened 2ths, the average percentage from which rams are selected is over 190%.

Recorded 2ths average 3.2% of lambs/kg of ewe weight at tupping. Once conceived, lamb survival is essential. Most clients report losses from scanning under 20%. Survival in twin mobs is commonly 190%.

WOOL WEIGHT

Under hard commercial conditions, by weighing as hoggets and as two-tooths, heavy medium fine fleeces have evolved. Sires must have heavy fleeces. Continuous genetic gains are made. Twinning two-tooths have fleeces weighed in December.

GROWTH RATE

Rams are weighed at weaning, autumn and winter. High growth rate, particularly under the challenge of no drenching, is required for sires. Our wairarapa high growth-rate flock is used as a reference, and rams used in that flock are used in all member flocks.

MEAT YIELD

The ten top lambs in the "growth rate" flock are progeny tested for growth rate and eye muscle area (meat yield). Te Whangai bred lambs have proven outstanding for eye muscle area. We see this as very important, as yield grading will be the way in the future.

WORM RESILIENCE

This trait is taking a lot of our effort. Wallaceville trial work has shown that the heritability for resilience in the Te Whangai flock is twice as high as otherwise expected, with a heritability of 0.53 for total number of drenches and 0.34 for age to first drench. We can make good gains in this area by breeding.

Most of the flock and stud rams used since 1991 have not been drenched before autumn.

STRUCTURAL SOUNDNESS

Feet, jaws and wool faults are given priority in culling.