It is no coincidence that commercial breeders who consistently seek out top quality breeding stock for their enterprises achieve the higher returns with the progeny.
Ram selection is an important decision for sheep producers, as the quality of rams purchased today will affect the lambs produced in the system over the next four to five years. Genetics should be a key component of ram selection since only the genes are passed on from an animal to its progeny. The visual appearance of an animal is determined by a combination of genetics and environmental effects.
Key points to remember when buying rams:
Know what attributes you require in a ram to meet market specifications and enterprise objectives;
Ask questions talk to your breeder about their breeding strategy and how it aligns with yours;
Identify potential rams using genetic information - but ensure your final decision takes into account animal health and structure;
At Wattle Farm Border Leicester stud, we aim to breed Border Leicester rams and ewes that have, a good constitution, growth, length, muscling and fertility. Lamplan is a tool that is used to help us selecting for the growth rates and fertility.
Wattle Farm Border Leicester Stud is situated in the rich sheep and grain growing belt of the Riverina in south west New South Wales, just 2 hours from Albury and 4 hours from the Sydney basin.
Wattle Farm Border Leicester Stud is situated 12kms north west of Temora on Glynburn Road, Temora. Wattle Farm consists of rich loam soils in which we sow lupins, yiddah yarran, triticale, wheat, lucerne and pasture hay. Our sowing is undertaken in autumn for summer harvest.
Of the 2000 acres at Wattle Farm we sow between 500 and 800 acres annually in autumn in order to supply sufficient food stock for our sheep and for a cash crop.
We run prime production of between 150 to 500 merinos and 320 Border Leicester breeding ewes.
All our boundary and internal fences comply with strict Ovine Brucellosis requirements.
We have individual dams in most of the 25 paddocks or troughs in each, to water stock year round.
Our main focus however is breeding quality performing Border Leicester Rams and Ewes which are value for money and prove to be a long term investments for the buyers and for the improvement of the buyers flocks. Our first cross ewes are sold to repeat buyers in December yearly and the prime lambs sold at Wagga Wagga.
Our clients come from all over New South Wales and Victoria to purchase the ram drop which become available in September.
Our Border Leicester ewes are joined from mid January annually to selected sire Rams at Wattle Farm. Lambing at Wattle Farm is from mid June onwards and the progeny are ear tagged with flexible flock tags noting the stud and our PIC number, together with a brass year tag identifying the lambs drop number in that year.
Lambs are then at the appropriate time tail docked, six in 1 vaccinated twice, scabby guard protected, Gudair vaccinated.
Lamb Plan data is also regularly collected and recorded in to the sheep genetics data base.
Our expectations are very high at Wattle Farm and we cull heavily to ensure standards are maintained at the highest level.