MORE quicker-growing lambs sold early were the keys to success for the Corriedale breed in Australia and New Zealand, a leading NZ breeder said this week.
New Zealand stud breeder Jim Sidey from the Strathblane stud returned home this week after a judging stint at Hamilton’s Sheepvention expo in Australia where he also increased his flock with an Australian ram.
Mr Sidey paid $2000 for the top-priced Corriedale at the recent Hamilton Sheepvention sale, a young sire from the Blackwood Performance stud from Evandale in Tasmania.
Mr Sidey judged the Corriedale’s at Sheepvention and will next month judge sheep in Uruguay.
Mr Sidey said the 11-month-old Blackwood Performance ram was very well balanced with “awesome” very well-crimped wool in a beautiful skin. The ram carried ASBVs of +0.3 for fat, +4.9 for post weaning weight +10 for numbers of lambs weaned, and a dual purpose $ index figure of 123, putting it in the top 10 per cent for its drop. Mr Sidey said the ram’s 28.1 micron wool finished off very well on the points.
“I wasn’t expecting to buy one,” he said.
Blackwood Performance co-principal Peter Blackwood said he had been using NZ blood in the stud he runs with wife Claire.
“It’s really good to be giving some genetics back,” he said.
Mr Sidey said links between Australian and New Zealand Corriedale breeders are strengthening.
“Which I think is great for the breed and also for introducing new genetics.
“Strathblane Corriedale stud has sold many rams to Australian and to South America and we have brought rams from Australia before,” Mr Sidey said.
“The Corriedale breed is going very well in New Zealand.
“We sell 160 commercial rams a year plus studs,” he said.
“Corriedales in New Zealand are a very hardy breed suited to all conditions now, from the hill country downlands to the flats, with hoof scores done on rams.”
Mr Sidey said his top ram buyers’ flocks drop 162 percent lambs and market lambs early – normally at 10-12 weeks old with an average carcase weight of 18.2 kilograms.
“Our top lambs this year sold for $150 after cutting $32 in wool.”
Mr Sidey said his stud ewes and his better commercial ram buyers cut six kilograms of wool each year, valued at $36 to $40 a head.
“If the breed keeps the lambing percentage up and early lambs away, it will be in great stead.”