Premier Texel Stud Limited

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Spring Newsletter

Another year has passed with mother nature again playing a very dominant part. We all welcome summer rain but not to the extent that was dished up in February. The devastation that was caused to the central North Island and east coast was heartbreaking. If you still had fences and the infrastructure to contain your stock the autumn and early winter was one to remember. Good Ewe condition and record scanning had the radars all pointing in the right direction. Mother nature was not finished though and dished up one of the worst late winter and springs in living memory for many parts of the country. The severe conditions not only had their toll on lamb survival but was also effecting ewe survival. With the weather virtually eliminating the few management option of nitrogen and feeding supplements the hardiness and genetic make up of ewes and lambs were really put to the test. We believe that the natural survivability of the Texel and our breeding programme of selecting genetics under a competitive environment would have had our Premier genetics preforming under adversity.

What's been happening

As you have probably noticed we have had a slight name change to Premier Genetics. This more truly identifies what we are about and we didn’t want to be categorised as just another ram breeder. This was due to the fact that there are really two markets in the sheep stud industry. The Ram breeding market which we class as a JAFA[just another flock animal] and the Genetic breeding market. The JAFA market is the breeding of a particular ram of a single or multiple breed from an unrecorded ewe. These rams have raw data records[twin/single, weaning weight, eight month weight, wool weight etc] which really means you are only buying a ram not a genetic package. With the advent of DNA some breeders use multiplier flocks i.e. flock ewes and test the ram lambs from these flock ewes to establish the sire of the ram for which they can give a genetic value but know nothing about the Dam. This is only half the picture. They still fit into the JAFA market. The Genetic breeding market is the full genetic recording of Sire and Dam and all Rams carry a confirmed genetic value. This is what we are about. Our core stock is still the Texel and our genetic focus is on meat production for both Texel and composites.

WE SELL 2TH RAMS. This is really a carry over from the above paragraph. We have had feedback from many farmers that are unhappy with the 2th rams they end up with that were purchased as hoggets and if they knew what they would be like as 2th’s they would not have purchased them. They also know that they have little option and are caught on the roundabout as the genetic merit they wish to purchase will not be available as 2th’s so have to purchase as Hoggets. We have also heard of many Ram Hogget mating failures and leading central districts veterinarian adviser Trevor Cook advocates not to use them. The leading principle of economics is the customer is always right so we have decided to concentrate on selling 2th’s. This makes us a seller of Genetics and constitution.

The work with the muscling gene has been taken over by Ovita and Massey as it was beyond the scope of us to develop. The data on the findings so far is very promising and we are presently incorporating it into our breeding programme for Texels and composites. Due to the fact that we are one of the only breeders to select for meat and growth without being sidetracked by other traits that are only slightly heritable we have probably inadvertently been selecting for it anyway. Our clients will be the first to benefit from this work.

The Texel sire reference scheme has once again had our genetics at the top of the pyramid. Our work with landcorp and Mt Linton will probably always keep us running faster than the pack simply due to the numbers, avoiding politics and focusing on similar traits selected from a competitive environment.

Together with Massey and Dr Patricia Johnson we are wishing to undertake feed conversion efficiency work on our Rams. Our belief is that there is huge potential to unlock in feed conversion. Presently all meat and growth indexes are based on all animals consuming the same amount and are indexed on how fast they get from A to B not on how efficient they are at doing so. Grass is the limiting resource on farms so we want to identify the genetics that convert the grass resource as efficiently as possible. I am sure all of us would rather have a lamb growing at 350grams per day consuming 2kg of dry matter that 3kg. We are sure that the genetics are out there as can be observed in the human species. This will be pioneering work so we are not predicting any immediate breakthrough.

The coming Ram selling season

We will commence selling from mid November with prices similar to last year. All pricing will once again be done on genetic merit. We look forward to meeting again and assisting you in your genetic selection.

Contacts

Rob Forsyth 06 8558505

Barry Scott 06 3747854

Email: info@premiertexel.co.nz

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Print this form and send to:  Premier Texel Stud, 674 Snee Road, Takapau R.D.2, Hawkes Bay
or send us an email at
info@premiertexel.co.nz

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