For all our Meatmaster selection we consider it vitally important that all sheep are at all times run just on the open veldt with only the necessary licks. Sheep are dosed twice a year, once before mating and once before lambing. This is mainly done with a broad spectrum to assure that our sheep are protected from sheep scab more than parasites. Inoculations are only done for pulpy kidney, pasturella and Brucilla Ovis (Rev 1) Under these natural and harsh conditions we would then select in the following manner…
a) Cut Costs:
To select for the most profitable sheep for our area we keep costs to the minimum by selecting for the following:
• Excellent covering: Good shedding ability in summer with enough fine fluff in winter. Reason: No shearing costs, no after shearing weather risk.
• Strong herd instinct, easy lambing, no tail cutting. Reason: Easy Managment, reduced labour costs and minimum lamb losses.
• Huge emphasis on adaptability. Reason: No feeding costs, minimum dose and inoculation costs.
b) Improve Reproduction and Production:
To generate maximum income we have a policy of zero tolerance for:
• All ewes must rear a lamb at least every 365 days.
• All ewes must rear a lamb able to be marketed off the mother before re-mating has to take place.
• All sheep must meet marketing standards. No fat localization.
• All sheep must have a good enough conformation to qualify for the highest grades possible.
• Good growth to the age of 5 months is essential.
• Any mature ewe not in lamb or losing a lamb before weaning will be culled. 20% of the weakest producers will also be culled each year after receiving BLUP values.
• Carefull attention is given to BLUP values for growth to wean, maternal growth, post wean growth and number of lambs weaned so as not just to emphisise one factor and breed an unbalanced big sheep lowering profitability.
To achieve the above all ewe lambs are classed at 12 months and linear scored or remarks given for the following:
• width and muscling
• length of body
• depth of body
• shoulder height
• retention & general appearance
• conformation and body size