What you buy in genetics sets the bar for what you can achieve on your farm.
With ram sales around the corner, now is a great time to reflect on how well your stock are performing and where gains can be made.
Time on the tractor can be well spent thinking about how lambing went, what you're expecting from your stock in the coming months and what factors you need to focus on.
What you buy in genetics sets the bar for what you can achieve on your farm, so buy the rams that are best suited to your production targets.
The outcome will be the result of what environment you provide - i.e. feeding, feeding, feeding, trace element provision, parasite exposure and disease control.
Establish your farming objectives
Before heading to the sales, it can be helpful to do some quick-fire thinking about what your overall farming objectives are.
What are the first 2-3 things that come to mind if I were to ask what you want from your farm? Perhaps
lots of lambs at tailing
heavy lambs at Christmas
multiples from most of your ewes
bigger or smaller ewes
resilience to parasites
high yielding young stock…..
Or, it might be more along the lines of
more time off at Christmas = saleable lambs in December (finished, store);
more income from wool = wool weight, wool fineness, wool colour;
less stock handling = dag score, parasite resilience, growth rate.
Select for traits that support these
Whatever you want from your farm, you need to be buying rams from a ram breeder who is selecting for the traits that support this. Choosing a breeder that has the same focus as you means you will get genetics that align with your goals.
You will make the most progress in one trait by selecting heavily for that one thing. If you choose several things to focus on, your progress will be slower.
Most breeders have good websites and they are always up for a chat about what they are doing and how their animals may fit your system.
The nProve website is a great tool for searching for breeders by traits and/or location. If you need help nagivating it, just let us know.
We get great satisfaction out of seeing our farmers reach their goals. If you want help looking at the numbers presented to you, want to assess your current ram flock, or you're not seeing the results from the genetics you already have, we are here to help.