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Breeding Objectives

  • To increase fleece weight in the short term by 1kg, whilst maintaining or slightly reducing fibre diameter. Pastora’s goal is to grow fine wool on animals that have fleece weight similar or better than strong wool merino types.
  • To produce fertile sheep with plain bodies and advanced growth rates to take advantage of surplus sheep sales markets
  • To consistently produce superior wool that is capable of withstanding a wide range of different environments. Wether trial data from Alectown, NSW, demonstrated this with a crippling drought, then at Taralga with a very wet season. Pastora genetics performed well in both trials.
  • As a farm enterprise, all commercial producers sell sheep and wool by weight and quality, requiring breeding objectives at Pastora to reflect fleece weight, micron, wool quality, fertility and growth.
  • Continue benchmarking the stud’s genetics against the industry and to source genetics that will enhance Pastora bloodline profitability.
  • Genetic improvement and profitability of commercial flocks hinges primarily on the quality within and produced by the stud. Pastora will do whatever it takes to provide the most profitable Merino within the industry to our clients.

 

Selection Process

At five months of age the bottom 30 per cent of ewe and ram lambs are removed by visual selection for structural faults, wool quality and fleece weight.

Ram weaners are fleece weighed at nine-months-old. They are then micron tested on the rump at 12 months. At this stage they are all classed and graded by Pastora stud consultant, Craig Wilson. About 30 per cent of the drop is then available for sale at 13 months.

Ewe weaners to enter the stud group are also fleece weighed and micron tested at their second shearing. The results are indexed and those ranked in the top 50 per cent join the stud for the purpose of ram breeding. The index is set to best represent monetary values per head, therefore ensuring the best fleece weight to micron ratio indexed ewes enter the stud.  

Stud ewes are classed annually by Craig Wilson and/or Tim Westblade. Wool quality, body size, fleece weight and micron must all remain above average to remain within the stud. All ewes are scanned six to eight weeks before joining for singles, twins and dries. They are then wet and dried at weaning and must rear at least one lamb annually to remain in the stud.