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OBJECTIVES

 
Our aim is to breed rams that will sire high-value easy-to-manage lambs.
 
The basis is in superfine wool suited to the New England region (17 micron adult fleece on improved pastures), followed by selection for high fleece and body weights for that fibre diameter.

Due to the environment and wool type, a strong emphasis is also placed on the sheep having resistance to worms and flystrike, sound feet, strong staple strength and bright white wool.

Proven worm resistance

Worm resistance, combined wiht good management, has reduced the amount of drenching required at Mannum Park. The 2015 drop ewes have been drenched only once in their life: at weaning. This was in December 2015.They subsequently went onto a prepared low worm-risk pasture for some months, but have since been moved to non-prepared paddocks around the property.
Their worm egg count results rose to about 300 epg in spring, and then to about 600 epg mid-December. However, their January WEC tests have gone back down under 300 epg. No drenching has occureed for over a year.
Their brothers were placed on the wormiest paddock in late July so that we could get them infected to carry out their individual WEC tests. Additionally rams are known to have poorer worm resistance than their sisters due to higher levels of testosterone which act to suppress immune responses.

Key characteristics that receive heavy selection emphasis
Increase body weight and fleece weight
Increase staple strength and staple length
Increase resistance to worms
Reduce breech and body wrinkle (resistance to fleece rot and flystrike)
Increase proportion of polled sheep
Increase whiteness and crimp definition and frequency
 

Bellaine Merino Stud Producing high value superfine fleece on an easy-care sheep