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2023 Newsletter

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Performance Recording and ASBV's at Hannaton

Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV's) are designed to be used to compare the genetic potential of animals, independent of their environment and location. At Hannaton Merinos we are passionate about breeding the best performing commercial genetics for our clients. Our focus is on increasing productivity and profitability in all areas of sheep production.  We manage all our stock to commercial conditions and expect them to perform in commercial conditions.  With this in mind the obvious step is to move into ASBV's to better aid us and our clients in identifying the best genetics to meet our breeding objectives. Any extra information we can use to make better decisions is always helpful but at Hannaton visual assesment and structural conformation comes first. We have been collecting and submiting data to Sheep Genetics for ASBV's since 2013.

12 months of performance recording

May/June Stud Lambs Born

August - Lambs weanded into ram and ewe management groups and weaning weights taken

September - Ram Lambs Sorn

November - Ewe lambs shorn

February - Post weaning weights, eye muscle and fat depth measured on entire drop

March - Ram lambs shorn with 5 months wool and fleece weighed and tested - culls sold off shears

March - Ewe lambs Joined at 10 months of age

June - ewe lambs preg scanned, classed, shorn, fleece weighed and tested

August - Ewes lamb at 14 months of age - tops staying in the Stud and culls sold or moved to commercial flock

All this data helps to provide us with information on their commercial performance as well as the performance of their sires.  This data is then used to aid in classing and identifying top performing animals and genetics to use in the stud. 

Eye Muscle and Fat Depth Measuring

Eye Muscle and Fat Depth Measurement - June 2014 In February we measured the entire drop for Eye Muscle Depth and Fat Depth at the C site as well as body weight.  .

Research from MLA and the Sheep CRC indicate that selecting a ram with a more positive eye muscle depth can


- Produce lambs with greater muscling and the potential for higher yielding carcasses

-Produce progeny with a higher proportion of their carcass weight in the more valuable loin and hind quarter area of the carcass

The fat depth taken at this site is also strongly related to fat depth at the GR site, which is the site measured on animals at slaughter. Recent studies also show a highly positive corelation for animals positive for fat and increased numbers of lambs weaned


 Fleece Weight and Wool Testing

At shearing we take a mid side sample from the ewes and rams and record their greasy fleece weight. The ewe weaners are measured with 7 months wool growth and recorded direct to the computer.  The use of elecronic tags and a bluetooth tag reader makes this process so much easier for us.

Tags are scanned and all the animals information comes up straight to the computer including any previous classing or comments and all its genetic information.

All this information is then sent to Sheep Genetics Australia to be assesed and is then sent back in the form of an ASBV's to help us identify top performing animals and genteics

Mothering up using Pedigree Matchmaker

Since 2015 we have been using Pedigree MatchMaker system to mother up lambs in the paddock. Pedigree MatchMaker is an electronic system which can determine with a high degree of accuracy which lamb belongs to which ewe.

It uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to measure data about the proximity of particular lambs to particular ewes as they pass through a gate to an attractant. 

In the past we have only had sire infomation on pedigree and haven't been identifying dams due to the intensive labour required for mothering up. By collecting dam information it will help us better identify top performing ewes and genetics to use and recommend to our clients. It will also help us remove any ewes that are not performing to our studs breeding objectives.

DNA Testing at Hannaton

We have been Genomics testing all stud sires since 2010 and have recently increased our use of DNA for parntage testing and Horn Poll.  By using DNA testes it gives us 100% accurate parentage and allows us to lamb down our twins togeter to better manage them.  We will DNA test all 2018 and 2019 drop ewes lambig down in the stud this year