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Rams 2018

2017 Mount Ronan Sales

What is the Mount Ronan breeding program all about?
The Mount Ronan breeding program is aimed “fairly and squarely” at maximising producers’ lamb enterprise profitability. The difference between our breeding program and most others is that we have always placed a much greater breeding emphasis on ewes than rams. I truly believe that the greatest rate of genetic gain is made by a detailed study and observation of female type and performance.

The identification of those truly proven-elite ewes in our flock which possess outstanding production genes is our focus. We select sons of these ewes to spread their genes widely throughout the flock, and we also introduce new genetics via these ewes. If they are artificially inseminated to new-blood rams and the progeny are less than outstanding performers, then we know that those rams are simply not good enough for our purposes.

The use of outside genetics is essential for genetic diversity, and also helps with genetic linkages on Lambplan and greater accuracy of ASBVs.

From Guy

  • avator 1
    Long history of production genetics

    My concept of the ideal meat sheep has not changed over the last 50 years. The heavily-muscled, fast-growing, medium-legged animal with smooth shoulders, a long deep barrel, width across the loins and area in the hind quarters, has always been the Mount Ronan type. Coupled with this is selection for hardiness and mothering ability …. females which lamb easily and grow lambs quickly…… females which can count to at least three and nourish multiple offspring.

    • avator 2
      The transition from a breeding program producing specialist terminal/ meat genetics to one including specialist maternal/mothering genetics has been a very simple one for Mount Ronan.

      All those decades of selection for mothering ability, temperament and maternal performance has resulted in terminal ewes which are exceptional maternals as well.

      • avator 3
        When the dedicated Maternal program was initiated in 2003, we introduced the best available maternal genetics from Australia and New Zealand.

        We found some outstanding individual sheep, but generally a lot of the introduced stock was weeded out pretty quickly. They simply “lacked grunt”, and essentially all of them were deficient mothers compared to our home-bred ewes.

  • avator 4
    It was the infusion of the hardy, high-performance Mount Ronan White Suffolk genetics which, when incorporated into the foundation stock, had the greatest impact on production.

    Most Mount Ronan Maternals have at least 50% Mount Ronan White Suffolk genetics in their makeup.

  • avator 5
    The type of sheep we are breeding now are the type of sheep we have always produced….. it’s just that we are continuing to identify those truly outstanding animals which provide the extra genetic boost in performance with consequent higher levels of profitability per hectare.

    Our identification and utilisation of those outstandingly efficient females will be intensified. We have now developed the measurement tools to enable us to identify them more easily. We will continue to embryo flush the proven elite ewes and concentrate on breeding from their top sons and daughters.

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