Our results speak for themselves…
|Scanning Percentages||Performance in Feedlot||Genetic Trends|
Paddock and Performance Tested:
Using technology we have set systems to record information on big numbers enabling us to have a large genetic pool to select star performers that drive our genetic gain which is 2.4% pa over the past 5 years, 30% higher than the Coopworth $Index average. Having a good pool of performance recorded animals then allows us to select productive animals for type and other easy care traits. Approximately 70% of animals that we performance record in our stud (which uses top 1% rams) are culled annually. This also means our commercial flock is largely made up of top genetics.
For our 2014 drop of rams 90% of the sires are in the top 150 Maternal Sires Australian List, 17 of these being CLOVEN HILLS SIRES.
Cloven Hills: Fertility, growth, resilience and carcase traits
Our rapid rate of genetic gain has been achieved through sourcing the best prime lamb genetics, performance recording large numbers of lambs (1000-1500/yr) and running them under tough commercial conditions. They are placed under heavy selection pressure through a rigorous classing program. This means ram offered for sale are the cream of the crop and backed up by strong LAMBPLAN figures, averaging in the top 10% of the Maternal $ Index. This year, we are also presenting production data on ewe fertility and efficiency, obtained by analysing our own database on the lifetime performance of the dams of our sale rams.
Our key profit drivers:
- Commercial scanning percentages 2015-2017 – consistently 175%
- Commercial lamb marking percentages 2015, 2016 & 2017 – 155%, 148% & 152% respectively (including dry ewes)
- Average lifetime scanning percentage of Sale Ram dams – 192%
- Average lifetime weaning percentage of Sale Ram dams – 172% with their lambs weaning an average of 40kg at 12 weeks.
- Average efficiency of Sale Ram Dams at weaning is 102% (kg lambs weaned/kg ewe bodyweight).
- Average carcase weight 2014/15 – 22-23 kg, with meat buyers regularly commenting on their consistent length, shape and cover.
- Selecting ewes which maintain condition score and have a low drenching requirement – typically less than 1 per year.
- High fertility, rapid growth, moderate ewe adult weight and structural correctness means ewes can withstand tough conditions and high stocking rates to optimise kg lamb/ha and profit ($/ha).
We feel that the current level of fertility across our flock is about right, with feedback being that that most people don’t want triplets. Rather than further increasing litter size, we believe the next level of productivity gains will come from focusing on survival and growth, without increasing adult weight.
We are passionate about growing and producing lamb and believe Australia is well placed to capture the growing opportunities. However, supplying a consistent product in an environment with increasing variability whether it be season, cost of production or price is a challenge. We have to become more versatile and be good at minimizing risks. We regard our ewes as the engine room of our business, we believe selecting the right genetics is pivotal to our business performance and one of the things that we can control. The selection of ewes and rams for purpose produces replacements that will perform with less biosecurity risk and cost. No two farms are the same hence we respect this and aim to offer information as a tool to assist your business. Financially we track our peformance through benchmarking, and our income/ha, equity and ROA are highly correclated to our genetic gain.
Tools such as pregnancy and eye muscle scanning, WEC, EID and automatic weighing help us measure performance indicators and make better informed management decisions. They give us critical feedback for seeing how we are travelling against our objectives, in the national LAMBPLAN database and quantifying the rate of genetic improvement in our animals. We are passionate about delivering what our customers want, so we are always listening to their needs and working to exceed their requirements.
Collecting information, measuring & managing for better results
Wethers off to market – suckers & from summer crops