Current Breeding Objectives
Our goal is to produce a black face terminal sire that maximises growth, meat yield & quality, survival and reduced dags. We have been selecting rams and ewes to retain on the SIL New Zealand Terminal Worth Index (NZTW) + dags. Since 2016 we have also been selecting for meat quality (intra-muscular fat - IMF and tenderness) in order to improve meat quality. Traits measured are lamb survival, weaning weights, liveweight at 6 months of age, eye muscle scan (A, B, C measurements), dag score (at 3 months and 8 months of age) and some years the top 20% of ram lambs have been CT scanned. Meat Quality traits (IMF, tenderness, pH and colour) have been measured and genomics for these traits determined at the South Island Genomic Calibration Flock that we have been involved with for the last 7 years.
All reports are generated from the weekly NZGE. Our flock now are all cross bred averaging between 60-70% suffolk and 30-40% texel.
Since 2014 the Premier Suftex Group has been involved in the South Island Genomic Calibration Flock at Duncraigen, Te Anau. AgResearch has developed genomics for both productive traits and meat quality traits. From 2016 we have been using breeding values for intra muscular fat (IMF) and tenderness that are incorporated into a ‘meat quality index’. Going forward this information with help us to continue to make improvements in productive traits (meat, growth and survival) while also improving meat quality.
Who are the Premier Suftex Group?
Premier Suftex is a group of 12 Suftex (Suffolk/Texel cross) breeders from the North Island down to Southland who formed a Sire Referencing Group in 2004. In March each year after all liveweights at 6 months of age and scanning data is loaded onto SIL, an across flock sire summary is generated for all breeders in the group using the latest NZ Genetic Evaluation. Rams are selected from that sire summary that will be used across the group at mating. This allows linkages to be made that improve the accuracy of the across flock analysis as well as breeders in the group having access to the top sires. The group also gets together at other times to share ideas, discuss breeding objectives and issues relevant to the sheep industry. This all helps members of the group to make greater genetic progress within their own studs. The group has been involved in the South Island Genomic Calibration Flock at Duncraigen since 2012, now a Next Generation site for the Beef + Lamb Genetics Central Progeny Test. Genomics for Meat Quality have been developed there and are being used by the group in their breeding programs. The group has also supplied a number of rams into the Central Progeny Test providing links across the industry, with a number of those rams performing near the top for terminal sires.
Genetic trends show the amount of genetic gain in cents over time for a particular trait or index.To view Nithdale Suftexs genetic trends click on the Index or trait below:
- TSO (NZTW + Dags)
- Lamb Growth
- Meat Yield Note: From 2015-2020 meat yield leveled off as we found double MyoMAX sires had a negative impact on meat quality (lower IMF) and we used only zero and single copy MyoMAX sires. In 2019 we used 3 ram hoggets that had double MyoMAX but positive for meat quality. The trend for meat yield has begun to increase again.
Selection of Stud 2th Sires Used 2016
Note: NZTW Index based on July 2019 NZGE
Nithdale Wins the Glammies 2016 Terminal Cross Award
In 2016 we entered the Glammies at the Wanaka Show. It was a great result to win the Terminal Cross class with our Romney/Suftex cross lamb. We have put a lot of effort over recent years into improving productive traits including meat yields in both the Romneys and the Suftex and it was great to see they tasted good too! Since then with further improvements in Meat Quality our lambs should be really tasty!