Current Breeding Objectives
Our goal is to produce a black face terminal sire that maximises growth, meat and survival with no dags. We have been selecting rams and ewes to retain on the SIL Terminal Sire Overall (TSO) index. Traits measured are lamb survival, dag score (at 3 months and 8 months of age), weaning weights, liveweight at 6 months of age, eye muscle scan (A, B, C measurements) and the top 20% of ram lambs are CT scanned. All reports now are generated from across flock reports within the Premier Suffolks group. Our flock now are all cross bred averaging between 60-70% suffolk and 30-40% texel. We use predominantly double MyoMAX sires in order to continue to increase the frequency of the MyoMAX gene within the flock.
To learn more about the MyoMAX gene, download the information sheet
Terminal Sire Gene Test
Since 2014 the Premier Suftex Group have been involved in a progeny test with FarmIQ (Silver FernFarms, Landcorp and AgResearch) along with some other stud breeders. They have developed a gene test for both productive traits (similar to the Sheep 50 & 5K test in the maternal breeds) and meat quality traits. From 2016 we have been received breeding values for marbling 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 Suftexs are 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 industry 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.
Selection of 2th Stud Sires Used 2016
Note: NZTW Index based on August 2016 NZGE
Nithdale Wins the Glammies 2016 Terminal Cross Award
The last time we entered the Glammies was 5 or 6 years ago when we just missed out on getting to the finals so we thought it would be a good opportunity to have another go to benchmark where our lamb is in the meat quality department. 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 great to see they still taste good!