Wilga Merinos came about due to a lack of genetics available at the time, to move our flock forward in the direction we wanted to go. This was to breed a merino sheep that had the following attributes:
- Wrinkle free easy-care, easy-shearing sheep with:
- No fleece rot or body-strike from flies
- Vibrant white, long, deep crimpy wool
- High fertility with
- High survivability
- High post-weaning weights (fast growing to 200days)
- Poll flock (OHS, no one likes being hit by a horned sheep)
- High fleece weight
We have put a lot of work into our breeding and management over the last 10 years, to really push these breeding goals. Through visual and objective measurements, we are now ticking the boxes and making great gains in all these areas.
In 2015 we marked 127% lambs across the entire drop, in the wet winter of 2016 we achieved 140%, which included 7 single sire groups. We are achieving survivability rates of 85-88% which exceeds industry suggested benchmarks. Our stud ewes are cutting between 6 to 6.5kg average of high quality wool, depending on seasons.
We are now breeding trait leaders for Post-Weaning Weights(PWT), Yearling Weights(YWT), and Fleece weights (YGFW,YCFW). Please see our Sale Ram page for our latest achievements and catalogue.
We have not followed a trend or single bloodlines but have sourced genetics from high performing studs from across Australia including the very successful Kerin Poll from Yeoval.
Our breeding selection is based on Sheep Genetics ASBVs, as well as heavy emphasis on sound visual traits and classing from head to toe. We are striving to get our breeding in the top 5% of Sheep Genetics Data, if not the top 1%. This will ensure we are reaching maximum genetic gain on our farm, as well as yours.
We are also leaning towards a mules-free flock. Currently we do not mules our wethers or rams, as we find the male progeny do exhibit bare breach traits faster than their female counterparts. However mulesing is still a vital tool in preventing flies from striking sheep and causing severe animal health issues and death. The small modified mules that we use at Wilga Merinos is a minor process to help protect that animal for the next 8 years of its life, and is always performed under pain relief anaesthetic. From late 2017 we moved to an mules-free flock.