This second story comes from Mangapoike Station in the Ruakituri (Gisborne), where Dan Jex-Blake has used FarmIQ to identify a true Elite flock of ewes. In the last years scanning, these ewes conceived lambs worth an additional $48/head more than his lowest performing ewes, equating to 30% points higher scanning.
Each year the farm retains approximately 1800 replacement ewe lambs. The key to maximising efficiency in a ewe flock is to have the smallest number of ewes mated to the maternal sire and the maximum number mated to the terminal sire in order to gain maximum liveweight advantage at weaning. The value of a top 20% terminal sired lamb sits around 1.83kg at weaning compared to a similar valued maternal sire (www.sil.co.nz).
There is also an advantage with faster genetic gain for reproduction as we are now using the ewe for greater phenotypic selection as well as well as the proven ram breeder.
Using historical scanning results recorded to an EID tag, the farm generated 3 draft lists through FarmIQ and drafted them out using a TruTest XR5000 (FarmIQ integrates with all major scale heads).
- The Elite flock was made up of ewes that scanned ‘multi’ every year. Due to the need for a higher number required this year, the farm retained all hoggets that scanned dry, as long as they scanned multi every year since.
- The B Line was made up of all ewes that scanned single once in their life but multi every other year.
- The C Line was made up of all ewes that have scanned single at least twice. This flock also includes dry hoggets that scanned single as 2-tooths.
The table below shows the performance of the 3 different lines for the 2019/20 scanning.
Note: The Scanning Percentages do not include triplet scanning. Average scanning was 178%.
The total $ figure is calculated based on a standard $90 store lamb price. The table highlights the difference in lamb value conceived, with the A Line ewes conceiving lambs worth $48/head more than the C Line and worth $27/head more than the B Line.
Like many farms, Mangapoike ran an A flock for a long time. This flock was selected by weight, CS, frame, age with only limited historical performance due to raddle not sticking or a multitude of coloured tags.
Now, with EID the farm can select by performance over multiple years and can prove the value, making it a far better representation of a True A flock (or in this case, an ‘Elite’ flock).
- Smaller line of A flock ewes required for Maternal Sire
- Greater line of B flock ewes to Terminal Sire.
- Greater average weaning weights
- Greater number of cheaper Terminal rams
- Replacement mob selected for reproduction from ewe as well as Sire and therefore increased genetic gain.