Location: Southwest Victoria
Rainfall: 24 inches
Average Micron: 18.5
Genetics: Founded on Bindawarra Omeo with selected infusions of Charinga, Wallaloo Park, Willandra, and Merinotech WA
Ewe base: 750
Sales: Hamilton, On-property
CONNEWARRAN IN DETAIL
The Connewarran Merino Stud is located near Mortlake, in Western Victoria. We receive average annual rainfall of 24 inches, and up to 35 inches, the majority of which falls during a wet, cold winter. Our location demands a robust, well conformed merino.
OUR BREED OBJECTIVE
Connewarran merinos prioritise traits that support profitability throughout the price cycle, promote environmental resilience, and meet the expectations of consumers and legislation. The basics of our methodology are as follows:
"Never miss lambers”. All stud ewes must raise at least one lamb annually or be culled.
Connewarran Wool. All Connewarran Merinos, ewes and rams, must have long stapled, white, well aligned, productive wools that can withstand a high rainfall environment
Mid-sized, plain bodied. We seek to maintain our average stud ewe weight of 65kg. This helps ewes to conceive as a maiden and boosts lamb survival. Our sheep must also be “relatively plain”, maintaining their productivity but capable of adapting to a non-mules operation if management seeks to follow this path.
Productive. In the end, we're wool producers, and we want to produce as much as we can. Our sheep consistently produce above average cuts of below average micron in sire evaluation trials. We think we can push this further.
Resilient. We promote sheep that have the characteristics required to survive and thrive, particularly as lambs. We promote ewes that consistently produce high litter weights and rams with the carcase characteristics that support lamb survival. We measure individual WECs in rams and include this data in selection decisions.
Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association
Connewarran sires are regularly tested in AMSEA managed Sire Evaluation Trials, generating objective evidence regarding the quality and performance of the genetics the stud produces. Over 10 trials have now been completed with sires regularly featuring in the top three of one or more indexes.
All annual on-property sale animals are offered with a range of wool, carcase, WEC, and index ASBVs.
To search the Sheepgenetics website for Connewarran rams and their ASBVs click here.
Connewarran Merinos originated from Bindawarra Omeo blood. The Stud was first registered after the purchase of 25 inseminated ewes from Bindawarra in 1992. Since then there has been a program of AI and ET, inseminating up to 350 ewes each year, using leading Connewarran and Bindawarra sires with infusions of Charinga, Wallaloo Park, Willandra and Merinotech WA blood.
We will continue to use and refine the approach which has delivered our success so far:
1) Gather a range of relevant information through visual and objective means
2) Use this information to select promising young sires and eliminate poor performing ewes
3) Test our most promising sires and measure the results
4) Breed on with the outstanding performers
5) Benchmark Connewarran sires against the industries best through sire evaluation trials.
In addition, we continue to seek new technologies and breeding methodologies which can enhance the pace of our genetic gain. For instance, we are currently working with the University of Lincoln in New Zealand on "Cold Tolerance Testing". This uses DNA technology to analyse genetic markers associated with improved lamb survival in cold weather. We are also interested in developing better selection methods regarding a sheep's feed conversion capacity.