Top-class ram sale at Moojepin

Moojepin 2019-drop retained rams, all sired by Moojepin 173081.
Camera IconMoojepin 2019-drop retained rams, all sired by Moojepin 173081. Credit: Countryman

The Thompson family, of Katanning-based Moojepin Merinos, will offer another exceptional line-up of rams at their on-property sale on October 1, commencing at 1pm.

They have increased the sale catalogue to 150 rams to offer more selection to their clients this year.

A feature of the sale will be first sons of Moojepin 18-0010, who is a son of 16-0003 sold to Willera Merinos in 2019 for $25,000.

Moojepin Merinos co-principal Hamish Thompson said 18-0010 has superior wool quality but what excites most about this ram was his animal welfare traits.

“The stud reserve sire measured 18.04 YCFW, 24.4 YSL, with the latter in the industries top one per cent,” he said.

“The sire is in the top one per cent for Post Weaning Muscle (2.11) and top 5 per cent for Yearling Fat (1.91).

“His Breech Wrinkle (-1.39) and Breech Cover (-0.78) are both in the top one per cent of the industry and his Late Dag is in the top 10 per cent (-0.33).

“These traits will help fast track anyone wishing to cease mulesing quickly.”

Mr Thompson said 18-0010 had eating quality traits that made the sire a very balanced type with an IMF of 0.6, top 5 per cent, and shear force of -0.38, top 20 per cent.

“While these are lesser-known traits currently, we believe they will have a large role to play in the future, providing a premium value for higher quality eating experience,” he said.

Proven sire Moojepin 17-3081 will again have another impressive line-up.

“This sire is a twin born, twin raised out of a ewe lamb,” Mr Thompson said.

“His NLW +19 and YNLW +39 has enabled his daughters to wean 37 per cent more lambs than the industry average at the age of 14 months.

“This is an extraordinary trait and one that we will continue to push very hard as it allows us to incorporate these genetics much more quickly and efficiently through our flock if we can successfully join our ewes at seven months of age as his daughters are successfully proving.”

Moojepin Merinos was an early adopter of breeding values, collecting performance-based data since the 1990s.

Because genetics aids long-term gain, the Thompson family encouraged producers to realise the decisions they made now may have a huge positive effect on their flock in years to come.

Mr Thompson said Moojepin’s decision-making focus weighed heavily on objective targets.

“Our first breeding objective was simply fast growing sheep,” Mr Thompson said. “We are now in a more complex phase using a whole array of Australian Sheep Breeding traits along with heavy scrutiny on visual appraisal.”

The Thompsons aim to produce a fast-growing animal capable of being joined at seven months, that produces a fleece every six months, on a body that requires no intervention (mulesing, dagging and worming).

“Our sheep also must be able to withstand the typical six to seven months of drought,” Mr Thompson said.

“A more resilient animal requires balanced growth, muscle and fat, plus with animal welfare in front of mind.”

He said the shape of Moojepin Merinos sheep had changed and they had become shorter, deeper and wider bodied animals.

Mature weight of adult ewes is being closely monitored with an ideal mature weight being somewhere in the order of 65 to 68kg.

“Any ewes scanned dry or (that) don’t rear a lamb are culled, including maidens, with the exception for ewe lambs that are joined, but (we) see this changing in the future to further put pressure on reproduction performance,” Mr Thompson said.

He said ewe lambs had been joined on the property since 2010, which added faster turnover of ewes and enhanced genetic gain.

“With the national flock in decline ewe lambs are an under-utilised resource, however can be dangerous if the right steps and precautions aren’t adhered to,” Mr Thompson said.

“All lambs born on-farm each year were fully pedigree recorded for both dam, sire and genomics, along with birth type and rear type, and are wrinkle and breech cover scored.

“This full pedigree enables our data to have a lot of integrity and hence be a lot more useful.”

Moojepin Merinos sale will be interfaced with AuctionsPlus.

A selection of grade rams will be available following the sale.

Private viewing is welcome.

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