In any sheep breeding enterprise fertility is the major profit driver. At Kaya we are working hard on increasing the fertility of our sheep and their ability to concieve, and rear lambs. Our aim is to reach 150% plus lambs weaned per mating period.
We are doing this in a number of ways.
- Ewes are mated at 9-12 months of age and must fall pregnant on their first mating period of 10 weeks to be retained in the stud
- We have started a nucleus in the stud which involves only animals that were born and reared as twins or better.
- We have started using the newly released Lambplan EBVs for “lambing ease” and “gestation length”
- All ewes that do not rear a lamb or have to be assisted at birth will be culled from the stud over the next 5 years.
The first part of our program commenced in 2009 and continued in 2010. We have just finished scanning our 2009 ewe lambs that range in age from 12 to 14 months at scanning (mated at 9-11 months) and the following results were obtained.
|2009 Ewe lambs||Pregnant||Pregnant||Dry||Actual||To date||To date|
|White Dorper Ewes||53||47||5||1||98%||117%||75%|