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Puketauru Coopworths


phone: 06 327 6248
email: Puketauru@mac.com

Puketauru Newsletter 2018

Greetings. I hope this finds you well and enjoying some better spring weather. Enclosed is this year’s ram order card. Please get back to us with an indication of your ram requirements with a prompt return of the card in the envelope provided. Your non-binding provisional order is much appreciated as it helps us to allocate rams to our existing clients before accepting new enquiries.

It has been a tough year for us climatically. Those of you who picked rams here last November observed that we were getting dry. This continued and with no significant rain in December things became dire. Given we had just had one of the wettest winters  on record I was probably a bit slow to react or actually believe that it could happen. Some hard calls were made and we quit lambs store. Fortunately we found grazing for our ewe lamb replacements in Wanganui. The ram lambs stayed home and learnt to eat balage!

With a lighter stocking rate and some autumn rain things improved. A brassica crop we had given up on eventually germinated providing some better quality feed for the rams and by the start of mating the farm was recovering quite well. The 2th ewes were shorn onto saved pasture mid-March and at tupping they averaged 67kgs LW. They went on to scan 212%. The ewe lambs endured a hot FE environment but returned home in good shape – shown here in the yards with Mum in early May.

It is a relief to say that the ram lambs have also caught up well. They have been enjoying the recent sunshine and spring growth (shown right). However back in April they were in lighter condition than normal and this was reflected in their eye-muscle measurements. This year we scanned 248 ram lambs recording an average EMA of 14.2cm2 at 44.2kgs LW. Our top 50 animals averaged 17.24cm2 at 48kgs LW. The best was 20.07cm2 at 53.5kgs. (Last year our top 50 rams averaged 20cm2 at 56.4kgs)

Interestingly though, I was reassured to discover our top 50 animal’s eye-muscle yield (EMA area as a percentage of liveweight) was actually greater than 2017 at 36%.
To help put our results in context I can tell you that the first 20 Terminal rams with scanning data in the Feilding 2017 Stud Ram sale had an average EMA of 22.8cm2 at 67kgs LW - that’s an EMA yield of 34%. This mating I widely used Puketauru 511-16 (shown right) who scanned 24cm2 at 66kgs LW last April.


Rising 2th Rams - September 2018

In July Anne and I attended the Beef+Lamb Genetics Breeders Forum in Dunedin. Sitting in a hall filled with other breeders of all types of sheep can be entertaining inspiring and daunting all at the same time! Over two days we were able to give feedback to Beef+Lamb Genetics about our concerns, collectively discuss future focus for the industry and get technical info and advice from the scientists.

This winter was again wetter than usual and we had a frustrating time trying to get the rams shorn. It took a fortnight but eventually we got them on the 14th of August. Shorn with cover combs they averaged 4.3kgs with the heaviest fleece being 6.2kgs.

A highlight of 2018 has been seeing the success of our clients in the Feilding saleyards - for some of you on more than one occasion! We also have enjoyed the strong prime market - some recent cull rams we took to a Monday sale made $220.

We continue to work on breeding for facial eczema tolerance. On the 19th September we challenged nine ram hoggets and two 2th rams at .6mg/kg level and we will be assessing their tolerance on October 10, (Day 21). This is our 19th year of Ramguard testing in association with NZ AgResearch and our local vets at SRVS ltd. We are also proud to be members of FE Gold - the group of breeders leading facial eczema genetics in New Zealand. It was good to see some of you visit us at the CD Field Days.

Last year we put rams into the Beef+Lamb FE progeny test at Otiwhiti Station. The results have been very pleasing (see highlights page 3). This independent assessment has shown the ability of our rams to compete & perform under commercial conditions.

Please state on your return card if FE tolerance is important to you as a breeding objective. Puketauru rams are out working in FE environments in Auckland, Waikato, Wairoa, Gisborne, Taranaki, Wanganui and here in coastal Rangitikei. Your provisional orders are non-binding but help us to plan selling appointments. All rams will be dipped and vet palpated prior to sale. Puketauru has Brucellosis Flock Accreditation. Our rams are guaranteed when they leave the farm but not once they have been mixed with other rams.

Despite the recent strengthening of the lamb market we have decided to hold our prices for the 2018 season. Our 2th rams will continue to be priced at $500 to $1000+GST based on SIL index. A limited number of Ramguard tested rams may also be available, priced from $2000+GST. Puketauru prices were last increased in 2015. It is likely that our prices will go up in 2019.

Prospective clients – please feel free to come and view the rams prior to November sale time and discuss your requirements with me - they are looking promising.

Our mission is to complement the superior maternal attributes of the Coopworth ewe with quality meat and wool, physical soundness and disease resistance.

Thanks to those of you who purchased rams last year. We  hope to see you again from mid November. All the best for your docking.

Beef+Lamb Progeny Test Success

Last May we supplied two ram hoggets for mating in the “Facial Eczema Next Generation Flock” at Otiwhiti Station in Hunterville. Competing against 33 other maternal breed rams this progeny test gave us the opportunity to be part of an independent assessment of our sheep, going up against some industry leaders. Puketauru 514-16 excelled, ranking 1st for number of lambs weaned and 2nd for FE tolerance in his progeny. (based on day 21 GGT ratios at .4mg/kg)

Following on from last year’s trial we were invited to supply more rams for evaluation at Otiwhiti Station. Pictured left are Puketauru 40-16 and 414-16 outside the Otiwhiti woolshed. (Both rams were mated at home first.) Their trial progeny will be tested for growth and FE tolerance and the data collected used to help validate the genomic predictors that influence SIL’s indexes. Ultimately the trial should demonstrate the value of using proven FE sires.