How to Run a Bloodline Comparison Trial on Your Property
From a commercial mans point of view, one ram breeding better or worse than another is no big deal. The important thing is whether the group of rams you have purchased from your chosen stud is pushing the genetics of your flock in the direction you want it to go.
Finding out before you have wasted a lot of time, and spent a lot of money, on a new ram source that ends up not delivering what you thought it would is a problem to be avoided.
An on farm bloodline comparison trial is the quickest, cheapest and most accurate way of discovering whether a new ram source is capable of producing more profit from your sheep enterprise.
Here's how it works:
- Select a minimum of 5 rams from a new stud. Select them from the same grade as your previous ram source.
- Join these rams as a group to a selection of ewes.
- Choose a similar number of rams from your old stud and join these as a group to a selection of ewes similar to the ones drafted off for the new rams i.e. same age or mix of ages, same bloodline etc.
- After joining run both groups of ewes together again before splitting them into their original groups just before lambing.
- At lamb marking identify the lambs from each bloodline group with a different coloured tag. e.g. red for one group, blue for the other.
- At weaning or before if possible, run all the lambs from both groups together and keep them together until their first main shearing.
- When they come in for this shearing draft them back into their bloodline groups and shear separately. If they are classed before shearing, note the classers comments on each group and reasons for culling.
- Weigh the bales and butts of each group and divide the total weight by the number of sheep in each group to determine average fleeceweight per head.
- Get separate tests done on the wool from each bloodline and get separate valuations for each bloodline group.
- Compare the results based on total fleece value per head. Body weights can be compared as well if required.
Hazeldean has been involved in many on farm bloodline comparisons. We have been compared to over 40 other studs in all parts of Australia. We encourage wool producers who express interest in Hazeldean genetics to use the above process to determine accurately if Hazeldean is the correct ram source for their business.
In the trials we have been involved in, increases generated by Hazeldean rams over other ram sources have been from a low of 49c per head difference to a high of $10 per head in the first generation.