Innovis sheep breeds

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Do you lamb your highlanders as ewe lambs ? and can you get the culls to come to reasonable money ?
I do, with any I feel are big enough. Photo of Hogg with Beltex x twins at foot, taken today:

FD111694-9DDD-45BE-A678-0674D2DE5965.jpeg


Cull price has always been OK, but obviously not market toppers like big terminals. Much on a par with Texel x Mules of similar weights whenever I’ve sold.
 
There are a few commercial flocks in NZ of mainly Dorper or Wiltshire blood. But shedders are mainly seen on lifestyle properties where flocks are small and management often poor.
There are some breeders producing "ethical" sheep (short tail, disease resistant and fleece margins peeling back so annual fleece is only higher value wool) which is more attractive to the NZ commercial farmer.

Lowering wool micron is seen as the way forward by NZ sheep farmers.
Cleanskin ewe flocks are my fastest growing breed group on my scanning run, nearly 10% of the ewes I scan are either cleanskin of have started on the cleanskin journey, this is up from less than 1% three years ago. many had started on the lower micron parth but with out a significant jump down to low 20micron they are simply going from producing strong wool to producing lower micron wool at zero profit. 28micron wool is selling for $1.50 kg, break even is about $2/kg. Mind strong wool is around the $0.80 to $1 mark. On current prices and costs a Romney ewe flock in NZ shows and $11 loss per ewe for wool.
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
There are a few commercial flocks in NZ of mainly Dorper or Wiltshire blood. But shedders are mainly seen on lifestyle properties where flocks are small and management often poor.
There are some breeders producing "ethical" sheep (short tail, disease resistant and fleece margins peeling back so annual fleece is only higher value wool) which is more attractive to the NZ commercial farmer.

Lowering wool micron is seen as the way forward by NZ sheep farmers.
Try Mt Cass for wool shedding on a larger than smallholder scale (there are others)
I think they have a sale planned for the new year with 2500 ewe lambs & a mob of rams to sell
 
Anyone who has bought a Highlander Ram, did you go for 'elite' or 'commercial' standard? And did you think it was the right choice?
Thinking of getting one to put over texel X Lleyn ewes for replacements
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Anyone who has bought a Highlander Ram, did you go for 'elite' or 'commercial' standard? And did you think it was the right choice?
Thinking of getting one to put over texel X Lleyn ewes for replacements
Work out how many daughters he will be leaving in your flock over his lifetime, then divide the extra cost of the elite ram by that number and it becomes a no-brainer imo. Buy the very best you can afford when it comes to maternal rams imo.

If anyone is looking for a Highlander on the cheap though, I have a 3 shear ram surplus to requirements this year, which was the last one I bought from Innovis to bring some new genetics in. Mv accredited and a MyoMAX carrier.
 
Last edited:

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Work out how many daughters he will be leaving in your flock over his lifetime, then divide the extra cost of the elite ram by that number and it becomes a no-brainier imo. Buy the very best you can afford when it comes to maternal rams imo.

If anyone is looking for a Highlander on the cheap though, I have a 3 shear ram surplus to requirements this year, which was the last one I bought from Innovis to bring some new genetics in. Mv accredited and a MyoMAX carrier.
What price?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
How does the myomax gene work ? Do all Highlanders have it ? Do the carriers cost more ?
A double carrier will have 10% higher lean meat yield in the hindquarter, a single carrier +5%. Some Highlanders will carry it (presumably from the Texel blood in the background), but not all. It could easily be bred through that composite if the will were there, but Innovis don’t seem to be interested in it for some reason (despite them doing the original testing on it in the UK). I only know my last ram is a carrier as I tested him myself as soon as he arrived.

AFAIC it’s money for old rope. MyoMAX adds hindquarter muscle yield and there doesn’t appear to be a downside. All of my maternal rams since 2008 have been double carriers, so most of my commercial flock will now be double carriers. I just don’t see a downside from it, but there are obviously other important traits to select for too.
Myostatin gene mutations occur in all breeds and species, even humans, but few seem concerned about it. I don’t know of anyone else in my terminal sire breed that is actively testing for it, and I only screen potential stock rams as I don’t see a premium from anyone for tested rams. Obviously it filters through in extra hindquarter fleshing & consequently EUROP lamb grades, but few seem interested in the gene mutation itself.

Most other composite breeding programs have been breeding it into their populations for years now though.
 
A double carrier will have 10% higher lean meat yield in the hindquarter, a single carrier +5%. Some Highlanders will carry it (presumably from the Texel blood in the background), but not all. It could easily be bred through that composite if the will were there, but Innovis don’t seem to be interested in it for some reason (despite them doing the original testing on it in the UK). I only know my last ram is a carrier as I tested him myself as soon as he arrived.

AFAIC it’s money for old rope. MyoMAX adds hindquarter muscle yield and there doesn’t appear to be a downside. All of my maternal rams since 2008 have been double carriers, so most of my commercial flock will now be double carriers. I just don’t see a downside from it, but there are obviously other important traits to select for too.
Myostatin gene mutations occur in all breeds and species, even humans, but few seem concerned about it. I don’t know of anyone else in my terminal sire breed that is actively testing for it, and I only screen potential stock rams as I don’t see a premium from anyone for tested rams. Obviously it filters through in extra hindquarter fleshing & consequently EUROP lamb grades, but few seem interested in the gene mutation itself.

Most other composite breeding programs have been breeding it into their populations for years now though.
I've been breeding it into my Finns and will have double copy lambs born this year, the carrier animals are visibly bigger in the hind legs. Possibly the only down side is that it also removes some fat and makes the animals leaner.
 

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