The most significant inquiry in last coupler years is from farmers with merino sheep, who are looking to up their micron from 15 or 16 to around 19 or 20: Because the price they get for the finer micron wool is not sufficient to offset the loss in the weight given the price they get for the stronger micron. In otherwords the economic return for the stronger wool is much greater than the finer wool. Accordingly a few farmers have a bought a lincoln ram to go over merino ewes to produce rams which in turn they put over some more purebred ewes to get some 1/8th lincoln, 7/8th merino rams to put over their main flock to lift the micron strenght of their flock. A coupler of long standing clients have been doing this for years!
I am an honest straight up ram breeder: no gimmicks, no self serving slant, no bullshit. Regarding my Lincoln rams, what I say, what you see, is what you get. Breeding a bloody good sheep is becoming secondary to the marketing spin that is used to sell it. We’re not a hobby ram breeder with a large commercial flock making our money; we specialise in breeding rams, so they have to perform as it’s our livelihood!
Extensive performance recording: 50 years plus of it. Everything is weighed at weaning and again 6 to 7 weeks later, 30 week wool weights and of course fertility recording. All this allows us to breed and bring to you a sound high fertility, high growth ram with good wool.
Pocket Pc: This rides in the bike, everything is tagged at birth (not left till tailing or on an unreliable Dna test). Any poor mothers, poor milkers, poor constitution, assisted lambing etc is recorded on the Pocket PC and later uploaded to the computer. This translates into reliable SIL figures (as accurate pedigrees) and this accurate recording allows me to be confident that I only retain genuine easy care sheep as any problem sheep are accurately recorded and can’t slip through the system.
Scientific Research: Most of our involvement is through Lincoln University or Ag research, through beef and lamb, where in the past we have assisted in footrot and cold tolerance trials and a longevity trial. We have done meat yield and growth trials and are an active participant in the Romney NZ meat yield trial, now in the North Island that has been running for many years now. Last coupler years been involved in some fly research work. All this ensures that we are aware of the latest research and are ready to uptake any meaningful scientific developments that will improve our flocks.
Stockmanship: Fast becoming a lost art, a lot of breeders are relying solely on performance data. You need a combination of both to breed good Lincoln rams. I still cull everything on visual appraisal first, I cull for eyes, colour, pasterns, legs, poor hindquarter, heavy shoulders, teeth, poor wool, poor loin etc; (I am always doing this); all such bad traits if not culled for, will, I guarantee you, lead to a decline in the productivity of your flock in the long term. Good stockmanship is vital if you are to breed stock with good ongoing productivity; without it, after the hybrid vigour is gone, your productivity will decline I Guarantee it!!!!! I consider this the most significant advantage we have over many breeders.
Worm Resistance: Our ewe flock never gets drenched and we practice an extended drenching programme with all young stock we retain.
- grow exceptionally heavy, strong lustrous wool. Lincoln Ram hoggets average 6.5kg.
- grow long stapled wool.
- all lincolns are renowned for their longevity which means you don't have to keep as many replacements.
- clip heavy wool weights even when they get older.
- have excellent feet and high resistance to footrot. Lincolns are exceptional in this regard, I would doubt if there is a sheep that has more resistance to footrot
- have a heavy, well-muscled carcase.
One cross of Why-Did Lincoln ram will give you:
- An immediate lift of up to 25% in wool weight when crossed with any breed. With the fine micron phenomenon over, lincolns will return more kgs and accordingly more money than any other breed (except perhaps the very fine merinos but this is somewhat dubious now).
- Increase in the length of staple, which is a big advantage if you are twice yearly shearing. One cross of lincoln will do wonders for any short staple problems you may be experiencing.
- Increased bodyweight in the off spring.
- High genetic heritability for soundness of teeth and feet.
- Increased longevity in the off spring.
I would have thought some composite breeder would have jumped on the bandwagon and exploited these advantages.
Why-Did Lincolns have been the best in New Zealand for as long as I can remember, the odd person may disagree with this, but the majority wouldn't. There is of course not many lincoln studs around anymore.
Very early on we recognised that the future of the Lincoln breed lay in being crossed over various breeds of differing strengths, from merinos to romneys. Accordingly we have placed considerable emphasis on the handle of our lincoln's wool, a good handling wool results in less variation in the off spring. In addition to wool we have been focusing on breeding a sheep with a good hindquarter, loin and spring of rib, the expensive cuts of meat.