The Waidale Romney stud was started by my father, Bill Williams in 1964 by purchasing 30 Beechwood ewes from Tug Burrows. Over the next few years a few more ewes were purchased from Tug. In 1966 an additional 40 ewes were puchased from J.C McLauchlan.
In the 1970's ewes were purchased from BJ Gregan, GM Rogers and Tug Burrows. In 1984 following a horrendous flood in Marlborough that nearly left my parents broke, it also wiped out almost all of our 2ths of that year. Owing to such losses, many other breeders generously gave my father anything from 2 to 10 ewes that year to assist with the loss of these 2ths. Early on my father generally stuck to buying Beechwood Romney rams.
My father would always be open minded enough to buy a ram of any breeders, if he considered it was good enough, not always paying a fortune. We were also involved in some high spending syndicates:A Merrydowns Romney ram was purchased for $30000, a Claymoor Romney ram for $30000 and some others for not as much. Some of these high price rams bred well, some not so well, but that is stud breeding.
In the last 15 years or so, there has been greater emphasis on using homebred sires, and buying one or two rams in a year. It is probably over this period that we have made accelerated genetic gains, which suggests that what we have been doing has been paying off. The use of homebred Romney sires ensures that we have a uniform product. Owing to 50 plus years of breeding which has resulted in a top flock of Romneys that have top genetics, I now use primarily homebred rams and only buy one ram each year, if I see a ram that may assist my breeding programme.
We started these in the 70s, buying a small flock of southdown ewes for $20 a head, not very popular animals in those days. Short dumpy wasty sheep, we used have to go back through the 2ths we culled to find the best of the worst to keep enough replacements. But we have come a long way with them, they are now, good size, still quick maturing, clean non wasty sheep. A massive transformation, which is why, apart from the fact that southdowns are a great terminal sire, I have a huge affinity with them, taking them from pretty ordinary sheep to a top flock.
Waidale South Suffolks
We started these in early eighties, buying pure bred south suffolks, you weren't allowed to cross your way into them then. When my father died I sold all the old ewes and kept the 2ths. Those 2ths for the first 3 or so years, I put them all to a top southdown ram. I have since them regularly put some back to a southdown as well as using a lot of straight south suffolks. In recent years I bought a Suffolk, who bred exceptionally well. By doing this I have expanded the genetic gene pool I can select form without compromising the integrity of the breed. I know it has worked as I believe my south suffolk terminal sires are as good as you will get anywhere, very compact grunty and meaty sheep.
My parents started with Linoclns in 1965 in share arrangement, and then later started their own stud, they called them Whydid, as quite simply they said "Whydid we breed the bastards"
Our lincolns are Large, comparatively long-bodied and heavily built. A hardy breed, able to withstand cold, wet harsh conditions.
Dual purpose. Mainly used for cross-breeding to give increased wool weights.
Lincolns are slow to mature to adults and with purebreds you need to feed them well to 2ths. I do not mate ewe hoggets because of this. However at the opposite end you get more years out of them, the only breed to live longer is the merino