Bahr wethers cut 11.8 kilos of wool in trial

Pastora bloodline wethers prove to be huge cutters in Merino trial

News
Darren Bahr, The Rock, had the most valuable wool in the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge, his wethers cutting a greasy fleece weight average of 11.8 kilograms at 18.2 microns.

Darren Bahr, The Rock, had the most valuable wool in the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge, his wethers cutting a greasy fleece weight average of 11.8 kilograms at 18.2 microns.

Aa

Mulquiny family on top in Peter Westblade Merino trial.

Aa

Wethers from Darren Bahr of The Rock entered in the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge managed to cut a greasy fleece weight average of 11.8 kilograms at 18.2 microns, making their wool the most valuable in the trial.

Related reading

Mr Bahr said it was great to know they were heading in the right direction, with fleece value a key selection indicator for them along with fertility.

"I'm very grateful that my father and uncle set up a good sheep flock for me to take over," Mr Bahr said.

"We've been using Pastora bloodlines for more than 30 years now."

Mr Bahr, who runs 1400 Merino ewes, said they had been micron testing for a long time but had only brought in fleece value recording in the last 10 years.

"I micron test and fleece weigh them and then put the collected data through the Sapian computer program to give a value per sheep," Mr Bahr said.

"That allows me to identify the top performers so when we're classing through the yards it's an easier job."

Mr Bahr also records the fertility of each ewe, using both the sheep value and fertility data to class the sheep into top to bottom performing quarters.

"The range between the best cutters and most fertile sheep, and those at the bottom is surprisingly big," Mr Bahr said.

"The really profitable ones that have lambs every year, we keep them for a year or two longer because I know how proven they are.

"That means we can cull younger ones a little harder."

He said they were shearing in two weeks time and would wait to see if dust had a major impact on wool quality.

"I know there will be dust in them, the dust has been blowing since August last year so it's hard to keep it out," Mr Bahr said.

"I put all 1400 in containment for six weeks before the rain, normally I let them run on stubble but due to lack of feed they were dusting up and it was just getting worse and worse."

Mr Bahr said he was planning on joining his ewe lambs this year, classing them before putting them in with the rams.

"I've done it before with success of up to 70 per cent for the whole line but I classed them this time so I won't have the culls joined up," Mr Bahr said.

"I've put a lot of grazing crops in this year so I want to take advantage of hopefully having some extra feed."

Bernie and Harrison Mulquiny, Wooroonook, Vic whethers were the most valuable overall in the trial. Photo supplied.

Bernie and Harrison Mulquiny, Wooroonook, Vic whethers were the most valuable overall in the trial. Photo supplied.

Bernie and Harrison Mulquiny, Wooroonook, Vic whethers came out on top in the PWMMC trial when both wool and mutton value was taken into account.

The Mulquinys run around 700 ewes with Woodpark Poll blood and said they were also looking to join their ewe lambs this year.

"We're joining them for the first time just because of the growth we're getting from the sheep," Harrison Mulquiny said.

Mr Mulquiny said they culled around 32 per cent of their ewe flock each year to get the best out of their genetics, with Steve Huggins of Woodpark Poll doing their classing. They said the trial was a beneficial benchmarking process for them, especially considering they only started breeding sheep around seven years ago.

"It gives us a good indication of where we're at and helps us to set goals for the future, where we can get our sheep by 2030 etc," Mr Mulquiny said.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by