Rocklyn ticks boxes at Caragabal

Rocklyn ticks boxes at Caragabal

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Steve Cooper, Burrabeena, Caragabal with his Rocklyn-blood maiden ewes winners of the Caragabal flock ewe competition and also receiving the peoples choice award. Photo: supplied

Steve Cooper, Burrabeena, Caragabal with his Rocklyn-blood maiden ewes winners of the Caragabal flock ewe competition and also receiving the peoples choice award. Photo: supplied

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Chance purchase of Rocklyn-blood ewes gave opportunity for genetic comparison

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THE chance purchase of Rocklyn-blood ewes acquired with a new leased block gave Steve Cooper, Burrabeena, Caragabal, the opportunity to compare their performance against their home flock bred along a certain genetic source for many years.

"The difference was enough to convince me to have a look at the rams bred by Ralph Diprose at Rocklyn, Grenfell," Mr Cooper said.

"We were able to sell our wether lambs a lot earlier but were still maintaining wool cut and our micron, neither of which I wanted to sacrifice."

For the past 11 years Mr Cooper has sourced replacement rams from Rocklyn and he said his flock average fleece weight in the grown sheep is seven and half kilograms measuring 18.5 - 19 micron.

And when combined with a 10 year average lambmarking percentage of 114, it is a very impressive result for the mixed farming family enterprise.

"Being able to sell our wether lambs much earlier was important but I didn't want to sacrifice the style of wool and its fine micron or wool cut," he said.

"Ralph helps with ram selection and advises on classing our ewes and we have increased our wool cut while keeping the softness and nourishment."

Mr Cooper said nourishment is very important for his sheep as he has a large scale cropping program and sometimes the sheep are grazing stubbles after harvest.

"We need to keep the dust out of our wool so I steer clear of the flatter and drier type of rams," he said.

"We select the rams whether Poll or horned on the visual appearance but they must also have a balanced growth rate, good style of wool and the ability to produce a heavy greasy fleece weight.

"The yearling clean fleece weight measurement is a pretty powerful tool when talking about wool cut and growth rate in young sheep.

"Last year we sold the July-drop wether lambs in October/November for $110 to $120."

This year Mr Cooper's maiden ewes were successful in winning the Caragabal flock ewe competition and he was also presented with the people's choice award.

"I know our results have a fair bit to do our management but I also think the change in breeding direction has helped," he said.

"The Rocklyn bloodline suits our country and we have been very impressed with our sheep.

"We have had too many dry seasons but still they join well, their fertility is terrific and that counts for a lot."

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