Strong lambing rates with MPM sires

Strong lambing rates with Outback MPM sires

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Multi Purpose Merinos are allowing the Steele family to improve lambing percentages and wool and carcase quality.

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PROFIT-BOOSTING SHEEP: Outback stud principal Richie Steele with his Multi Purpose Merinos.

PROFIT-BOOSTING SHEEP: Outback stud principal Richie Steele with his Multi Purpose Merinos.

Multi Purpose Merinos are allowing the Steele family to improve lambing percentages and wool and carcase quality and those traits are being passed on to all Outback MPM customers, boosting their on-farm production and profitability.

Stud principal Richie Steele purchased Outback MPMs from the stud's founders, Peter and Christine McKid, in 2019.

He now runs the stud at Mundadoo, north of Nyngan, with his wife Julia and their children Lilybelle, 4, and George, 2, and his parents, Garry and Louella Steele.

While it wasn't the best time to be purchasing sheep, it was an opportunity the family couldn't miss.

"We had been using MPM genetics for 20 years, so it was a no-brainer to purchase the stud, as we had seen the enormous gains the MPM genetics had on our commercial flock," Richie Steele said.

"The early growth, high fat, high muscle and the exceptional fertility of MPM genetics, we believe, is what got us through the drought relatively unscathed.

"The doability of the sheep is second to none. They are a more robust animal and are really adaptable to their environment and different seasonal conditions."

Multi Purpose Merinos are an easy care, non-mulesed, wrinkle-free sheep that delivers quality wool, faster growth rates and high fertility, all under normal paddock management conditions, Mr Steele said.

"Our aim is to breed a Merino that will compete with the meat breeds for fertility and carcase traits, while keeping a moderate frame (around 70kg) to maintain maternal efficiency, which is vital in our pastoral environment," he said.

The Steeles have achieved high lambing rates by using Lifetime Ewe Management principles, with ewes scanned for multiples, with twinners and triplets separated to have their nutritional requirements met.

FERTILITY BOOST: Outback clients are reporting stronger lambing percentages.

FERTILITY BOOST: Outback clients are reporting stronger lambing percentages.

Twins are lambed down in smaller mobs of 200 or fewer head and this year the family is involved in a triplet trial with research leader Andrew Thompson from Murdoch University.

"The triplets will be in mobs of 50 and singles are run in larger mobs of 600 or more," Mr Steele said.

"Last year's results were 179 per cent in twins and 93pc in singles to give us 154pc, an increase on our previous best by 7pc, all on native pasture.

"This year's scanning was 177pc to ewes joined."

Mr Steele's goal is to produce a maternal ewe with high fertility - the ability to conceive and rear a high number of lambs.

"The early growth and high muscle and fat are what pushes this productivity - it is the motor of the sheep," he said

"It allows the ewes to rebound quickly from changes, seasonal or management related, to produce more lambs.

"And with more lambs comes more selection pressure, resulting in accelerated genetic gain and an added bonus of an increase in surplus sales.

"Because of this fertility we are able to class at 50pc."

The MPM genetics also focus on increasing staple length to allow for six-monthly shearing.

"On Mundadoo we have been shearing six-monthly for nine years, cutting 6kg annually at 19.5-micron, measuring 65mm to 70mm," Mr Steele said.

"Outback MPM is also accredited with Responsible Wool Standard, which certifies we meet rigorous animal welfare, such as no mulesing, and land management requirements."

The stud has clients from NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and they've had a lot of interest from people looking to lift their production with MPM genetics.

"The future of MPMs is exciting," Mr Steele said.

"I work closely with Glendemar MPM stud principal Ben Duxson in Victoria and have recently purchased stud ewes both from Glendemar and Moojepin Merinos in WA.

"This will give us even more selection pressure moving forward as this year we have 1400 stud ewes scanned in lamb at 180pc, all with full genomic pedigree."

This year's sale, on Monday, September 13, features 120 well-structured rams, which have been run under commercial conditions. A large selection of grade rams will be available after the sale.

"These rams have been selected using ASBVs on the most important traits for commercial production - eye muscle depth, fat, and wool traits, including staple length," Mr Steele said.

The story Strong lambing rates with MPM sires first appeared on The Land.

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