Recording and Performance

" Performance is the one and only sound yard-stick with which to measure the worth of a sheep and this emphasizes the importance of full records in a stud flock " .. Sir Geoffrey Peren, 1970

Dolomite stud sheep are performance recorded running on genuine challenging hill-country conditions. I have yet to find a stud being run on more difficult country. We do not off-farm winter ram or ewe hoggets.

It is our philosophy that stud sheep must be challenged, their responses recorded, poor performers rigorously culled and only the very best used as sires or dams.

The stud uses the Studfax program to record pedigree and production performance. Studfax enables specialized performance analysis to be undertaken such as 100-, 150-, and 200-day lamb growth rates. While attention will never be relaxed on genetically improving fertility, the Dolomite Stud focuses special attention on improving lamb growth rates. 

Post-weaning growth rates during a period when lambs and hoggets are exposed to a worm burden challenge are carefully scrutinized. Our objective is to breed towards resistance to worms and early development of immunity.

Eye muscle area and fat-depth of ram lambs are routinely recorded.

A very important Studfax report examined closely is ewe lambing performance and her progeny fates (lamb deaths and culling criteria). Also examined are records kept as part of Sheep for Profit ® measurement system for key drivers of sheep profitability. We are tracking seasonal changes in ewe live-weight and condition scores, as well as each ewe’s lamb rearing efficiency (a ratio of total weight of lamb weaned to pre-mating live-weight).

SIL genetic analysis

Since its inception the Dolomite Perendale Stud has used the National Recording Scheme, currently operated by Sheep Improvement Limited (SIL), to undertake the required genetic analysis in order to produce hogget and 2-th selection lists, and the sire and dam summaries essential for selection and achieving genetic gains.

Breeding values for the key traits as well as overall index values are calculated based on each animal’s own performance with adjustments to take account of the performance of other family members. The performance of half brothers and half sisters are taken into account, as are sire, grand-sire, dam, grand- dam performance records. These family records are essential for bringing reliability to breeding value estimates. Family records are particularly important for traits that are weakly inherited such as reproduction (number of lambs born) and lamb survival.

Performance expectations

Managed in a hill-country environment under all grass wintering, no supplementary summer feeding,  Dolomite ewes are achieving:

Efficient ewes
  • Pre-mating target live-weights of 65-67 kgs for MA ewes, 58-62kgs for 2-ths having lambed as a hogget
  • Scanning index 2.66 for both age groups
  • 80% of MA ewes and 67% 2-tooths are lambing twins
  • 150+ % lambs consistently weaned
  • trouble-free lambing; low incidence of bearings (<1%), low ewe deaths (< 2%)
  • high lamb survival; lamb losses scanning to tailing 8-15% for MA ewes, and 4.7-10% 2-th ewes
Fast growing lambs
  • Pre-weaning growth rates of 300 grams/day to achieve 30+ kgs weaning weights
  • Average ram lamb 200-day growth rates of 230+ grams/day to achieve 50kg average by late March
  • Average ewe lamb 200-day growth rates of 200+ grams/day to achieve 40+ kgs ewe hoggets for hogget lambing flexibility
Quality wool
  • Minimum of 4 kgs annual ewe fleece weights, white resilient quality wool
Minimal requirements to drench
  • Ewes receive one annual drench at tailing
  • FEC tests show fast development of immunity to intestinal worms
  • Extremely low incidence of dags

Active healthy sheep, Dolomite Perendales are a pleasure to farm

If these expectations match yours then Dolomite rams will be right for you.

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