Innovation in Agriculture
Probably not triplets
In 1987 a complete drop of polled ewes from the KJ & KM Burbidge flock at Burnafahes, Bigga, NSW was used as the foundation for the Connemara flock.
The Connemara Merino flock is now based on genetics from the top finewool sires in the MerinoSelect database. Sires are selected principally for low fibre diameter, high clean fleece weight with a small amount of emphasis on staple strength and worm egg count. A custom index for Connemara has been developed.
No preventative fly strike treatments are used on the body of any ram or adult ewes and any animal which becomes body struck is culled.
There is a preference for polled genetics.
A ram breeding nucleus of 500 ewes is DNA tested to determine parentage of progeny and all progeny are DNA tested to increase accuracy of ASBV’s and selection.
Rams are produced primarily for use within the Burbidge Farms flocks. Some rams are sold to a small number of clients, although this is not our core business. We do sell semen.
The progeny from the nucleus flock are not mulesed and not preventatively treated for flies. Very regular monitoring and treatment of breech and body strike has been undertaken. This is enabling natural selection for breech strike resistance. However, this program is still being evaluated to determine what affects selection for breech strike may have on other production traits. Through collaboration with UNE it is hoped that genomic predictors of breech strike can eventually be developed.
Mulesing of lambs ceased in 2018.