Two-tooth ewes from the A team nucleus
- Now as two-tooths bred from the A team nucleus ewes, they should look a picture due to the intense selection pressure put on them up to now.
- Apart from the odd sample to monitor progress, it’s not worth doing any more FECs, but keep on ruthlessly culling any that get daggy and don’t clear up quickly.
- There would be no harm in doing a FCS now and again to check on any that are not measuring up, especially those getting daggy and not drying up fast.
- Cull any that develop problems like footrot.
Planning the two-tooths’ mating
Decision needed: What rams are you going to join with these top two-tooths? They deserve very special consideration after all the work you’ve put into them.
- Contact your nearest consultant from Sheep Improvement Ltd (SIL) by phoning 0800-745-435, or Email "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com
- Ask which breeders have rams for sale with WormFEC™ and Dag Score BVs.
- Take care to check the records and ask the breeder how many rams have been tested and how this was done, as despite the SIL WormFEC™ protocol in the Breeders’ Manual (1994), some breeders have developed a few variations of their own.
- FCS is not accepted by SIL as a correction for FEC. And in any case, the rams will all have been drenched regularly and recently, so you won’t be able to get a true ‘drug-free’ FCS assessment.
- Beware that breeders may advertise that they are breeding for worm resistance or even worm resilience, but their programmes will need questioning.
- Failing any success with SIL breeders, the next option is to look at any old sires you have on the farm purchased previously from SIL breeders.
- This could surprise you or shock you - to see what you have spent money on (in all innocence) in previous seasons.
- Their mature (genetic) immunity against dags and worms should have been fully developed – if they have any. It would be worthwhile having a look.
- Make sure they have not been drenched for at least two months (preferably three) and first check their FCS. It’s not worth wasting $5 on a FEC if a ram is a scourer.
- Any like this need to be used as terminal sires as you’ll be dagging their progeny for the next five years at least.
- For the marblers or hand grenaders, get a FEC done.
- Don’t contemplate using any animal with a FEC over 500 epg and zero should be a better target.
This is the obvious choice - to use your own rams, bred in the A team nucleus flock, and Pathway 2 describes this.