Measured success for duxson family of glendemar merinos at marnoo _ the weekly times

Ben Duxson is the fifth generation of his family to breed Merinos at Marnoo, in Victoria’s Wimmera region, but his ability to think beyond the norm has seen him look to cropping to gain advantages.

It has seen the Duxsons and clients of their Glendemar MPM stud achieve high lamb survival rates, which, in turn, is increasing overall lambing rates.

The Duxsons have been leaders in adopting ASBVs and sheep genomics into their breeding program, and said it was something forward-thinking commercial sheep breeders in the industry were looking for.

“We are in a whole sheep industry now, not just a wool industry, so ­carcass and fertility traits need to be balanced against wool traits,” Ben said.


“We have had a strong emphasis on early growth, muscle and fat through post weaning weight, post eye muscle depth and post fat, as well as yearling staple length.

“Over 80 per cent of our sale team last year was in the top 10 per cent of MerinoSelect for all of these traits, with most in the top 5 per cent.”

“Eighty per cent of the ewes in our breeding flock are in the top 10 per cent for growth, muscle fat and staple length, and 100 per cent are average or above for yearling clean fleece weight,” Ben said.

What they have also discovered in their long and disciplined journey using ASBVs is that many of the urban myths about sheep breeding could be debunked. Stuffed pork chops recipe easy They have bred ewes that not only meet the stud’s goal of +18 for yearling clean fleece weight, but are also in the top 5 per cent for carcass figures.

“Usually these two traits (wool cut and muscle) are antagonistic or counteractive, but we are now seeing big lines of animals with it all,” Ben said.

THE Duxsons run 1700 stud ewes and 800 commercial ewes, with all stud ewe lamb progeny and 40 per cent of stud ram lamb progeny tested for ASBVs. Recipes for pork chops bone in It costs a lot — $18 per ewe lamb and $24 per ram lamb.

“It is a cost that many breeders aren’t prepared to pay, but we need to be able to give clients genetic information on the 80 per cent of production traits that cannot be visualised,” Ben said.

The Duxsons have an educated client base, and new ­clients are coming on board looking for the same traits they have in their breeding objective.

“They are educated on ASBVs, they understand that good management and pasture production go hand in hand with genetics, and they are taking advantage of the data we are providing them”.

This was proved at last year’s annual sale, when a ­noticeable increase in the average price of rams occurred, when rams that were in the top 10 per cent for carcass traits and also had +16 or above for YCFW entered the sale ring.

“With good nutrition for the ewes, we are seeing no ­decrease in the early growth rates of our twin lambs,” Ben said. How to cook pork chops grill “Lifetime Ewe Management principles have allowed this to happen.

“Our ewes then have access to good-quality feed and because the lambs have been weaned off them, they stay above a critical condition score and there are lower supplementary feeding costs.”

On their own farm, the Duxsons shear their sheep twice a year, with each shearing producing a cut of 3.5kg of wool testing 19 micron and with a staple length of at least 70mm.

It’s led to lambing percentages of 140 per cent on their own farm, and 20-40 per cent more lambs in their clients’ flocks than the industry average.

“With our pedigree and data recording and EID system, we are turning ewes into individuals, recording their ASBVs, but more ­importantly their own productivity.

ADMITTEDLY there is much more work running a stud flock, especially given the attention to detail given to testing, mothering up, full pedigrees and collection of information that goes into making robust and accurate ASBVs which go with all their stock.

“Combine this with full ­individual carcass feedback at the abattoir, finding the most productive animals within the system will become easier.

“We cannot look at progeny now and visualise their carcass traits, their rear type, their ability to have resistance and resilience to internal parasites, milking ability, maternal ewe efficiency etc, so we have to measure it.

“Our industry (mainly through the Sheep CRC) has done a great job of making all these traits discoverable and put them into ASBVs and made them available for commercial producers to use.”

Ben said the outlook was extremely positive for Merinos, but there were still things to work on. Crock pot pork chops onion soup mix “I would love to see producers have a closer affiliation with the brands they supply. How to fry pork chops in a pan We are producing top quality products, but still getting paid commodity prices.”