Breeding

Breeding Objectives

The Urrbrae Suffolk Stud breeding program focusses on a sound combination of genetic principles and practical experience with the aim of breeding high quality, profit-making sires and ewes for commercial lamb production.

Urrbrae selects and breeds for the following key traits:

  • Growth rate
  • Easy lambing
  • Moderate leanness
  • High muscle depth
  • Worm resistance
  • Carcase quality
  • Fertility
  • Structural soundness utilising independent assessment

Performance Recording to Maximise Breeding Outcomes

Urrbrae Suffolk Stud is a strong advocate of performance recording. At birth lambs are electronically tagged and recorded for birth weight, birth type, sex, sire, dam, lambing ease, distance of dam from lamb(s) and comments relating to mothering ability.

Our Suffolks are not removed from the flock until all animals are weighed and scanned by an accredited LAMBPLAN operator at the post-weaning age of 5-6 months. This enables the most accurate assessment of each lambs genetic potential and allows us to select further breeding and sale stock with informed confidence.

Urrbrae utilises LAMBPLAN to provide accurate and timely details on the genetic merit of individuals in the stud flock. LAMBPLAN combines performance and pedigree information to provide Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV’s). The ASBV’s are calculated from systematic combinations of performance information on individuals and their relatives. They are expressed as the difference between an individual’s genetic merit and the genetic base to which the animal is compared.

The LAMBPLAN ASBV’s obtained form the basis for which animals are retained in the flock or offered for sale. The most critical ASBV’s are:

Birth Weight (BWT): estimates the genetic difference between animals in lamb birth weight.

Weaning Weight (WWT): estimates the genetic difference between animals in live weight at 100 days of age.

Post Weaning Weight (PWWT): estimates the genetic difference between animals in live weight at 225 days of age.

Post Weaning Fat (PFAT): estimates the genetic difference in GR fat depth at 45 Kilograms live weight (average).

Post Weaning Eye Muscle Depth (PEMD): estimates the genetic difference in eye muscle depth at the c site at 45 Kilograms live weight (average).

Post Weaning Worm Egg Count (PFEC): estimates the genetic difference in worm burden at 225 Days of age.