Urrbrae Agricultural High School | Urrbrae Suffolk Stud
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Urrbrae Suffolk Stud

Students are involved in all aspects of the stud.

All management and showing duties fall to the students. We have produced at least two champion judges and always do well in judging and handling competitions at the various shows. We have been lucky to have benefitted from the help of many volunteers in clipping and showing schools over the years.

Stud details

Flock Number – 556
Established 1970
Ovine Brucellosis Accreditation 218
MN2 OJD Status
Lambplan

History

The stud was begun in 1970 after much discussion in 1969. The idea was to increase the student’s knowledge on sheep management and stud records. The school at the time also ran a flock of merinos and merino cross ewes for wool and “fat lamb” production.

Some of the initiative came from a group of three prominent Suffolk breeders and these acted as mentors for several years while the stud was established. Les Duffield, Ern & Rodney Sharrad and Merve Mumford were the inaugural members. The stud was based on 20 ewes selected and donated by these breeders and 2 rams (including one from George Deane).

Other breeders who have helped the stud over the years are: Geoff & Ian Pfeiffer, Geoff Gale, J. Middleton, Andrew Frick, Helen Schultz, Anthony Duffield, Ian Turner, Di Swann.

Teachers and farm workers who have had charge of the stud include J. Hoile, R.A. Murray, C. Fletcher, M. Humphrys, M. Horne, P. Ancell, P. Smith, R. Johnson, R. Flower, M. Innes, C. Nichols, D. Bascomb, and P. Fanning.

The shows which have been frequented are: Saddleworth, Clare, Maitland, Crystal Brook and more commonly Gawler, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Barker and of course the Adelaide Royal.

Some of the noted successes have been (from 1972 to the present) champion ram and ewe at Gawler and Mt. Barker, reserve champion ewe on two occasions at the Royal. Most successful exhibitor on several occasions.

The school has also trialled different methods of promoting oestrus in Suffolks, melatonin, darkness, and fecundin. We are still trialling different feeding regimes and eventually hope to succeed in producing fast growing sheep in an almost feedlot situation.

Breeding bloodlines have included Broughton Lodge, Galaxy Park, Burwood, Updown Park, Pinery, Gypsum Hill,  Langley Heights, Advancer, Alkoomie, Fingerpost, Othello Park, Renrut, Allendale, Pine Ridge, Noble lee, Letts, Mitchell Gully, Stratford.

Students have been involved in all aspects of the stud. All management and showing duties fall to the students. We have produced at least two champion judges and always do well in judging and handling competitions at the various shows. We have been lucky to have benefitted from the help of many volunteers in clipping and showing schools over the years.

Breeding

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.

Calendar of Operations

The management calendar for the Urrbrae Suffolk flock is structured to maximise the attainment of the breeding objectives and to also ensure optimum student involvement to undertake in every activity associated with the flock.

Month Management Activities
January

LAMBPLAN testing utilising accredited operator and updating data

Selection of Urrbrae Show Team

February

Preparation of Urrbrae Show Team

Supplementary Feeding of Show Team

Ram introduced to second breeding ewe flock

March

Remove rams

Shear selected show sheep

Mount Pleasant Show

Mount Barker Show

April

Pre-lambing operations: crutching, vaccinations

WEC of all sheep drench as required

May

Lambing commences (main breeding flock) twice a day lambing rounds, electronic tag and record: ID, sire, dam, sex, DOB, lambing ease, birth weight

LAMBPLAN update of data

June

Shear selected show sheep

Preparation of Show Team

July

Lambing commences (second breeding flock)

Lamb Marking of main lamb flock: tailing, vaccination

National Sheep and Wool Show Bendigo

August

Shear selected show sheep

Preparation of Show Team

September

Royal Adelaide Show

Wean Lambs, record date, weights, rearing type, management group

Structural Assessment of all breeding ewes, sale of excess ewes

LAMBPLAN update of data

October

Ram Sales

WEC of all sheep drench as required

November Shearing
December

Flush main breeding ewe flock

Rams introduced to main breeding ewe flock

Shows

Mount Pleasant

Mount Barker

Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo

Gawler

Royal Adelaide

Sales

2016 Mount Pleasant British Breeds Ram Sale – Wednesday, 9th November, 2016

Tag No Sire DOB BT/RT Bwt Wwt PWwt Pfat Pemd Carcass + Lamb2020 Wt 20/10/16
28 Burwood 211 2/08/2015 2 0.44 6.9 9.3 -0.5 0.3 154 107.2 120.5
31 Burwood 211 2/08/2015 2 0.27 7 9.7 -0.2 0.9 160.9 0 120
33 Burwood 211 4/08/2015 2 0.29 6.9 8.6 -0.2 0.8 156.6 107.6 118.5
35 Burwood 211 2/08/2015 3 0.29 5.8 8.3 -0.3 0.7 151.6 106.96 111
43 Burwood 211 9/08/2015 3 0.56 8.6 11.2 -0.5 -0.1 159.4 0 123.5

 

ram-28

Ram 28

 

 

 

 

 

ram-31ram-31-rump

 

Ram 31

 

 

 

 

ram-33

Ram 33

 

 

 

 

 

ram-35

 

Ram 35

 

 

 

 

ram-43

Ram 43

 

 

 

 

 

burwood-211-oct16

Previous Stud Sire

Burwood 211

 

 

 

The 2016 Fleurieu Prime Ram Sale, Strathalbyn

 

Tag No Sire DOB BT/RT Bwt Wwt PWwt Pfat Pemd Carcass + Lamb2020
18 Burwood 211 1/08/2015 2 0.45 8.4 10.8 -0.3 0.7 166.8 108.9
32 Burwood 211 1/08/2015 3 0.51 7.2 9.8 -0.6 0.2 155.5 107.4
47 Burwood 211 9/08/2015 2 0.36 6.7 9.2 -0.3 0.4 153.3 0
37 Burwood 211 4/08/2015 2 0.42 7.2 9.6 -0.2 0.2 153.1 0
36 Burwood 211 4/08/2015 2 0.46 6.8 9.2 -0.2 0.2 150.8 0

 

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Ram 18ram-18rump-ram-18

 

 

 

 

 

ram-32rump-ram-32

Ram 32

 

 

 

 

 

ram-47-fixRam 47

 

 

 

 

 

Ram 37ram-37rump-ram-37

 

 

 

 

 

ram-36rump-ram-36Ram 36