Stud focus on high performance, low input stock

Stud focus on high performance, low input stock
PHOTOS: Otoka’s Patch, Rob, Frankie and Amy Tennant. The business end of the Pahiwi Suftex.

Pahiwi stud is committed to breeding high performance, low input romney, suffolk and suftex sheep for progressive farmers.
For stud owner Rob Tennent this means applying selection pressure in a hill country environment and using the best available recording systems including modern science.
Located at Otoka, a 290 hectare property located in the Flemington district south of Wapiukurau, the sheep are bred on rolling to steep hill country resulting in efficient healthy breeding stock.
The original romneys on which the stud is based came from Rob’s grandfather’s flock which he started recording in 1956.
All recorded and commercial ewes are run together at higher stocking rates at 11 per ha wintered.
Strict culling regimes ensure that only the top performers remain in the flock.
Breeding and genetics has always been a passion of Rob’s and he and wife Amy purchased the stud flock nine years ago from Rob’s parents David and Sally.
Now it consists of 900 SIL recorded romney ewes and has 520 suffolk and suftex ewes lambing alongside 400 commercial ewes and replacements.
Rob has built on genetic advantages the stud has gained over the years and uses genomic selection tools Sheep5K and 50k for more accuracy.
With regards to the romneys three key animal health traits are being targeted: FE tolerance, worm resistance and dag score.
“We have been recording worm FEC on all of our ram lambs, identifying those with an early immune response to worm challenge and we are very happy with the progress we are making.”

Stud focus on high performance, low input stock
Two-tooth Romneys with the ram during tupping at Otoka. Pahiwi has bred suffolks for over 30 years, and Suftex since 2005.

 
Individual FEC samples are sent to Techion Group then the data is loaded into SIL.
Lambs are also scored for dags at weaning and in the autumn.
FE tolerance is gradually being brought into the flock while retaining the key traits the Pahiwi flock is known for.
Twelve top FE tested sires have been used since 2007 over a sub flock of recorded ewes.
Pahiwi also works with other ram breeders to share top sires in order to improve genetic linkage.
Pahiwi has bred suffolks for over 30 years, and Suftex since 2005 applying principles of constitution and longevity aiming for sound structure and a deep bodied animal, which copes well with hill country.
Both breeds are bred for increased survival, growth and meat yield.
Pahiwi is a member of Suffolk NZ and also the Premier Suftex group to identify superior genetics to improve the flock.
Premier Suftex is involved in an AgResearch S1 genomic calibration flock targeting genomics for meat quality such as tenderness, intramuscular fat, PH and colour.
“Meat companies aren’t rewarding for meat quality yet but we can see they might in the future so we need to be one step ahead for our clients. We are DNA testing our top ram lambs each year and making these traits a part of our selection criteria when deciding which sires to use.”
Once all of the selection work is done across the three breeds the ram hoggets are moved from the hill country farm to a family farm at Takapau ready to sell.
Annual private sales start around mid-November.
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