At Waratah we aim to:
- Breed White Suffolk sheep with superior growth, carcase conformation, structure and fertility to meet the future needs of the Australian Lamb Industry.
- Make continuous improvement as measured by Lambplan and internal benchmarking systems.
- Take advantage of innovative animal breeding techniques and farm management practices.
- Provide excellent service and accurate, relevant information to all our customers.
Waratah White Suffolk Stud was established in October 1995 with the purchase of ewes from Detpa Grove. Ewes were also purchased from the Gadang dispersal, Alkoomie, Renrut, Galaxy Park, Gaerloch and Cowabbee, as well as the Foundation Breeders sale. These ewes formed the basis for our breeding program.
In an effort to source the best available genetics in the breed, extensive use has been made of AI. This has included such influential sires as Leachim 69, Anna Villa 2291, Galaxy Park 429 and Woolumbool 8017.
In addition, purchases have included rams such as Allendale 108 who has bred sheep with great growth, carcase characteristics and type.
To benchmark our breeding program against the best in the breed, and make rapid genetic gain, a selection of our best ram lambs are included in the sire team each year. This has produced proven young sires such as Waratah ‘15’, Waratah 030221, Waratah 050657. Waratah ‘15’ has been particularly influential within the White Suffolk breed, with over 1200 progeny recorded in 42 flocks across Australia. Many of his sons feature prominently in a number of the breeds leading breeding programs.
In recent years we have further multiplied our best genetics through the use of Embryo Transfer.
To maximise the effectiveness of our genetic benchmarking, a strict management timetable was set in place when the stud was established. Joining takes place for 6 weeks from the beginning of January, with the ewes being ‘teased’ for ten days prior to the rams being introduced. The AI program is timed to coincide with the second week of lambing. This means we have a tight lambing period (95% of ewes lamb in the first 4 weeks), which gives us management groups that allow valid genetic benchmarking.
Fertility is very important in our breeding program and any ewe that does not lamb as a maiden is culled. Emphasis is also placed on using rams that were themselves from a multiple birth. For example, Waratah 050657 is a triplet out of a ewe that has produced triplets every year.
At Waratah we believe that LAMBPLAN offers the best objective assessment of an animals genetic merit. Measuring all lambs gives us the most accurate and consistent information from LAMBPLAN. The Waratah flock has GOLD data quality status within the LAMBPLAN system.
All Lambs are:
- Tagged and weighed at birth.
- Sire, Dam, Birth type & lambing ease recorded at birth.
- Weighed at weaning (3 months)
- Weighed and scanned at 6 months
- Those animals that are retained in the stud are weighed at 9 & 12 months
- WEC (Worm Egg Count) samples are collected from our ewe lambs in autumn/winter each year (season allowing).
- Classed for structure, conformation and type.
Waratah White Suffolks are an accredited flock free of Brucellosis. (Accreditation No. 3463)
The flock is part of the OJD Market Assurance Program and holds MN3-V status. All lambs are vaccinated with the Gudair vaccine prior to 16 weeks of age.