Far Valley Dohnes
At Far Valley, our Dohnes must be All-Rounders. They must excel at:
Constitution and Structure
Good long top line and spring of rib with depth of body and a hoof in every corner.
High Lambing Percentages (Stud aiming for 140 - 150 % lambing).
More lambs to achieve 500+grms/day (the faster we grow them, the sooner we sell them).
To produce a soft white crimpy wool of fine medium micron of about 18 to 19 micron that has the ability to handle high rainfall.
To produce good long lean meaty carcasses, with improving eye muscle depth and with a butt that you will remember.
With the advantage of high-level performance recording, the Dohne system has taken a lot of the guess work out of breeding quality sheep. At Far Valley we pay particular attention to the EMD (Eye Muscle Depth) and WWT (100 day bwt), PWT(200 day bwt), YWT(Yearling bwt) growth rates as well as other traits when selecting breeding stock. As a result we have achieved a high of 645gms/day for the first 100 days with the average being in excess of 370gms/day.
Because at least half the genetic base for the stud comes from our stud ewes, we are ever mindful that the ewes must be top performers in all areas. Through our embryo transfer program only specially selected stud ewes are flushed to ensure we make the best possible genetic progress. This is done by improving the average of the group each generation for selected traits. One of these traits is wool and last year Far Valley stud ewes' averaged 18.8micron and the stud ewe hoggets averaged 17.6micron. The entire drop of ram lambs from these ewes averaged 18.37mic with 99.75CF. Another important factor at Far Valley is the relationship between clean fleece weight and body weight called WPP % (Wool Production Potential) By maintaining through selection, an optimum WPP% of 6 (+ or - 1% for Dohnes) the improvement in the fitness traits and reproduction are enhanced.