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EWE FOR YOU!
here to view images of Finn-Merinos)
In Australia the
Finn-Merino is the prime lamb mother of the future. Below we see the
Finn-Merino cross compared to the traditional first cross:
Border Leicester: 160-180%
First Cross Ewe: 125-135%
Finn-Merino: 175% PLUS
words 1,000 ewes will produce at very least 400 more lambs. If an average price
were $40 (net), this would mean an extra $16,000 plus per year! And we all know
that prices lately have been much better than that and that the net on the
second lamb is much greater than on the first! This represents an improvement
in profitability of 250% plus - see FINNSHEEP
Of course if you have superior fertility Merino genetics (such as Keri Keri @ 140%) an infusion of Finnish Landrace genetics at
say 25% (eg by crosing with
one of our Finn-Merinos) should lift your Merino lambing by about 30%
to around180% plus.
On excellent fed such sheep should be able to be shorn twice per year. If you
can select for four-titters, you will have unbeatable sheep. The
Finn-Friesian-Merino and Finn-Texel-Merino are also
shaping up as superior breeds.
Finn crosses (eg Finn-Romneys)
have cut 5-6 kilos of wool every 9 months. The Finn-Merino's generally under-25
micron wool has been attracting prices comparable to that of similar
and some breeders have achieved better prices.
WHOLE NEW BALL-GAME!
here to view images of Finn-Friesians)
the East Friesian sheep to Australian farmers. The sheep were in
quarantine in New Zealand
for three and one half years having been imported from Scandinavia,
and have undergone compulsory rigorous testing for Scrapie,
Johnes disease & etc. During this time they were
crossed with a number of breeds and had their progress carefully monitored. At
the end of that time an auction of surplus animals was held. Six-month old pure
Friesian rams sold to $28,000, and various Friesian crosses to $3,500! This
surely indicates the extent of the interest across the Tasman at the time, and
should be a reasonable guide to the potential of the breed both as a milking
strain and as a maternal breed in prime lamb production in Australia.
Friesian is a large sheep (ewes 85-95 kg unjoined)
from the Dutch-German border where it is the basis of a sheep milking industry
as the best may produce 500-600 litres of milk over a 210-230 day lactation. It is worth noting that most of the
world's milking sheep have about 3/8ths Finn and 1/8th Friesian. In France
Finn-Friesian crosses' milk is used to produce the famous Roquefort cheese, and
Pecorino in Italy.
imports approximately $10 million worth of sheep milk products per year and
some industry figures suggest there is an untapped export market of in excess
of $50 million.
It has a
fecundity of around 150+ and its lambs growth and leanness are spectacular.
East-Friesian-Romney crosses in New
Zealand grew at an average of 412 g per day
for the first twelve days of life, and thereafter averaged 360 g per day to 7
weeks when they averaged 23.3 kg! Friesian cross lambs here have been excelling
in growth and leanness in various studies. This was over 100 g per day greater
than the traditional Border Leicester-Romney cross over there, a fact which
augurs well for crossing them with Merinos here. There is a potential to utilise this growth by producing meat-Friesian cross rams
for use as terminal sires, eg 75% Texel+
25% Friesian are becoming popular in NZ
Finn-Friesians grew at nearly 500g per day for the first month of life and
weighed 20-25 kg at 28 days, and 40-45 kg at 75 days! Only our Finns have done bettter than that.Our Finn ram
No.96.85 was 47 kg at 75 days on straight pasture. His progeny outgrew all
others at Hamilton
very lean on the outside of the carcass (moreso than
the Texel) with most
of the body fat inside. This factor together with their growth rate makes them ideal
for producing three types of lamb: beta lambs with a carcass weight of under 10 kg at 2-3 weeks, sucker lambs at 6-10 weeks and
heavy weight lambs at over 25 kilos with very little fat.
shore 4.5-5 kg of 37 micron white wool. They have a thin, bare tail similar to
the Finn: in effect they are naturally mulesed.
Finns and Friesians can pass this characteristic onto their stable crossbreeds
with careful selection, thus eliminating the need for tail docking.
Finn-Friesians have the following characteristics: ewes to 90 kg; milk
production in excess of 2 litres per day, wool @ 4.5
kg plus and approx 30 micron, super-lean carcass, extremely fast growing,
fecundity about 250% with superior lamb survival rate. Nearly all our
Finn-Friesians had three lambs or better and most raised them quite
satisfactorily in the paddock. Indeed the average triplet at weaning was
exactly the same weight as the average twin and above 25 kg!
that a flock of Finn-Friesians would produce as well as an average flock of
diary goats. We have many who have raised a total lamb weight of 80kg plus at
weaning at 12 weeks on very ordinary pastures (we have been in drought for
three years), and this represents a lot of milk! Mind you, our best Finn
produced 105 kg of lamb in the same time!
BEST PRIME LAMB SHEEP!
here to view images of Finn-Texels)
is currently dominating prime lamb production in Europe. This stable cross
was first developed in the Netherlands
and there called the New Hollander, (an appropriate name for Australia if
there ever was one). It combines the best of the two parent breeds. From the Texel we get excellent
muscling, hardiness, good growth, and a dense protective fleece. From the Finn
comes fertility, growth, leanness, good mothering, excellent milking ability,
hardiness and a softer fleece. Thousands of these sheep are producing 200%
lambing also in New Zealand in rough hill country, and their lambs (produced by
mating them back to Texel rams) meet the highest carcass
standards. These sheep are as hardy as Perendales and
Cheviots but produce more and better lambs. They are great sheep for tough
conditions and may be the most efficient and productive prime lamb producers in
the world. One New Zealand
studmaster is selling 1500 rams per year; his rams
alone joining 3%+ of all NZ sheep! (See Sheepak and
One Stop Ram Shop in GIPPFINN
FINNSHEEP NEWS )
using Finn-Texel (50:50 or25:50) over other Finncrosses (eg Finn-Merinos to
grade them up to Finn-Texels. The best mix to aim for
is probably about 37.5 Finn: 62.5 Texel.
This cross's heavy weight lambs produced from a terminal ram (in New Zealand
Suffolk-Oxford Down and Dorper cross rams are a
rising choices) have to be seen to be believed...
| & Della Jones,
Gippfinn Finnsheep Stud
RMB 4518, Morwell
(Internationally) 613 51223328
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