Fertility & Survivability
One of our biggest focuses here at Karbullah and the one we are most proud of is our fertility and survivability. We consistently scan our stud ewes at over 140% every year, with less than 10% dry. The national average for merino scanning percentage sits at 90%, while the national average of lamb loss from scanning to marking is 35%. We average 10% lamb loss across our entire stud flock, with some individual rams being as low as 4%. Our goal is to hit our target of 8% lamb loss in the coming year. Fertility and survivability are very important to us and our clients!
Muscle & Fat
Here at Karbullah we select heavily for carcass traits and believe it is the driver behind our higher fertility and survivability rates. We only select sires who are positive for muscle (YEMD) and fat (YFAT), with many of our sires being in the top 10% in Australia. Selection for higher carcass values also increases the hardiness and do-ability of our sheep, reflected in consistently high scanning and marking percentages throughout 2013-2019 drought (the worst in our history). Our selection on carcass has also influenced our clients’ flocks, with all our long-term clients having huge success in the fertility, lamb survivability and do-ability areas.
Worm resilience is of the upmost importance to us at Karbullah and we have spent decades perfecting this area (and we still have lots of room to improve!). We have not drenched our stud ewe base since 1992 and our rams consistently sit in the top 10% for worm resilience. Putting emphasis in this area has allowed our genetics to thrive in challenging environments across Australia and has had life-changing outcomes for our clients in high worm concentration areas. This is an area we continue to improve in – year-in, year-out.
We strive to breed the ultimate dual-purpose merino for both us and our clients. Long staple, white-lustrous wool, silky softness, deep-bold crimp, and high-density fibres are our 5 principles to producing superior wool quality. Our entire flock average sits in the top 10% for staple length (YSL) and our leading sires constantly produce fleece density that sits over 100 fibres/square ml, while the national merino average is 55 fibres/square ml. Our emphasis on wool quality allows us to shear our adult sheep every 6 months, cutting an average of 3.5kg of 70mm, 19-micron wool. With the international focus on non-mulesed wool and the introduction of Responsible Wool Standards (RWS), we are now getting very nice premiums, that makes wool one of our main profit drivers.
Temperament is high on our agenda. It is strongly linked to lamb survivability and that makes it of the upmost importance to us. Along with carcass, worm resilience and wool quality, temperament is paramount in our sire selection. As mentioned before, temperament increases lamb survivability, but it also leads to easy-to-handle sheep in the yards, in the shed and in the paddock. We pride ourselves on our sheep that sit calmly in the race or draft, our ewes that stay with their lambs in the paddock and our rams that can be easily tied up on our open and sale days. This is an underrated trait that has hugely impacted our clients in all areas.
More lambs, superior wool quality, increased hardiness and do-ability, bigger carcass values, less worm burden and quiet temperament all equal one thing. PROFIT!
High fertility and survivability, more fat & muscle, less worm burden, quiet temperament
= more lambs!
More lambs = surplus ewes, more wethers, more rams and more wool to sell.
Superior wool quality, non-mulesed, RWS Standards
= large premiums for wool.
Large carcass values
= higher dressing percentage and more $ for wethers.
At the end of the day, we do what we do to improve the profitability, the passion and the lifestyle of ourselves, our clients, and the future generations.