Highlanders provide maternal traits to drive productivity and profitability that result in an efficient self replacing ewe.
Focusing on traits that are important for self-replacing breeding flocks, the Highlander is a low maintenance ewe that is resilient and rears healthy, fast growing lambs. They incorporate traits that are essential for self replication and survival under adverse conditions.
Highlanders bred as a maternal composite are a highly efficient animal that drive profitability via their moderate adult weight of 65kgs while weaning up to 180%. Their fast maturing lambs can achieve a trade market weight of 23kgs within 18 weeks.
“The biggest advantage our clients see is the moderate ewe size, coupled with immediate increases in fertility and survival from the first cross. They also deliver in terms of efficiency per hectare, manageability and the shearers love them.
The Highlanders are excellent mothers from day-dot. The weaning percentage is what’s really amazing. We lose very few lambs with very little input.
Survival is extremely high. Many customers find they increase survival and decrease adult weight from the first joining.”
Stud Manager Karrawarra Pastoral
The Highlander® breeding program focuses on breeding an efficient self replacing ewe. In our program we measure reproduction from mating ewe lambs onwards, lamb growth, survival, adult weight and wool traits. In addition to these traits, we are incorporating robustness and longevity traits by measuring worm resilience, ewe rearing ability, ewe body condition score and ewe stayability.
The Highlander index is focused heavily on maternal traits for the ewe’s lifetime performance with greater emphasis on reproduction. We measure reproduction from mating ewe lambs onwards, lamb growth, survival, adult weight and wool traits. In addition to these traits, we are incorporating robustness and longevity traits by measuring worm resilience, ewe rearing ability, ewe body condition score and ewe stayability.
Highlanders are notoriously hardy sheep. Our focus on lower mature adult weight means you have to feed your flock less whilst still getting high yields.
The Highlander breeding program has included parasite resilience over many years which, along with ewe body condition score and stayability traits, are incorporated into the index.
Emphasis in the Highlander Index on lamb survival in addition to ewe body condition score and stayability, significantly contributes to the sheep industry’s wellbeing performance indicators.
“The Karrawarra’s Highlander breeding program commenced in earnest embarking on a two-year program utilising 1800 embryos across its commercial ewe base. Embryo selection was undertaken in New Zealand with a team of vets and geneticists determining capture of genetically superior animals and ensuring genetic diversity.”
Karrawarra Pastoral runs a commercial flock of over 8100 Highlander maternal self-replacing ewes. A testament to the success of the Highlander and FocusPrime breeds, our commercial flock has achieved genetic gain year on year.
This gain validates our breeding practices as we strive for commercial success that we can pass on to you.
“It takes 20% less feed to maintain a 65kg ewe than it does to maintain a 85kg ewe and if you’re feeding 1000 ewes for a week, that is (a) $400 saving. As well as this, we aim to have ewes lambing down at twelve months, which increases productivity over the lifetime of the ewe”
The FocusPrime rams we bought in Feb 2020 have produced high growth progeny with remarkable survival rates out of easy doing highly fertile Highlander Ewes. The Xbred lambs have great hybrid vigour looks with square backs and early maturing attributes. We also found Hannah very helpful and feel confident she knows what it takes to breed a ram that suits our business. Charbel Rizk – Nerinyerrie, Harrow VIC