Stonestead, Greytown was purchased in 1981 with no capital stock and this was used to our advantage, as we were able to select our own type of sheep.
Excellent lines of surplus ewe lambs and 5/ 6 year ewes were purchased, mostly from Wairere, Wai-iti and Chris Bendall, setting a good base to start Waiohine Romneys.
By accessing proven MA rams we were confident enough to use very low ram to ewe ratios for the early part of mating to maximise genetic gain. (In the extreme 1:600 for the first 10 days)
1987 was the first year of single mating and tagging at birth for Waiohine Romneys. Selection of potential recorded ewes was based on mixed age ewes that had reared a hogget lamb and never subsequently failed to rear a lamb. All 2th ewes were given the chance of entering the Waiohine Romneys recorded flock as well. These 2th ewes were single mated to superior sires and then pregnancy scanned for twins/triplets prior to decisions being made as to which would become part of the Waiohine recorded flock.
In 1992 Waiohine Romneys was invited to join the Wairarapa Romney Improvement Group. This obviously gave us an opportunity to access a larger gene pool as well as the combined enthusiasm and initiatives of the other members at an early stage of our development.
What does Waiohine Romneys stand for?
- A strong emphasis on commercial attributes of growth rates and fertility.
- Focus on market requirements (i.e. Atkins Ranch/Lean Meats).
- Quality control and accuracy of record taking (still do a lot of our own shearing).
- Client feedback –especially on performance, but also perceived faults and weaknesses.
- Providing a testing environment (despite our location).
- Still inspired by wool and have not lost focus.
- A move towards some facial eczema tolerance without compromising productivity.
- Extremely high culling margins on sale ram hoggets. Based on records and structural soundness.
- Big emphasis on survival from scanning to weaning. True losses range from 11.7% to 18%…well below industry average.
Roger & Barbie Barton
Phone: 06 3049 495
156 Underhill Road, Stonestead