Ron Blyth, Blyth Merinos, Adelong, is breeding Merino sheep according to soft rolling skin (SRS) principles and said it is now possible for traditional breeders of Merino sheep to make their flocks easier to manage and more acceptable for both shearing and the animal welfare lobby.
“It is over 10 years since I mulesed a sheep on my farm,” Mr Blyth said.
“Concentrating on ASBVs that promote fertility with quality meat and wool with bare breeches produces offspring that require less work and gives more profit.”
Blyth Merinos will celebrate its 20th anniversary ram sale on October 4 and is proud to present the modern Merino.
The modern Blyth Merino is a plain bodied, open faced sheep with a flat wide back, bred to be totally free of skin wrinkle.
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The flock consists of 1800 stud ewes and 2500 commercial ewes, and is located at the 10,000-acre “Bobacumbola” property.
Besides having sheep which are very productive, Mr Blyth said running Merinos with bare breeches gives him more peace of mind on his farm.
“I have spent the past 20 year investing in AI and ET programs to develop a Merino that is easy care, that does not need mulesing, raises more lambs than the traditional Merinos I started with,” he explained.
“I now have a flock which also produces more high processing wool than when I started.”
Mr Blyth said Australian Merino breeders have the chance to be world leader in best practice by caring for their Australian icon and sharing in the increased rewards.