Profitability in a self-replacing maternal package

Icon Southies are a fast growing, early maturing terminal sire.

Chrome Sheep Studs cover all bases when it comes to specialist prime lamb production with self-replacing maternal and terminal sires.

Based at Hamilton in Victoria’s western district, the mainstay of the ram breeding operation at Chrome has been their productive self-replacing maternal flock, across their Chromedale, Perendale and Coopworth bloodlines.

The Chromedales have been the signature breed for a number of years now, as more producers moved over to self-replacing their prime lamb dams.

The self-replacing maternals offer producers the opportunity to take control of the ewe flock, enabling selection for a variety of profitable maternal traits.

These include high fertility, great mothering ability, tough feet, resistance to worms, and successful ewe lamb matings.

“All these traits add up to an easy care resilient breeding ewe, capable of toughing it out in the extreme conditions Australia delivers,” Chrome principal Matthew Tonissen said.

“Selection for moderate adult weight has been a priority, aiming at producing an efficient medium framed breeding ewe.”

Mr Tonnissen said the Icon Southie had been a real success story and a great initiation, bred to supply a fast growing, early maturing terminal sire.

The Icon Southie is also suitable for terminal sire lambings out of maidens and ewe lambs.

“Now predominantly Southdown genetics, the lambs hit the ground running and their early maturing attributes result in a soft easy doing lamb that is marketable straight off mum or easily finished,” Mr Tonnissen said.

Continued strong demand sees a sell-out of Icon Southie rams every year to date.

The Icon Poll Dorset portion of the terminal sires at Chrome offer a stable traditional meat sheep option with a difference.

“Shorter in the leg, early maturing and lots of muscle makes for easy soft doing sheep with great shape and carcase,” Mr Tonnissen said.

“Gone are the days of big, long, leggy slow maturing terminal sires.

“Lambs sired from moderate, high growth but fast maturing sires are the way of the future.”

Chrome Sheep Studs will display rams at the Henty Machinery Field Days at site 1047 Block V.