Breeding Goals

Our breeding goal is and has always been to produce Merino sheep that areThe Right Balance between Wool and Meat’ They are easy-care, quick maturing, plain-bodied, highly fertile, productive and predictable-performance sheep with heavy fleece weights, advanced skins and quality meat and wool performance traits - that can be adjusted easily and rapidly to take advantage of changing markets.

In keeping with the times and in further striving to meet our goal as well as in increasing client accountability, we are members of Sheep Genetics Australia and Merino Select.  We are measuring ASBV’s of carcase traits, body weight, eye muscle depth, weight gain and fat depth.  While already confident with our micron and fleece weights; we will use these extra figures to benchmark our sheep against our peers.

We select and breed for three main profit drivers: fertility, wool and carcase traits - and we achieve remarkable consistency throughout the flock.

 Fertility

All ewes are run under a lamb or carcase regime – she has to wean a lamb or become a carcase! All dry ewes are culled and there is high emphasis placed on twinning and multiple births.

We achieve:

  • The big impact of early maturity
  • Doing ability – they need to be proven performers
  • Return pregnancies under all conditions
  • Identification of twin bearers and feed accordingly
  • Early joining – ewe lambs are joined at 9-10 months to hasten genetic gain of wool and meat traits
  • Identification of mothers who have the lowest lamb lost percentages and the highest lambs weaned history.
  • Ewes with superior milking ability – they have enough energy to produce a good supply of milk, allowing the lambs to grow quickly.
  • Sheep who are easy care and low maintenance
 

Wool - One half of the Right Balance!

Classing is carried out twice a year to ensure maximum performance in all sheep

  • All ewes are classed and mated annually
  • Wool must be long, lustrous and suint-free, well-defined and deeply crimped.
  • Wool must be white and soft and have a comfort factor above 99%
  • High fibre density and length must be present – skins on our sheep are plain, uncomplicated and give predictable fleece performance
  • Heavy fleece weights
  • Plain bodies = easier shearing = easy care

 

Blue Shearing Services has been associated with GullenGamble Merino Stud since 2002. GullenGamble rams are used in over 20% of the sheep in my run. GullenGamble sheep are thin skinned and uncomplicated, which are a type highly preferred by shearers. Over the past eight years increases in size, early maturity of lambs, wool weights, and softness of handle have been very noticeable to those of my clients and wool classers, since the change over to GullenGamble blood lines. This type of sheep suits the modern international pattern of shearing that has been taught for the last 10-15 years. Contractors who rely on peak season shearers will have a better chance of the more professional and organised travelling and international shearers returning in each season for easier shearing sheep such as those from GullenGamble. Just as importantly, learner shearers are able to get their numbers up more quickly, and are more likely to stay in the industry.

Ralph Blue - Blue Shearing Services, Yeoval

Carcase - the other half of the Right Balance!

Give the processors what they want – kg gained in the first 12 months are the most valuable.

  • GullenGamble Merinos are able to obtain the cross-bred price for a merino wether lamb carcase.
  • Skins are plain and rib free
  • We select for early maturity and high growth rate in well muscled sheep with good fat cover.
  • GullenGamble lamb carcases consistently average over 24kg dressed weight and have the right balance of weight gain and muscle and fat cover.
  • Predictable performance in weight gains of between 280 – 440 grams/day is expected
  • Sheep are bare breached – no mulesing is needed
  • GullenGamble sheep are well above the national average as seen in Sheep Genetics and Merino Select figures.
  • Positive conformation traits are of utmost importance as the commercial value of carcasees is partially based on visual assessment of conformation.

I have had the privilege of marketing the GullenGamble livestock for the previous 4 years. It is after seeing the results from over the hook sales and the open auction fat sales that I can say with the utmost confidence that GullenGamble blood sheep are the best performing merino sheep that I have been involved in. With merino lambs dressing at 51% and skin values comparable to best crossbred skins, the GullenGamble lambs have been outstanding performers commanding a premium from processors. At the prime lamb market the GullenGamble lambs through their plain bodied presentation and bloom of finish command the same positive attention. I have no hesitation in recommending these sheep to anyone who is interested and welcome any enquiry from producers interested in achieving similar results.

Tim Wiggins - Christie and Hood, Dubbo

 Breeding for the environment - Conformation/Constitution

  • All GullenGamble sheep must be structurally correct and we have spent years working on this critical point.  We like our sheep to have long and deep plain bodies with long neck extension and large velvet ears.  They must stand correctly and present as the best of their type in the classing box or they do not pass the strict criteria we set ourselves.
  • Conformation reflects muscle framework, especially muscle deepness which is an important trait when retail products are whole carcases or joints. Conformation improvement increases carcase yield and muscle yield as well as an increase in muscle to bone ratio.