• Loddon Herald

Lambing season starts

WILL Hooke says the first weeks of the season’s lamb drop have returned good scanning rates at his Willera Merino stud.

The Serpentine stud owner hopes to join 4800 ewe lambs this year.

“The first month of dropping has been good,” he said.

Willera Merinos continues to push hard for staple length and density without compromising a free-growing plain bodied animal, allowing the stud to carry a mules free flock.

Will says genomic sampling will again be used on the flock to map genetics.

Among data captured will be wool and meat traits, number of lambs weaned and worm egg counts.

“These are important breeding values and while we’re pushing fertility growth, we still work to have a 68-70kg type of animal,” he said.

“The data helps us map the genes and will be important when we selected ram lambs for sale.”

One of the Loddon’s leading merino studs, Will and Tia Hooke are also committed to enhancing the Loddon River biodiversity with sustainable cropping and land care projects.

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