A range of different shedding breeds are coming on to the market making all sorts of claims. The fact is that all of the breeds of sheep currently available in Australia have moderate to low genetic reproduction rates. They can at significant cost be managed to attain whatever reproduction rate you want.

A recent financial analysis by Meridien Ag stated that shedders were no more profitable than composites. To be more profitable they have to be capable of producing a lot more lambs than composites or crossbreds.

The Prolific White breed contains two copies of the Booroola gene.

Every ewe produced will carry one copy of the gene and lamb at a 60% higher rate than those without the gene.

You can lift the scanning rate of your Aussie White. Dorper or Nudie by 60% in one cross without extra feeding or lowering stocking rates. The unique attribute of the Prolific White is that you can achieve in one cross an improvement in conception rate which would take 60 years to achieve by genetic selection.

John Mossop has been using the Prolific White for a few years. His aim was to have an easy care highly fertile sheep to complement his cropping operation. His scanning percentage of the Prolific White first cross was in excess of 200% and the lambing percentage was 158%. The lambs were then sold for prices between $200-230 for the entire drop.

The Prolific White has been bred as a maternal sheep. That is it is highly fecund and of moderate size. Profitability in a sheep enterprise is about kilograms of lamb produced per hectare not price per head.

Once the hype around the shedding breeds evaporates it is efficiency of production which determines which breeds prevail.

A limited number of Prolific White rams will be available for lease at $600 per year to commercial producers.

Contact Colin Earl on 0428 647 457 or at earl.kerami@bigpond.com.