Hinenui Genetics breed maternal Coopworth and Romney rams. We use the New Zealand Maternal Worth Index (NZMW) to identify genetically superior animals to breed from. The NZMW is an industry standard index for dual purpose sheep based on Reproduction, Lamb Survival, Lamb Growth + Adult Size, and Wool production. Hinenui Genetics also has a strong focus on breeding sheep with a high Meat Index and exceptionally high levels of tolerance to Facial Eczema.
Reproduction (DPCR): The Reproduction Index for each animal is calculated from the number of lambs produced per year per animal. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
Pregnancy Scanning – every animal mated is pregnancy scanned and her expected number of lambs born is recorded. Based on the size of the foetus, each animal is assigned a predicted lambing date.
Lamb Survival (DPS): The Lamb Survival Index for each animal is calculated from an animals pregnancy scanning results comparative to the number of lambs raised. It also takes into account a ewes mothering ability including milk production. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
Pregnancy Scanning- Every animal mated is pregnancy scanned and her expected number of lambs born is recorded
Identify Parentage- At docking time each lamb has a small tissue sample taken from their ear which provides us with their DNA profile that we use to assign their parentage. All lambs are electronically identified by inserting an electronic identification tag (EID) in their ear at docking time. This is used to track and record their individual performance data throughout their lifetime.
Lamb Growth (DPG): The Lamb Growth for each animal is calculated from their weight recorded at various intervals from birth until 12 months old. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
The weight of the animal at weaning (WWT), 8 months old (LW8) and 12 months old (LW12).
Adult Size (DPA): The Adult Size index for each animal is calculated by their weight at mating time each year.
Wool Production (DPW): The Wool Index for each animal is calculated from an animals fleece weight at 12 months of age. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
Fleece Weighing- At 12 months of age the animals are shorn for the second time since birth. The fleece is weighed and the weight for each fleece is recorded for every animal.
Meat (DPM): The Meat Index for each animal is calculated based on a number of measurements from an animals carcass meat yield. A selection of ram hoggets are used for data collection that provide a strong representation of each sire group. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
Eye Muscle Scanning- At around 10 months of age an ultra-sound is performed on a selection of ram hoggets to measure the length and width of the eye muscle, and depth of fat between the eye muscle and the skin. The eye muscle area is a definite indicator to total meat yield. Because both eye muscle area, and fat depth are about as heritable as growth rate, very significant gains can be made if scanning data is used.
CT Scanning- Between 10-12 months of age we send a selection of ram hoggets down to Lincoln University in Christchurch to be CT scanned. The CT scanner gives a detailed cross-section image of the animal and is able to determine with accuracy the fat and lean in a carcass without having to send the animal to slaughter.
Facial Eczema (DPX): The Facial Eczema Index for each animal is calculated based on an animals ability to tolerate a facial eczema (FE) challenge. The data we record on farm to calculate this index includes:
RamGuard- RamGuard is a service to identify the most tolerant rams in our flock. It supplies sporodesmin (the toxin that causes FE) and analysis of the GGT levels found in the tested rams. A selection of animals are dosed with a quantity of sporodesmin based on their weight and the increase in level of GGT found in their blood over 21 days is measured.