EID tags critical for headwaters flock improvement

AT A GLANCE

Simon and Annabel Saunders
Location: Stag Valley, Castlerock, Northern Southland
Sheep: 5800 Headwaters breeding ewes – 1350 elite flock ewes, 1000 two-tooth ewes, 3200 mixed age ewes, 1900 hoggets
Cattle: 165 R1 dairy grazers, 100 R1 Wagyu/Dairy cross, 86 Angus MA breeding cows, 30 Angus R2 first calvers.
HDX lightweight buttons.

CHALLENGES

Breeding a crossbred sheep that suited the hill and high country.
Producing an added value product that differentiates in the marketplace.

BENEFITS

Can match DNA with EID tag, find out parentage do conception scanning and give them a birth date.
Takes the guesswork out of stock finishing.
Lift kill weights by one kilogram in lambs and decreased mean sale date. 

Stag Valley has been using Allflex EID ear tags on its elite Headwaters breeding flock since the sheep first arrived on the property in 2008. Elite flock lambs are all tagged and DNA tissue samples are routinely taken at the same time to match their DNA with their EID tag.

Simon Saunders

BACKGROUND

Stag Valley is a diverse sheep and beef breeding and finishing operation in the hill country of Northern Southland, home of the elite breeding flock of the Headwaters Group. The four-way cross of Finn, Texel, Romney and Perendale genetics was founded by Wanaka sheep breeder Andy Ramsden in 2006. It was purposely bred with high levels of fat to thrive in the New Zealand high country. The groups breeding programme targets top ewes with high fertility and resilience to produce lambs with strong growth rates and a unique content of beneficial fats that maximise their health properties and taste for qualities for consumers.