Arimba White Dorpers was founded on 2 ewe hoggets purchased in 2002 which were the result of an early importation of embryo from Australia to Meatmaster Stud. The intention was to run the White Dorpers alongside our commercial deer as I like the concept of farming complementary species. However, limited acreage and the pressure of urbanization has encouraged us to move out of deer and apply ourselves to a White Dorper stud project for which I have developed a passion.
It is clear that the first goal of building up to 100 PB breeding ewes is going to be an important achievement as from then on our selection pressure will increase and I am anticipating a steady improvement in quality aided by objective measurement.
To date our main concern has been to produce a sound sheep with vigorous constitution. I am very conscious that in a small flock situation there could be too much input which could mask what we are looking for – robust constitution. I am anxious to ensure rams that are sold will do a good job for the purchaser and will not fail through poor constitution. For that reason only rams which have had minimal input are presented for sale as sires.
Our foundation sire was via semen imported from Australia from Kotze Alliance 3/03. It is interesting to see that he has the most registrations of any White Dorper ram in Australia. He was well muscled and nice type when I saw him prior to negotiating purchase of semen.
The next AI sire was Matchless A038 and he put muscle into the progeny.
These two AI sires have been supported in various seasons by leased rams from Belfield Park, Sunnyvale and Batach.
Throughout our build up period we have had ET and/ or AI programmes . This has resulted in at least one above average ram lamb each year which has then been used as a back up ram to our artificial breeding programme. No ram has been retained to date but on reflection I know that females by Arimba 4/09 (by Kotze Alliance 3/03) and Arimba 188/11(by Matchless144) are in our better group of females.
For 2012 season we were fortunate to be able to acquire all the semen from Terraweena Gert when the Terraweena Stud in Australia was dispersed. This has been a valuable acquisition as the progeny are impressive with good bone, conformation and muscling with excellent cover. This will be the first year that we will retain our best ram lamb as an ongoing flock sire.
For the 2013 season African 200/11 semen was used. Along with 4 other White Dorper breeders and headed by Bill Lott ( Sunnyvale) who acted for the syndicate semen was imported from this impressive young ram for the 2013 season . There should be 200 plus offspring on the ground this year from a wide ewe base so we will have a good ability to assess how good he is.
At Arimba this season there should be 80 purebred lambs born (most pure background but some from appendix ewes) so it will be interesting to see how they develop and a great opportunity to compare the offspring from each of the four rams used. The mix of sires includes African 200/11 semen, Arimba 250/12 ( son of Gert) who was used over appendix ewes and lesser pures, and two rams from Sunnyvale – SV 157/08(Costa) was used for hogget matings and SV 25/11 was used as back up to AI programme .
There will be continuing selection for type ( as per African Grading system) , supported by objective measurement ( SIL) and a focus on basic farm productivity goals of 100 day weaning weight , fertility ( hogget mating and twinning) and constitution.
Our focus is to produce quality terminal sires (especially for hogget mating) .In addition , for lifestyle farm situations the shedding ability of the White Dorper is a major benefit for ease of management in small maternal line flocks so this is a market to consider as well by selling commercial quality ewes.
There will be annual AI/ET programmes to bring in new genetics and to capitalise on the genetic improvement prior breeding decisions have created.
Ewe sales will be primarily 2ths as, in my opinion, these are the best value animal for the purchaser to acquire good genetics with all their productive life ahead of them. However, once we have established a flock size of 100 PB ewes then an option will be to sell commercial quality ewes to make way for better quality young stock to be retained.
For ram sales we are constantly striving for superior genetics so will always offer all sire quality 2 ths except for the occasional top ram which would be retained for own use. Hopefully this will allow our clients the opportunity to progress with us in our goal for the ideal NZ White Dorper.
We are currently blood sampling to acquire Dermatosparaxis clear flock status.
We are Br ovis clear.
All stock are vaccinated with Covexin 10 and all females are vaccinated with Toxovax as hoggets.
Internal parasite control is administered on an as required basis rather than mob treatment.
Formula 5 mineral drench is given at least twice per year (premating and prelambing). This contains selenium , cobalt, copper, Iodine and Zinc.