The 7000 ewes on The Wolds Station are strong by New Zealand standards. They average around 20 micron and the hoggets average around 19 micron.
The station is mainly flat, consisting of about 20% hill country and the remainder uncultivatable rolling hills and some irrigated flats. There is not much land below 2000 feet so it’s reasonably cold country. It runs big frame productive ewes.
Being basically a breeding operation, it is important to have a quality ewe flock as it generates the income on the station.
Australian sheep classer Gordon McMaster selects the ewe replacements and advises which rams to purchase to help achieve breeding objectives.
“We are looking for sheep with free growing wool that is fairly lengthy. The skin has to be well-nourished and be deeper purple in colour rather then pink. When looking at the sheep it’s the plainer type sheep with a good solid frame that suit us best.”
From 3700 ewe hoggets, only 1300 are selected to go into the flock as two-tooths.
“The rougher ewes are mated to a terminal sire. These ewes are bagged to identify dries. Any ewe, except a two-tooth, that isn’t in lamb is culled. There is also a strict culling policy for rams. They are side sampled each year and any that don’t continue to make the criteria are culled.”