Clients can be confident that Heathfield Polls will provide very positive genetics to take them into the future profitably.
We are not interested in obtaining the absolute top price for our rams, but instead price them at a point that is profitable for us and great value to our clients.
Having respect for differing breeding philosophies and types, we select outside sires that rank highly on the ASBV database whenever possible but equally do not discount rams bred with more traditional selection methods.
Environment also plays a large part in how genetics are expressed. Warmer dry climates produce sheep that grow heavier and produce more wool than cooler wetter climates. The sires we use are proven in tough environments – bred by hands-on sheep people. These sires will pass resilience on to their progeny.
We have committed to searching for, finding and using superior genetics. We do this by taking every opportunity to look for correlations within the industry that align with our vision by attending events such as sire evaluations, wether trials, flock ewe competitions, stud sales, field days, and scouring social media for information on what other poll merino studs are doing.
We have been selecting rams from studs with similar wool types and breeding strategies to our own that we believe will nick well with our sheep. We are pleased to say that we produce a very even, quality line of sale rams to pick from.
We like to get to know our clients and have a good understanding of their operation and sheep types so we can help them better match rams to their flock.
We enjoy a chat and welcome all enquiries, offering value for money, sound genetics, and honest advice and support. Talk to us about delivery options as well.
Our annual sale is held in September. Further information for 2022 will be posted closer to the day.
Can we ask you
Note: Click on a question below to read our answer.
How balanced is your flock?
Historically, our long term focus has been on breeding and selection to produce truly balanced, profitable sheep with key traits of heavy cutting stylish white wools, fine micron, frame, high lambing and weaning percentages, do-ability, calmness, and saleability. Our sheep have been built to thrive.
Do you have horned sheep?
Poll sheep are steadily becoming more popular than horned sheep. We have been breeding Poll Merinos for over 30 years as we believe they are as or more productive than horned sheep, easier to look after (including wethers) and more pleasant to handle – fewer horns to injure people or get stuck in fences, minimal fly strike on the head, and fewer issues if rams fight.
How much are your sheep cutting?
In our environment at Boorowa, our mature ewes cut an average of 6.1kg over a rolling 5 years. We take advantage of good wool cut at a finer micron to capture the market premiums – generally our sheep test at 15 to 17.5 micron. Our wools usually yield 70-71 percent.
Would you like to fine up your flock to reap the market premium? Would you like to cut at least as much wool as you do now at a finer micron?
Historically finer microns have always realised a premium over stronger wools and it makes more sense to be cutting the same or more at a lower micron to reap the benefit. Our sheep are cutting 6.1kg at 17 micron average.
Do you need prime lamb mothers with good temperaments?
Our ewes are calm, nurturing, protective mothers – not run-away Merinos.
Do you want to find and keep good shearers?
Hard, wrinkly skins are tough going for shearers. Our sheep are productive and plain bodied with loose skin that combs well and is easy to shear.
Are you over the marketing and hype associated with the selling of rams these days?
Our motto is: “No smoke, no mirrors, what you see is what you will get.”
Are you happy with your reproductive rate?
We are achieving 108% lambs on the ground to ewes joined with 1/3 of the ewes being maidens over a 5 year average. Our weaning rates are high, so we can afford to cull heavily but maintain the whole flock at a young age. This allows us to shorten the genetic interval and gain a premium for surplus ewes sold at a younger age. It also allows us to turn over improved genetics quickly.
Do your ewes carry the frame, fat and muscle at low micron to achieve very high lambing percentages?
One of our long term livestock agents refers to our sheep as “deceptively good” and when processed they “always hang up better than they look”. The proof in the pudding is the long term lambing percentages we are achieving.
How long do you join for?
To what age do you need to keep your ewes to allow for self-replacement?
The oldest ewes we join on Heathfield are 4½ years old excluding really exceptional ewes that are kept to ensure our continued genetic improvement. We don’t run a crossbred operation because we think there is more profitability in our Merinos, although the surplus ewes we sell are equally profitable as Merino or prime lamb mothers.
Would you like help with running your operation – developing a breeding aim, classing ewes, selecting rams, or management?
Steve is only too happy to provide help if it is needed. He has over 30 years hands-on experience, and coupled with a large network of passionate industry professionals to draw from, solutions can be found.