Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Dohnes Perform in Merino Sire Evaluations


DOHNES perform in Merino sire evaluation, the entire sheep industry benefits from credible comparisons of productivity.

In Australia, the leading authority that oversees these trials for the wool industry is AMSEA, the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association.

The Dohne Merino represents an alternative ewe breed for commercial Merino producers. Because Dohne’s are run as a separate analysis to Merinos, comparisons are not readily available. Sire evaluations allow subjective and objective, within flock and across flock, comparisons with their Merino counterpart. Since 2002 18 Dohne sires from across Australia have been used in 5 sire evaluations across 5 states.

Comparisons since 2002 show that compared to Merinos, Dohne sires have:
• Higher Weaning Weight
• Higher Post Weaning Weight
• Higher Eye Muscle and Fat Depth
• Higher Reproduction Rate
• Lower Breech Wrinkle
• Higher Staple Strength
• Slightly Higher Fibre Diameter
• Slightly Lower Fleece Weight

Balmoral, Victoria is the site of the AWI funded and AMSEA delivered, Merino Lifetime Productivity project. The site is one of five sites that will see 134 sires, 5,500 ewes, close to 2 million pieces of data collected and analysed to explore the drivers of lifetime productivity. These measurements include growth, carcase, wool production and quality, including visual traits, along with reproduction data.

Based on four years of data analysed, Dohne progeny showed superior early maturity with a 5.9kg above average post weaning weight, a trait leader for eye muscle depth, a slight increase in micron of 0.3um, and a 9% reduction in CFW.

Dohne progeny are trait leading in:
• Weaning Weight
• Post Weaning Weight + Weight Gain [Weaning to Yearling]
• Adult Pre Joining Weight Gain [Weaning to Joining]
• Eye Muscle
• Fat
• Condition Score
• Breech Cover
• Breech Wrinkle
• Conformation
• Fleece Rot
• Conception
• Foetus Rate
• Litter Size
• Weaning Rate

Results Emphasise the Consistency of the Dohne Performance in the 2016 MLP Project


Kg of Lambs Weaned per Ewes Joined
A2 stage – 32% higher than flock average for Kg lambs weaned/No. of ewes joined (5.8kg).
A3 stage – 33% higher than flock average on Kg lambs weaned/No. of ewes joined (7.2kg).

Number of Lambs Weaned (Research Breeding Values)
A2 stage – 21% above flock average for number of lambs weaned per ewe joined.
A3 stage – 23% above flock average for number of lambs weaned per ewe joined.

Fleece Weight
A4 stage – just 9% reduction in CFW based on the flock breeding value.

Fibre Diameter (FD)
A4 – 0.3um actual above the average.

Fibre Diameter Coefficient of Variation (%) (FDCV)
A4 – 0.8 actual above the average.

Balmoral Sire Evaluation 2019 Drop. Adjusted Sire Means for Post Weaning Weight show the progeny of the Dohne ahead of the flock average.

Just as exciting are the results from the Balmoral Sire Evaluation 2019 drop (Post Weaning update, and preliminary results).

Dohne progeny had superior early maturity with a 10.6kg Flock Breeding Value (FBV) above the flock average at post weaning and near flock average fibre diameter and fleece weight (-0.1um Fibre Diameter and -1% Clean Fleece Weight).

Assessment of visual traits also highlighted some of the Dohnes strengths.

To assist people moving to cease mulesing and to assist those who have already made the change, Dohne progeny showed 0.6 improvement in breech wrinkle score (1.5 visual score) and 0.2 improvement in breech cover score (2.8 visual score).

Councillor Allen Kelly with Murray Rogerson from Stirling Dohne Stud Glenthompson VIC viewing the 2019 drop Dohne progeny at the 2020 Balmoral Sire Evaluation Field Day.

Practical Guide
Dohne Database