Sheep genetics from the One Stop Ram Shop owned by Robin Hilson have been exported to countries around the world including Australia, Chile and the USA.
Following a recent visit to Brazil, there are two new countries set to benefit from the purebred and stabilised crossbred ram providers.
Brazilians can’t get enough sheep meat. Currently 90% of lamb is supplied to Brazil from neighbouring Uruguay and the high quality Texel or Dorper meat is reserved for those wealthy enough to afford it.
Local production is small in Brazil with only 16.8 million sheep, however the genetics produced by the One Stop Ram Shop will help to change that.
“Much of what our local industry does could be adapted to conditions in Brazil and Uruguay.”
The three week visit included sessions with agricultural academics keen to learn more about New Zealand’s sheep breeding techniques.
“New Zealanders are viewed by Brazilians as being the world’s best when it comes to sheep production.”
Robin says well marketed, chilled New Zealand lamb sheep meat would be profitable amongst the health conscious consumers and well suited to the traditional Brazilian methods of cooking over hot coals.
With 12 different breeds of rams produced for individual farmers’ expectations and environments, the One Stop Ram Shop is oriented to the farmer.
“The use of records is critical as farmers become more specific about what they want.
“We’re aiming to produce easy-care ewes, producing plenty of lambs with high survival rates and we’re confident we are achieving that.”
The Texel-Finn-New Zealand ewes have performed well through 2011 lambing with the toughness of the Texel complementing the high fertility and survival rates of the Finn with the established confidence in New Zealand genetics.
“The sheep consistently produce twins and very few triplets giving another advantage to the crossbreed.”
Other breeds producing outstanding results include the Dorpers. Since 2000 the One Stop Ram Shop have been mating Dorper ewes naturally to produce lambs every seven months.
Year-round lambing was first trialled by Robin with NZ sheep breeds in the early 1990’s but the programme was costly with supplementary feed and chemicals to boost conception rates. The Dorpers have provided a natural alternative and now offer a sustainable option for year-round production.