Gemini sale to highlight performance and breeding advancements
Janine Elen, Outriders Media
30th July 2021
Selection of Gemini Prime Lambs high performance flock rams.
The 23rd annual on-property Gemini Prime Lamb Sires spring sale will offer a draft of rams highlighting the breeding advancements and many improvements the stud has introduced in recent years.
120 White Suffolk rams and 20 Suffolk rams are up for auction at the Wednesday 20 October sale, including 15 specially selected rams with unique attributes and stud ram potential.
For stud principal Craig Mitchell, the stud’s 23rd sale represents another step forward in showcasing the successful breeding and performance recording program the stud operates.
“We focus on the top end of performance with emphasis on lambing ease and low birth weights with high growth and positive fat,” he said.
“We’ve always been a very performance-focused stud and we’re now focusing on traits like lean meat yield and intermuscular fat through DNA testing.”
Gemini introduced DNA testing six years ago but has intensified the program over the past few years to further improve meat-eating traits whilst maintaining the stud’s performance benchmarks for all other traits, including lower birth weight and high growth.
“I think we’re improving every year because of our performance recording and DNA testing,” Craig said.
“We’ve focused on improving birthweights, lamb survival, our ASVBs, and also structure; the rams have to be structurally correct, robust and strong to get the maximum number of live lambs on the ground.”
For the first time, Gemini Prime Lambs will be offering a new line of American Suffolk genetics the stud has used in their embryo transfer program. The two ET Suffolk sires present with different performance traits and will add value to Suffolk breeders looking to advance their flocks.
Selected progeny of the ET sires will feature in this year’s line-up of sale rams. “These Suffolk rams present a very different bloodline and a different style of sheep,” Craig said. “We look forward to presenting those rams in a few months”.
Progeny by Gemini 170470, one of the leading performance White Suffolk rams in Australia is also a sale highlight. Gemini Prime Lamb sold 170470 to Bundarra Downs but has retained this sire’s semen and expects strong interest in his sons.
Buyers can be assured of the Gemini’s health status with all rams’ brucellosis accredited and MN3 and vaccinated for Johne’s disease. “We’re very particular about the health status of our sheep. We’re basically a quarantine farm – only sheep with the same health status come on our property,” Craig said.
The auction will be on-property at Werneth, Wednesday October 20 and online through AuctionsPlus.