In 2008, Cranmore Merino stud, at Walebing, east of Moora, proudly celebrated one hundred years of Merino breeding.
The Cranmore Park property has consistently bred white-woolled, plain bodied sheep for five generations. Right from our origins in 1906 with Peppin bloodline from Boonoke, our focus has been on sheep with quality wool, well packed but free from body wrinkles.
Over time, we have kept to those original objectives, carefully defining our goals and making suitable modifications to produce an environmentally friendly Merino. Today, 100 years on, Cranmore’s tradition of easy-care sheep bred for Australian conditions continues.
Cranmore’s sheep have compared favourably with other studs in sire evaluation schemes in terms of measured data such as greasy fleece weight, fibre diameter and body weight and objective measurements.
Trials carried out by the Department of Agriculture in December 2005 found the average body weight of one hundred black and white tag (2000 and 2001 drop respectively) Cranmore ewes to be above the trial average, weighing in at an average of 63.1 kilograms.
The easy-care Cranmore ram
Recent fine tuning has produced a line of bare breeched rams and progeny. The 2007-drop ram lambs have shown a consistent trend to the bare breech characteristic without any reduction in fleece weight. Some of the bare breeched ram lambs recorded an 8% increase in fleece weight compared to other ram lambs shorn in late April. This feature is seen consistently throughout the flock, with a large number of rams showing the wrinkle-free, bare breech trait.
A mules-free flock?
Recent research indicates that a combination of the bare breech area and wrinkle-free skin is crucial to aiding fly strike resistance. To make them even easier to care for, Cranmore sheep have also been selected for low faecal worm egg counts, so only minimal drenching is necessary.
All of this means that there is great potential for establishing a mules-free flock because sheep with these qualities will remain dry throughout the year, reducing the likelihood of fly strike.