Open Nucleus System

In addition to conventional ram breeding systems, studs linked to large commercial flocks are encouraged to screen commercial ewes and to promote the most productive ewes to ram breeding flocks. This promotes hardiness. The large numbers involved enable selection pressure to be increased to enhance genetic progress.

Group Breeding Schemes

Individual studs contribute their most superior ewes on a regular basis to Ram Breeding Nucleus studs for the purpose of breeding more productive sires. A number of these Nucleus Flocks operate most successfully in different regions.

Sire Reference Schemes

To enhance selection accuracy, and to monitor progress with greater objectivity, two Sire Reference Schemes are operated by Dohne breeders in different geographic areas. Reference Sires are joined by means of AI in participating studs, establishing the genetic links required to make across-flock comparisons of sires, dams and progeny by means of a BLUP Animal Model. Superior sires and the best unproven rams are identified and catalogued for further use in studs, as well as in AI and embryo programmes.

Text Box: Advanced Breeding Systems

A Successful Concept

The development of the Dohne Merino in South Africa has set new standards for sheep breeding for all breeds, both at home and abroad. The versatility of the breed makes it suitable for production systems and environments where conventional woolled sheep are less productive. The concept of a hardy, fertile, dual-purpose sheep in which high quality fine wool and slaughter lamb production is combined, has proved most acceptable in South Africa, and could be extended to other countries. The system of performance recording and breeding applied by the Society, has proved to be highly effective.

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Text Box: The breed to meet the demands of the current economic climate!