Wilfield Sheep Stud

 
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Testimonial: Marble Point

Chris Flynn is very pleased with the quality of rams he buys from Wilfield and says that Robin, Pip and Gavin Wilson are progressive breeders who are “keeping up with the latest technology without going over the top.”

Three years into his tenure as manager at Marble Point Station between Culverden and Hanmer Springs, Chris Flynn is continuing to enjoy success with the Corriedale breed.

Chris first ran Corriedales when he was Stock manager at Glynn Wye in the Lewis Pass, where he dramatically lifted the flock’s performance through meticulous ram selection and careful management.

Chris originally hales from Southland where his family ran Romneys and he has spent much of his life working in the South Island’s High Country with Merinos but he has found the Corriedale to be well suited to Marble Point.

“They are a great breed of sheep on the right country.”

Chris first used Wilfield Corriedale rams at Glynn Wye for five years before continuing with them at Marble Point. He is very pleased with the quality of rams he buys from Wilfield and says that Robin, Pip and Gavin Wilson are progressive breeders who are “keeping up with the latest technology without going over the top.”

Chris says the Wilfield rams have provided him with greater nourishment in his flocks’ wool and more condition over the loin and back pins which he believes will be the key to lifting lambing percentage. Lambing last year was 119% (lambs weaned/ewes mated) but Chris is expecting to lift this from 2013 onwards, as he did at Glynn Wye.

When Chris takes over the running of the 400ha Lower Farm later this year in conjunction with Marble Point, he will run 9-year-old Glynn Wye Corriedale ewes there and is confident that they will achieve lambing above 140%, which they have proven themselves capable of before now.

This longevity is a feature of the Corriedale breed and while Chris says he wouldn’t normally run ewes to this age, it is serving a purpose with the addition of that block this year and he is confident the ewes are up to it. He says other breeds cannot match this longevity. In future he plans to run annual draft 6 year old ewes on Lower Farm and will keep the best of them on as 7 year olds.

Chris is in no doubt that Wilfield rams are strong performers which provide the type of easy care progeny he wants in the Marble Point flock. There is no lambing beat at Marble Point but Chris will check for cast ewes on Lower Farm.

“We just want sheep that can go out on the hill and survive and produce and that’s what they do. They’ve got grunt; the Corriedale is the only sheep that still has that fantastic muzzle, strong jaw and bone.”

Chris explains that one of the most important jobs on the Marble Point calendar is the typing up of all ewes just prior to the ram going out. He says that he puts ewes in either the ‘A’ or ‘B’ team based on body condition score, with emphasis on fat cover over the back and pins and also wool type.

“Typing up takes a bit of time but it’s one of the key drivers here. All the flat skin type ewes are the same. They just don’t have the condition over the loins so they go to the terminal.”