Breeding Philosophy

Mumblebone's steadfast breeding philosophy serves as a guiding framework, empowering us to continually enhance Merino welfare and production, leading to optimised flock performance, genetic advancements and sustained success in the sheep breeding industry.

Mumblebone's steadfast breeding philosophy serves as a guiding framework, empowering us to continually enhance Merino welfare and production, leading to optimised flock performance, genetic advancements and sustained success in the sheep breeding industry.

The Power of Balance

There has been a constant need to improve different areas of Merino welfare and production and the Mumblebone breeding philosophy is testament to this continual breeding evolution.

Our evidence based approach has moved away from using raw data to make selection decisions, in favour of ASBV’s, for all key areas of interest. As the areas of interest grew, so too did the need for more ASBV’s. This program has grown to now include 30 individual ASBV’s when assessing the top animals in the stud. It’s a broad range of traits & understanding how these traits interact is a fundamental necessity of our program.

“Trait balance” is what defines our sheep – how traits that are often antagonistic, combine in the one genetic package to optimise a flocks performance.

Balancing these traits at a figures level is then also combined with strict visual assessment of all wool & structural traits.

The most significant genetic changes made in our program over the last 20 years have been:

  • The decision to breed wrinkle free animals (started in 1994 following the work of Dr Jim Watts)
  • The decision to produce & use ASBV’s (started in 2004)
  • The decision to make the merino’s weakness a strength of our stud through heavy selection for EMD & FAT (started in 2004 having been introduced to Dr Mark Ferguson)

Our philosophy on Growth is to accentuate the benefits of high early growth while maintaining the efficiencies of moderate adult weights.

We combine muscle depth with our growth selection to help cap adult weights and strike the balance that ensures high reproductive performance, increased fleece weight, improved ewe lamb joinings, earlier marketability, higher lean meat yield and controlled adult weight.

View Growth Traits

Our philosophy on carcase traits recognises that genetically higher levels of muscle and fat contribute to genetically higher levels of Whole Body Energy. Genetic energy reserves are seen in the condition of our animals & its condition score that maintains our animals during challenging times, helping build overall flock resilience.

View Carcase Traits

Driven by a lifelong fascination with wool, our breeding philosophy centres around sheep with a high-value fleece that resist fleece rot and fly strike. We understand the importance of maintaining a balanced approach that optimises wool production, alongside reproduction and survival, as it’s the combination of all aspects that sets the modern merino apart from all other breeds of sheep.

View Wool Traits

“Without reproduction there is no production. An animal must be able to reproduce itself easily”

Our philosophy revolves around the profound connection between reproduction and profitability in a modern merino enterprise. By harmonising the conflicting traits of reproduction and wool production, we maximise profitability.

View Reproduction Traits

Our welfare philosophy centres around aligning production goals with consumer needs, emphasising animal welfare as both a driver of productivity and a response to consumer concerns. Prioritising traits such as early breech wrinkle and worm resistance has bred a highly fertile, easy-care animal that eliminates the need for mulesing while also addressing the issues of fly strike and worm burdens. This combination of genetics, with management, has created a breed of sheep that meets industry demands for both performance & welfare.

View Welfare Traits