The Wiltipoll Advantage
Calendar of Operations
Wiltipoll Facts - Wiltipolls are large, easy care, plain bodied sheep that shed their wool annually. They do not require crutching or shearing and do not suffer readily from fly strike which makes them a useful breed for small holdings without shearing sheds. These sheep must have at least 96.87% Wiltshire Horn genetics, completely shed their fleece annually and be polled. The ewes are seasonal breeders, but are good mothers, have high fertility with a high percentage of multiple births. Wiltipoll sheep may weigh up to 125 kg under reasonable conditions. Wiltipoll sheep (polled Wiltshire Horn) shed their wool annually in spring to summer and produce lean, heavy lambs. They are a polled breed (no horns) bred for the production of prime lamb. The wiltipoll wool is simply shed and falls to the ground.Due to this process, the energy of the sheep is directed into meat and milk, not wool. The breed is therefore very low maintenance as there is no need for shearing, crutching, mulesing, jetting, dipping and docking of tails. The Wiltipoll is grass seed resistant and fly and lice resistant, reducing the need for chemicals or the painful practice of mulesing. All this equates to less expense and less work.Wiltipolls have a high lambing percentage of 130-180% and tremendous maternal instincts. They are renowned for multiple births, twins and triplets. This requires less ewes to manage and feed with more prime lamb to sell. They produce prime lambs without laying down fat therefore producing a very lean, excellent quality meat. As the Wiltipoll are polled, the sheep are easier to handle and less bruising occurs. Wiltipolls ideally suit small acreage holders and also those farmers who can not continue with the workload assocatiated with wool breeds. This breed are very hardy and can survive on rough, scrubby feed.
Stephens, M (et al.), Handbook of Australian Livestock, Australian Meat & Livestock Export Corporation, 2000 (4th ed.)
This is intended as a guide only and you will need to refer to your local veterinarian to develop a Calendar of Operations specific to your needs and region.
The Wiltipoll ram has the capacity to breed all year round.
January is good time to give a Summer drench.
The Wiltipoll ewe is a seasonal breeder and can only breed in the Autumn to lamb in Spring. Ewes rarely cycle during Summer months. Better feed can produce a higher rate of multiple births, however older ewes on poorer pasture can consistently produce twins too.
March to May is a good time to sell lambs as long as they have reached sale weight. Vaccinate ewes with ‘Six-in-One’ 4-6 weeks before lambing starts. This gives the ewe her annual vaccination, plus the unborn lamb will gain the antibodies through the ewe’s colostrum, therefore protecting the lamb until they receive their first ‘Six-in-One’ vaccination. Vaccinate lambs at lamb marking with ‘Six-in-One’ then follow up with a booster shot. Follow the advice on the ‘Six-in-One’ packet. Remember lambs are more susceptible than adult sheep to worms, and drench at weaning, and then when required.
Top Tips about Wiltipolls:
Written by Ian and Loris…
WHY WILTIPOLLS? – All they need is vaccination, drenching when required and a good feed. The following is why we got into producing Wiltipolls:
They are clean shedders which makes for fly and lice resistance.
They are home bodies so they are easy to keep in their paddocks.
The Wiltipoll is an easy lambing breed that has high lambing percentages (130-170%).
The ewes have a strong mothering instinct and are protective over their lambs.
FIRST CROSS EWES - make excellent prime lamb mothers, producing plenty of milk, with high lambing percentages. They don’t shed as a first cross when crossed with a wool breed, but are usually clean in the breech.
VERSATILITY – Wiltipolls are used in a variety of farming enterprises. Ease of management make them an attractive choice for meat production and grass control on smaller holdings. They are well-suited to prime lamb production in the rangelands as they will finish on good dry pasture. Complete wool-shedding and the ability to handle wet conditions means they can be run on arable country as well as the tropics.
MEAT QUALITY – The meat is of the highest quality being of fine texture which in turn leads to tenderness. First and second cross lambs can weigh 60kg plus, live at 10-11 months without laying down fat.
PROFIT – Savings to be made include no cost for chemicals for fly and lice control, no shearing or crutching costs and labour costs are cut out due to less management.
If you want more information about how Wiltipolls would suit your business or lifestyle, give us a call on 02 6384 6428.
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