Our immediate goal at Landrani® Meatmasters is a weaning percentage of 200% per year. Thus each ewe must wean 2 lambs per year. The fact that we already produce in an 8-month cycle brings it down to 133% per cycle. This means 1 out of 3 ewes must give birth to twins every 8 months. We believe and trust that in the near future we will get it up to at least 1 out of 2 ewes per 8-month cycle. This will take us to a lamp percentage of 225%. Then we just have to make sure all the lambs reach weaning age.

More lambs, fewer deaths = higher weaning percentage

How do we get there?

Technology and data!

Precision DMS dose during synchronization and precision selection of multiple genetics.

At Landrani®, every lamb is RFID-coded at birth, weighed and linked to mum and dad on our IntelliFarm™️ mobile app. So we keep an exact record of the individual yield of 3200 ewes.

This data is then used for the calculation of the exact DMS dose per ewe as well as the culling of ewes that lamb only (unless the ewe was part of a multiple litter). Cull ewes are replaced with young, better ewes that are part of multiple litters. The risk is of course to accidentally culling a good ewe, but the end justifies the means. On average, we increase the genetic multiple potential of the total herd.

The correct dose of DMS often leads to a superovulation reaction in certain ewes. This means that more follicles develop and reach maturity, which leads to the release of a greater number of eggs during ovulation.

Our software calculates the exact DMS dose per ewe using her weight, age and lambing history. This data is sent electronically to a Datamars Tru-Test RFID “reader” and during sponge extraction each ewe is injected with her unique dose. We use syringes that are “colour coded”. The “reader” gives the color and the men spray with this color spray. All syringes’ doses are preset. Our risk for incorrect dosage is therefore minimal.

See attached our Insemination Planning Report which indicates, among other things, the dose per ewe.

Furthermore, our software has a function that enables us to select each breeding group precisely. A breeding group of 450 ewes is composed every month from ewes that are weaning as well as available young ewes that are old enough to cover (3200/8=400 plus 50 “Bomb Squad”). We use several criteria in our selection of which multiple status is high on the list. Even color is taken into consideration when we finally have to decide between similar ewes. All our ewes are inspected and “scored” every year by an independent Meatmaster inspector. This “scoring” is also taken into account. Furthermore, we also take into account an ewe’s production history.

It is physically impossible to work out the above DMS doses as well as selection of ewes by hand. Even with Excel it is a challenge.

This is where we believe that our technology and data are a “game changer” for us.

And for those who worry that we’re just using data and ignoring phenotype? No ewe that does not pass independent selection is considered for restocking. Precisely also the reason why we only stick to our herd of 3200 until the entire herd is recorded at the Stud Book. Only then will we consider further expansion. “Racehorses breed racehorses and donkeys breed donkeys!”

See attached our Breeding Group Planning Report indicating next month’s production group.

As the herd matures, the data per ewe will become more complete.

Example of the type of ewes we breed:

Next week I will talk about our strategy in relation to sales prices, which represents the 3rd hurdle.