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The Best Dam Breed

Definition of a Coopworth

The present recommended breeding programme to produce a Coopworth, is two (2) topcrossings by Coopworth Single Entered (S.E) rams over any other white faced wool breed or wool breed cross ewe. Alternately registered or screened Coopworth ewes may be mated to any other white faced white wooled ram to produce F1 female stock that then must be mated to a Single Entry Coopworth sire to produce eligible foundation stock. See Flock Book for further details.

F2 and F3 Rams are acceptable for entry to Registered Flocks.

Coopworth Traits

Coopworths are renowned for their high productivity in many varied farming environments from dry plains to hard hill. Weaning percentages and wool clips are consistently higher than from other breeds. Coopworth ewes are good milkers and a high percentage of lambs can be drafted at weaning if season or policy dictates.

Coopworths are bred for easy care characteristics: clean heads and points means they do not require eye-wigging and they move well. Ewes require minimum shepherding at lambing: difficult births are of low incidence, and ewes have very good mothering instinct - they seldom leave their lambs after birth. Thus the costs of production are reduced compared to many other breeds.

Coopworth Society regulations have been formulated to gaurantee genetic progress for economically important characteristics.

Key points in the regulations are:

  • All registered flocks must be performance recorded
  • Registration is performance based, not pedigree based.
  • Ewes can be screened into registered flocks if they perform outstandingly as hoggets and 2 tooths in commercial flocks. The Coopworth Society has an open flock book.
  • Single entered rams must come from the highest ranking 15% of the flock for performance.
  • Ewes must rear 3 lambs in the first two lambings to retain registered status.
  • Ewes requiring assistance at lambing are deregistered.

Coopworth breeders have not rested on their Society's regulations. The use of sire referencing through AI and ram circling has seen dramatics lifts on production. They are to the fore in breeding for traits like:

  • FE testing to ensure flocks never have to worry about the huge economic loss this disease can cause.
  • Breeding worm tolerant sheep to reduce the need for drench.
  • Eye muscle scanning to produce the best carcass for the market
  • Wool measurements to ensure flocks are producing the best clean wool for the market
  • Ewes rearing their own weight in lambs.

Coopworth bred has had 35 years of production recording and has identified the best genes in the Coopworth.

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