The science is done. At SRS Genetics, we know in precise detail the genetic pathway for producing high fleece weights of exquisite quality wool on smooth bodied Merino sheep. The blueprint lies in the unique patterning of wool follicles in the skin that the SRS breeding methods deliver. It allows wool fibres of high uniformity, alignment, smoothness and elasticity to be grown by Merino sheep that are naturally resistant to fly strike and never need to be mulesed.
The SRS Genetics that deliver these breeding outcomes are readily available. We produce 12,000 rams each year from 30 Merino studs located throughout Australia. Sourcing these rams is the key to changing your flock and profitability from more wool, better wool and more lambs.
The SRS visual classing and breeding methods are entirely new and precise in identifying the right animals. We can show you what to look for. You will be able to use this important information immediately for the classing of your ewes. Combine this with sourcing SRS Genetics rams and you will be able to stop mulesing within 3 to 5 years.
SRS Merino sheep are plain bodied animals with a distinctive fleece structure and loose, thin skin that sets it apart from other Merino sheep.
This the outcome of selecting the sheep for high density and length of wool fibres. The response to selection is rapid. We have already doubled the length of fleece grown by the sheep and increased the fibre density by about 50 %.
The added benefits of pursuing this breeding program have been that the sheep:
- Are naturally resistant to fleece rot and all forms of fly strike, and do not need to be mulesed.
- Are easy to shear
- Have many more lambs and many fewer lamb losses
- Produce wool that is very soft, lustrous and deeply crimped and processes exceedingly well
- Are fit and robust
ANNUAL RAM SALES
The SRS® Merino fleece consists of fine fibres that are highly aligned and long. The fibres are very uniform in diameter and length to each other, and are remarkable in having low variation in diameter along the length of the fibres.
The fibres also have high crimp amplitude (“deep crimp”) and low crimp frequency (“bold crimp”) and are notable for high tensile strength and elasticity.
The surfaces of the fibres are smooth and very soft, being formed by long cuticular scales of low scale height.
The fleeces grow so rapidly that many SRS® Merino sheep are shorn twice a year, reaching a combing length of 80 to 90 millimetres in six months.
An SRS Merino fleece. Again, the fibre bundles are very obvious, and threaded amongst the thin staples. The wool is outstanding for crimp definition, lustre, softness and alignment of wool fibres. These are superb spinning wools.
By Dr. Jim Watts
The SRS breeding system is based on producing wools of exceptional quality by selecting Merino sheep, alpacas and angora goats for low primary fibre diameter, high fibre density and high fibre length. It has been applied to flocks and herds in Australia since 1988. Genetic selection for these fibre traits, both visually and objectively, is…
SRS Merinos are plain bodied and very fertile sheep. There is a strong bond between the ewe and its lamb, so necessary for survival and growth of the lamb. When you have bred robust and plain bodied ewes, you have secured the key profit drivers for a Merino breeding enterprise, namely: high numbers of lambs…
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE The sheep are hard to wet to skin level and able to dry quickly. It is the quick drying of the skin that is crucial. The SRS Merino is plain bodied with a smooth (wrinkle free) skin surface (Figure 1 right). The skin does not remain wet and does not develop…