Determining the Impact of Hogget Breeding Performance on Profitability under a Fixed Feed Supply Scenario in New Zealand
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CitationFarrell, L.J.; Kenyon, P.R.; Tozer, P.R.; Morris, S.T. Determining the Impact of Hogget Breeding Performance on Profitability under a Fixed Feed Supply Scenario in New Zealand. Animals 2021, 11, 1303. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051303
AbstractHoggets (ewe lambs aged 4 to 16 months) can be bred from approximately 8 months of age for potentially increased flock production and profit, however most New Zealand hoggets are not presented for breeding and their reproductive success is highly variable. Bio-economic modelling was used to analyse flock productivity and profit in four sets of scenarios for ewe flocks with varying mature ewe (FWR) and hogget (HWR) weaning rate combinations. Firstly, hogget breeding was identified to become profitable when break-even HWRs of 26% and 28% were achieved for flocks with FWRs of 135% and 150%, respectively. Secondly, relatively smaller improvements in FWR were identified to increase profit to the same level as larger improvements in HWR. Thirdly, a high performing flock with FWR and HWR both ≥ the 90th percentile currently achieved commercially, was the most profitable flock modelled. Fourthly, a FWR was identified with which a farmer not wishing to breed hoggets could have the same profit as a farmer with a flock achieving current industry average FWR and HWR. Overall, the relative profit levels achieved by the modelled flocks suggest that more farmers should consider breeding their hoggets, though improvements in FWRs should be prioritised.
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