Over many years Piquet Hill has sought genetic advice from scientists who appreciate the practical challenges of hill country farmers. Initially this advice came from the late Graeme Hight, and then Dr Clive Dalton from the MAF Whatawhata Hill Country Research Station, both of whom worked on the Lands & Survey Waihora Breeding Schemes. Graeme was also involved with Piquet Hill in the New Zealand Romney Development Group which encompassed 100,000 ewes and operated as a strong genetic base in our initial breeding programme.
Through the leasing and exchange of sires from breeders with a common philosophy in breeding, we now have linkages to a massive pool of genetic material alongside our base flock of 10,000 Romney ewes.
The Romney is back in favour. Emphasis has always been placed on Romneys to perform at commercial stocking rates on tough hill country for maximum returns. Major emphasis has always been placed on fertility and easy care.
At Piquet Hill we have bred Romneys for use on hill country for breeding purposes for over 40 years. The Romney is a dual-purpose sheep and the swings in the value of meat and wool over past years illustrate the futility of chasing one product at the expense of another. All Piquet Hill Romneys are run under absolutely natural conditions.
We supply a large number of long-time commercial Romney breeders, some who have bought rams for over 45 years from the Stud. After more than 30 years of FE testing to improve FE tolerance, and a programme to address worm resistance, we are well positioned to address two of the major inhibiting factors to profitable sheep production.
At Piquet Hill we have bred a Composite ram of 1/2 Romney/Perendale/Finn/Texel. This Composite has particular qualities that give advantages in milking ability, growth rate, hybrid vigour and overall production. For anyone wanting to stabilise high production at around 150%–160% lambing, this is an ideal Composite.
Using purebred Cheviot rams over stud Romney ewes. Extremely hardy and low maintenance rams that have been successfully used as a back cross over straight Romney and maternal cross ewes. The F1 introduces highbred vigour helping in production increases. Rams have been tested at 0.45 mg per kg liveweight.
The ultimate terminal sire. Good lamb marker with strong growth and lamb survival. Ewes run under commercial conditions with the main focus of developing rams that will perform on hard hill country in a high FE environment.
Piquet Hill Farms Ltd, Te Akau