GENETIC FAQS
We answer some of the common questions about genetics here

Q: What difference will I notice with Focus Genetics animals on farm?

A: If you structure it right with clear benchmarks you will start to see an incremental improvement on farm.

For our ram clients, depending on your scale and technology used, you should notice improvements relatively quickly in terms of the specific areas you want to target. Due to the technology you are utilising, you will be able to measure and check progress.

The timeframe depends on what you’re looking for e.g. weaning weight can improve rapidly within the year that you use one of our top genetic merit terminal rams, scanning percentage lift will take longer as you will need to see the results of ‘daughters’. For facial Eczema tolerance – independent analysis (Beef + Lamb Genetics) has assessed this at around five to six years.

Key points here to remember are:

  • Genetic gains are incremental i.e. bit by bit and progress depends on what the starting base is and how you manage these genetics to realize potential.
  • Genetic gains are accumulative i.e. they add up onto each other e.g. a first cross 2th’s lamb (F1) mated to the new genetics again (F2) is much better than her dam and MUCH better than her grandma and so on.

If you are one of our cattle clients, you should be able to track gain in the specific areas you want to target but remember cattle breeding is a longer game.

Q: How does Focus Genetics compare on SIL-ACE?

A: Our rams rank at the top – science does not lie.

On all trait leader boards you will find significant numbers of Focus rams in the Top 200, often over half of the top 10 are ours. Due to the large size of our breeding flocks, comprehensive and accurate recording and high selection criteria, we ensure only the very best rams make it to sale. You can be assured that when you buy a ram from Focus Genetics it ranks highly on SIL-Ace or in a specific trait area that you have asked us to identify.

Q: I am happy with my current breeder, why would I bother?

A: We know that having an existing relationship with a known supplier takes much of the ‘headache’ out of that side of your operation.

If New Zealand farming is going to evolve and be relevant in the future we have to keep driving and innovating using science. The market has been reliant on intuition based selection, with little to no support or acknowledgement for the science that can qualify that intuition and ensure farmers are more profitable and making year on year gains in their flocks and herds.

That needs to change.

Our animals might not all look like what is perceived to be ‘the best’ based on physical attributes, but the data does not lie, they work. Profitable farm production is not reliant on ‘beauty’. If you are concerned about the change but interested in what our genetics could offer then we encourage you to consider trialling one of our animals across a small group of your ewes, cows or hinds allowing you to see and judge the results for yourself. Or speak to one of our clients who know they work and are contributing towards the production and profitability improvements they are making in their farming business.

Q: Are they structurally sound?

A: Yes. We pride ourselves on the fact that our rams, stags and bulls are bred throughout New Zealand in a variety of challenging conditions.

We have a quality control process with our breeders that complements, assists and augments their day to day assessments and selections. This, along with our large scale and high selection pressures ensures only the best animals make it to sale. However, like all biological products, our animals can change over time or sometimes respond in varying ways. So we’ll stand by you and always be happy to come to your farm and talk through any concerns you have.

We place a high importance on the partnerships with our customers. We welcome your feedback so please get in touch if you have any comments, questions or ideas.

Q: They are not the same price as my current breeder?

A: The pricing of our rams reflects the investment that has been made to ensure our clients are offered only the very best sires with the highest genetic potential.

It also reflects the return on investment we are confident you will achieve once our sire’s influence starts flowing through your farming operation.

Q: What we can do for you that others can’t?

A: Don’t get us wrong this is a different way to think of red meat breeding.

Our team is made up of; scientists – researching mating and selection decisions, real farmers like you – breeding the animals, supported by a Focus Genetics team on the road. Our team of Account Managers will keep in touch with you to ensure the products deliver the on farm gains you are working towards. We also collaborate with experts, both domestically and internationally to ensure we are on top of the latest science and, most importantly, the latest market signals to keep our products on the path you require.

Q: Do I get to select?

A: Yes!

If you are a ram client, when you place an order with us we will advise you of the selection date and property details for the farm your rams will be coming from. Our Account Manager will then work with you to organise a time for you to come and select your rams. This also gives you the chance to speak to our breeder – the person who knows our rams the best and is also most likely to understand the demands of your farming environment so you can speak farmer to farmer. If you can’t make selection day we will talk with you in detail about what you are looking for in your rams to be sure we meet those requirements.

If you are a cattle client, you will have opportunity to view the bulls that will be offered for sale prior to the commencement of the sale on a specific sale date in May (2 year olds) or October (Yearlings). We offer bulls for sale both by online auction and by private treaty.

If you are a deer client, these sales are conducted directly by private treaty. We will provide a list of sale stags and you will be able to shortlist the stags on data that best suit your farm requirements. If you are in a position to visit the farm we encourage our deer clients to visit the farm and view and select your stags also.

Genetic gain

We work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading farmers who use our breeding programmes to deliver outstanding on-farm gain. Click here to find out more about who we are, how we do it or where our breeders are located.

leading genetics