John developed an interest in improving fertilility and carcase traits in maternal sheep during the 1990s after many years of experience in both the sheep and cattle industries. John was a founder and president of the Frances Lamb Finishers Group, one of the first in Australia to trial feedlot rations and growth rates.
Crossbreeding at 'Moolyella' started in 1994 when John's interest in increasing sheep fertility led to the purchase of a Finnsheep ram, initially used to crossbreed with some of our Border Leicester stud ewes. The resulting 'Finn Leicesters' offered a fertile, finer woolled alternative maternal sire. To advance the recently imported Finnsheep genetics , a Finnsheep stud was established which was developed to reliably average more than 250% lambing.
Although highly fertile at a very young age , the Finn crossbreds lacked muscling so, after experimenting with artificial insemination and a fact finding mission to New Zealand, it was decided to introduce Texel genetics. Stock was selected from two Texel stud dispersals and a our Texel stud was formed. Later, East Friesian genetics with their milking and growth advantages, were added to the mix and a stud also created.
Although no shedding breeds have been introduced selection has been made for a barer crutch area with clean points for ease of management.
The resulting breed blend is Jay-Dee Maternals , ideal for self replacing flocks and also for introducing to crossbred or Merino flocks.
Our farm has its own feedlot used to trial growth rates and carcase traits of the composites , with John and Josh carefully analysing feedback from over the hooks sales.
Jay-Dee Maternals produce an early maturing lamb of medium weight that can also be carried on to heavier weights without excess fat.