Shedding wool with Kaahu Whites

Murray and Wayne Sargeant have pioneered a very low input, high-output breed of sheep they call Kaahu White, by crossing Australian White and Wiltshire.

In Solutions2 Minutes

KAAHU GENETICS OWNERS Murray and Wayne Sargent say their new Kaahu White breed of sheep is more productive and half the work of their previously owned FE Gold-accredited, recorded Coopworth sheep stud flock.

Their farming operation is 460 hectares of freehold and 70ha of lease land at Whakamaru, 40km north-west of Taupo. Autumns create great challenges for sheep with facial eczema and high worm challenges.

They founded a Wiltshire shedding sheep stud in 2017, but now operate exclusively Kaahu Whites. Murray is a firm believer in national recording systems (Sheep Improvement Limited) which record pedigrees, production and health traits.

“We had a very successful FE Gold Coopworth Stud until recently but felt they were no longer the answer because of the workload. So, in 2017 we purchased Wiltshire ewes and rams from David Arvidson’s bloodlines,” Murray says.

He is highly respected as a Wiltshire stud breeder with a large fully recorded flock. Murray wanted the best Wiltshire genetics for facial eczema tolerance and parasite tolerance, pedigree and performance recording for production.

“We decided to create our Kaahu White breed because we wanted a very low input, high-output breed of sheep that is calmer and more user-friendly than Wiltshire sheep,” he says.

The decision was made to pioneer a new breed they call Kaahu White, by crossing Australian White and Wiltshire.

In September 2018 Kaahu Genetics bought four rams and 43 ewes from the Tattykeel Australian White stud, including the top-priced Australian White stud ram for A$28,000 (NZ$30,300). They went on to buy a further three stud rams totaling almost A$100,000.

Kaahu Genetics was the first to import Australian White sheep from the foundation stud Tattykeel into New Zealand. It was one of the largest live sheep imports ever flown into NZ from Australia. The top price Tattykeel ram made A$165,000 at auction last year.

Call Murray 027 392 7242