Alistair Michael, Leahcim Poll Merino & White Suffolk Stud, Snowtown (SA)

Alistair Michael
Alistair Michael


Three-fold increase of genetic gain

Alistair Michael has seen first-hand how advanced genomic and reproductive technologies can combine to increase the rate of genetic gain by up to 300 per cent.

“JIVET (Juvenile in vitro embryo transfer) is delivering stud lambs three times as quickly as those from our conventionally joined flock.

The program combines visual appraisal with the latest in DNA testing technology.”

About Alistair Michael

Together with his brothers Stewart and Luke, and parents Andrew and Rosemary (see photo below), Alistair Michael runs about 3000 stud ewes – 2000 Poll Merino and 1000 White Suffolk – as well as 600 commercial Poll Merino ewes.

Situated in South Australia, the flocks are on three properties: at Snowtown (where all performance recording is conducted), another in the south east of SA (a breeding block where the pedigree recording is conducted), and a third in the Pastoral Zone (where young animals are grown out).

The Michael family has been using JIVET in combination with DNA testing to super-charge the breeding program, delivering stud lambs years in advance of those from his conventionally joined flock.

The method combines old-school visual appraisal and traditional measurement techniques, with the latest in DNA testing and embryo collection methods.

“JIVET identifies superior breeding stock within weeks of birth and uses advanced embryo technology to collect eggs from ewe lambs at about six to eight weeks of age. Joining then occurs in a test tube before the lambs are carried to term in surrogate mothers,” Mr Michael said.

Take home messages

  • JIVET allows rapid and accurate genetic evaluation, which dramatically shortens the genetic intervals.

  • The JIVET method is delivering the first drop of lambs six months after the birth of those lambs, compared with traditional breeding methods which see joining at 18 months.

  • Superior genetics will deliver an estimated $8 increase in returns from every ewe lamb every year compared to just over $2/ewe per year for our conventional program.

To read more about the Michaels JIVET program CLICK HERE.

To visit Leahcim Poll Merino & White Suffolk Stud website CLICK HERE.

L to R: Rosemary, Stewart, Andrew, Alistair and Luke Michael
L to R: Rosemary, Stewart, Andrew, Alistair and Luke Michael

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