The Palmerston Coopworth Story

Palmerston Coopworths was initiated, and has been run, by Bill Scott-Young since 1997.

The stud started when Bill purchased 49 ewes from David Black’s Balure stud in Victoria.  Bill’s aim was to improve the productivity of the Palmerston sheep operation and produce quality maternal rams for the Tasmanian lamb industry.

Palmerston is located between Cressy and Poatina in the northern midlands of Tasmania.  The property is situated at the base of the Great Western Tiers, where we experience dry summers and wet cold winters.

The Palmerston Coopworth stud is just one component of a commercial mixed farming operation, which also consists of commercial prime lambs, cattle and irrigated cropping (poppies, seed crops, and peas).

Objective assessment

Palmerston Coopworths has been performance recording since its inception, with key traits the flock is assessed against including:

  • Birth weight (BWT)
  • Birth type (e.g. single/twin)
  • Rear type (e.g. single/twin)
  • Weaning weight (WWT)
  • Eye muscle depth (EMD)
  • Fat cover (PFAT)
  • Adult weight (AWT)
  • Temperament
  • Lambing ease (LE)
  • Internal parasite tolerance (WEC)
  • Wool yield

Most of these traits are used by Sheep Genetics Australia to create the Maternal Carcase Production Plus Index (MCP+) for all stud animals. This means ram buyers can compare the performance of Palmerston Coopworth sires to those from other studs either by using the MCP+ or by looking at individual traits.

Visual assessment

In addition to performance recorded traits, the Palmerston Coopworth stud flock is subject to rigorous visual assessment for traits such as: wool, feet, black spots and confirmation.

“We strongly believe a combination of genetic data analysed through Lambplan plus our own visual assessments will result in the type of sheep that we are aiming to produce.”

Because we run a commercial flock of our own, we are subject to the same market forces that affect our clients and we respond quickly by breeding the genetics the market is demanding.

At Palmerston Coopworths we pride ourselves on being responsive to both industry and client needs.

Stud composition

The stud consists of about 450 breeding ewes, and we typically offer between 120–180 rams for sale each spring (November).

We closely monitor the figures of maternal sheep on both Lambplan and SIL (NZ performance recording system), and regularly import semen from other flocks to continuously improve and lift the performance of our animals.

During recent years, in addition to Coopworth, we also breed Coopdale (a stabilised cross between Coopworth and Perendale).  Both Coopworth and Perendale are New Zealand sheep breeds.

Coopworth is the result of a stabilised cross between Border Leicester and Romney, while Perendale is a stabilised Romney / Cheviot cross.  Both breeds are fertile with excellent mothering ability, and very hardy (foot rot tolerant, high levels of worm tolerance) and are good ‘easy-doing sheep’.