Technology & Management


We have provided an insight of some of the Technology and Management Tools we use below.

Artificial Insemination (AI)

A critical tool to ensure we maximise the genetic gain from key sires across a larger number of hinds compared with natural mate.  AI allows you to access genetics from key sires that you may not own.

Embryo Transfer (ET) 

Similar to AI, ET allow us to replicate the genetics of our very best hinds faster than natural mate.

EID Tags

The use of EID tags in our herd improves efficiency enabling fast access for accurate information for individual animals, mob management and full traceability. These are used in conjunction with the Gallagher TSi.

Gallagher TSi

A key component of our performance recording is undertaken using the Gallagher TSi unit. The top of the line choice in Weigh Scales, the TSi facilitates quick and efficient decisions out on farm with immediate access to all records, anywhere, anytime, in the yard, office or on the farm.

Wilkins Farming Co | AI Images

DNA testing

GenomNZ now offers an SNP based parentage test called genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). With the advancement of technology we use ear punches as our primary sample type. These samples are stored in Tissue Sampling Units (TSUs) and are taken on farm by using an applicator to punch a small piece of tissue from the animal’s ear directly into the sampling unit.

Genotyping using GBS offers:

  • High throughput reliable parentage testing
  • Breed composition
  • Genomic relationships

EMA (eye muscle area) Scanning

Undertaken once annually using an ultrasound scanner this measurement gives the area of the traced eye muscle over the 12th rib. Approximately 305-400 animals are scanned per annum.

CT Scanning

A very effective measurement of the meat and fat within the carcass. These measurements are as effective as slaughtering then dissecting out the meat from the fat and bone in the carcass, however this way the stag is still alive and can be used in our breeding programme. Due to the expense of CT scanning only a small number of stags are scanned each year – these stags are selected based on their sire and performance data.

Foetal Ageing

Foetal ageing is the assignment of an estimated age of a foetus (in days) at the time of ultrasound scanning within the first trimester (within the first 2-3 months) of pregnancy. An assessment of foetal age at the time of scanning provides a valuable piece of information on the hind: an estimate of the date she conceived. This is calculated simply by subtracting the foetal age (in days) from the date of scanning. This data is then entered into DEERSelect and she’s then ranked on her early conceiving/calving potential and assigned an estimated birth date to her progeny.

Body Condition Score (BCS)

This is a quick, visual, on-the-spot method for assessing the health, well-being and nutritional status of adult hinds. It is simply an eyeball (and sometimes palpation) assessment of the amount of muscle and subcutaneous fat over the rump and torso of individual hinds when they are in the pens.


DEERSelect provides genetic evaluations for the deer industry. Evaluations are completed six times a year using all information in all connected herds to estimate genetic merit for individuals.

An estimate of the genetic merit of all animals in the base year is called a breeding value.

The breeding values are based on the performance of an individual and all known relatives. Breeding values are corrected for environmental factors such as mob, age of dam, sex and differences between seasons. As more information is collected the breeding values are updated.

Breeding values are expressed in the same unit as they are measured. For growth and velvet they are in kilograms and for conception date they are in days.

Definitions Of Breed Values (EBV)

  • W12eBV The estimated breeding value (EBV) for weight at 12 months of age (or as a yearling) expressed in kilograms (kg) of live weight.
  • LEANyeBV – is the estimated breeding value (EBV) for yield of whole carcass lean meat at 12 months of age, expressed in kilograms (kg) of lean meat.
  • CDeBV – The estimated breeding (EBV) for conception date, it is expressed in day and is currently the only EBV for reproduction. Unlike many EBV’s a negative value is better, as the represents conceiving days earlier.

In Summary

Using the aforementioned technologies, Wilkins Farming Co are advancing with in achieving our goals and objectives within the stud as well further enhancing the sale stags we offer to the market.