Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mating 2011

Last 2 weeks has been rams out with the ewes time. Selecting rams for the nucleus flock matings is the best part of the year.
 Ewes ready for sorting

They've been DNA tested for WormStar, MyoMax, LoinMax, and i-scan.
I allocate a proportionate share of sire-progeny ewe groups to each sire, but avoiding same-sires.

Ewes have been weighed and condition scored, and 25 screened 2ths have been added from the run flock, (see previous post on screening).

Sires used listed below, with their within-flock trait ranking.

121/08 - 3rd repro, 2nd repro+surv, 3rd growth
75/08 - 1st growth, 2nd growth+adult

69/09- 3rd wool

179/09 - 2nd DPP, 4th repro+surv, 3rd meat

269/09 - 1st FE

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Got my latest pair of workboots from America, been getting my motorbike boots direct over the internet, so thought I'd give it a try with my workboots too.
I deal with, in Witchita, Kansas. They're both a stockist and a sort of broker, if its not in stock, they get it.
Their website lists literally hundreds of boots, you get
a set of close-up views of each style, and a full description of the product.
Click a box in the top corner, and the price is quoted in the currency of your choice, including NZD.
Pictured are my Durango Georgia Heritage boots, delivered to my rural mailbox in about 2 weeks, for all-up cost of US $147, around $200 NZ including exchange fees on my Visa card.
Theyre quoted as having a 6" shaft, thats the height up the back, in this case a little higher than the average kiwi boot. The shaft height's a critical dimension, for instance, motorbike or cowboy boots come ranging from 10" to 12" mainly, and even up to 19" for jackboot looking types, which at this height are heart-attack territory to get on and off.
12's are best for cowboy and motorbike boots, your trouser cuffs tend to ride over the top of a 10, and there's less protection for your shin, if a bike boot.
6" is pretty good for a workboot.
Other features I like about these boots are the Goodyear welt, thats where the sole is stitched to the upper, rather than that deficient system on most hiking legacy kiwi boots these days where the glue holding the sole wrapping up the side of the boot succumbs to moisture and lets go.
The tread is a decent chunky design much like on the old commando soles you dont see much of any more. Its flat and pretty stiff, so takes a bit of re-learning to walk on. The upside of that is a more stable platform on uneven ground, makes your ankles a lot safer from twisting, or from feeling the humps underfoot.
With padded insole and side-walls, I just wear a thin cotton sock in these....., great, cooler too.
American design is also superior in non-slip sole technology, even the flat soled bike boots I've got are stable on wet rocks or tar seal.
The Georgia has a high tongue, keeps the water out, and the speed lace clips extend low enough you dont have to unlace any lower to get the boot on and off, step in, step out.
The loop at the back is big enough to get a European finger right in for the assisted pull on, Asian designers must think theyre just there for looks.
And the coup de grace are the steel toe-caps, no more sharp hoof trauma in the stockyards.
The final thing I'm grateful about is the consistency of size description, totally predictable across all makes, and wide sizes, listed as either E or W, are available.
Being such a vast country USA has a heritage of reliability when it comes to mail-order business, for instance Montana has a population of 600,000 in an area twice the size of NZ, shopping malls arent exactly proliferate.
So there it is, I'm one of those people local retailers complain about taking business away from the local market, and not paying GST either.
The reality is theyre not competing on technology, quality, product range, availablity, or price.
I have tried to get cowboy and motorbike boots, the same brands through local agents, the wait is excruciating, and the price quoted double, ie, knocking $400 NZ.
No brainer really.
American boots are superior.

Boot care...
I've taken to using WD40 in a squirter, so can be applied in seconds. Its made from fish oil, penetrates readily, keeps leather pliant, and is cheap.
Traditional stuff like Neatsfoot oil are tough on stitching, and/or like dubbin, are a nark to apply.
Have also tried the aerosol silicone products, but like the above, over the life of a boot, you can spend just as much as the initial boot outlay.