The medium frame Merino ewe flock produces 16 to 19-micron white soft wool. Half of the Willalooka flock are joined with a White Suffolk ram to produce prime lambs for meat.
In 1958, the sheep on the property were a traditional large-framed, heavy cutting, South Australian type.
Due to the wet conditions in the Limestone Coast, the genetics of the flock over the years have been refined to better cope with their environment by producing a plainer sheep with a longer staple.
This was achieved through the implementation of the Soft Rolling Skin Principles (SRS), created by founder, Dr Jim Watts.
In 1999, Willalooka entered into a joint venture with Lorelmo Stud from the New South Wales Highlands, crossing elite Willalooka sheep with the best Lorelmo genetics in order to produce fine wool on a large framed sheep.
This successfully produced a flock of medium-framed sheep with an average of 17-micron wool, cutting 4.5 to 5kg of wool per sheep.
Over the past 10 years, a significant number of around 19 microns heavier cutting sheep have been purchased to increase sheep numbers more quickly while also being used to breed terminal lambs—giving the range in the current clip micron. The current strategy is to ensure a plain skinned fertile breeding ewe is kept while increasing the speed to maturity of the animal and lifting the kilograms of wool cut while staying around the 18.5-micron ewe flock average.
At Willalooka, we endeavour to achieve a balance between top quality meat and fibre while giving us the flexibility to turn off lambs quickly when required.