HATCHER, Sue

Susan Hatcher

Research interests

  • Applied sheep breeding and genetics
  • Reproductive efficiency including breeding ewe management, lamb and weaner survival
  • Improving wool production, wool quality and processing efficiency
  • Precision sheep production systems

Background

Sue Hatcher commenced employment at Orange Agricultural Institute with NSW Department of Primary industries in 1997. She has nearly 20 years scientific research experience and a proven track record of effective extension of research results to industry. Her research program has included wool metrology and fibre identification, applied research of the genetic, economic and industry constraints impeding fine wool production across Australia, and linking Merino breeding to wool processing. A feature of her research is effective within and across organisational collaborative teams.

More recently she has undertaken research into aspects of breeding ewe management including both lamb and weaner survival and the consequences of selecting sheep for high wool production. Sue is currently responsible for the genetic analysis of the wool production and quality data from the Sheep CRC’s Information Nucleus. This involves identifying genetic and management options to improve the whiteness and handle of Australian Merino wool and correlations with reproductive performance.

Qualifications

  • B.Agric.Sc.  – University of Western Australia 1990
  • PhD – University of Western Australia 1995

Current projects

  • Improving the handle, whiteness and photostability of Australian wool.
  • Reproductive efficiency of the Australian Merino ewe
  • Phenotypic and genetic aspects of lamb survival
  • Improving weaner survival

Recent publications

For a full list of publications see: ISI Web of Science Researcher ID C-7170-2011

Hatcher S, Eppleston J,  Watt B and Thornberry KJ. (2010). High Merino weaner survival rates are a function of weaning weight and positive post-weaning growth rates. Animal Production Science 50: 465-472.


Hatcher S, Hinch GN, Kilgour RJ, Holst PJ, Refshauge PG and Shands CG. (2010). Lamb survival - balancing genetics, selection and management. Australian Farm Business Management Journal 7: 65 - 78.
Hatcher S, Hynd PI, Thornberry KJ and Gabb S (2010). Can we breed Merino sheep with softer, whiter, more photostable wool? Animal Production Science 50: 1089 - 1097.
Hatcher S, Atkins KD and Safari E (2010) Lamb survival in Australian Merino Sheep: A genetic analysis. Journal of Animal Science 88: 3198-3205.
Fogarty NM, Safari E, Mortimer SI, Greeff JC and Hatcher S (2009) Heritability of feed intake in grazing Merino ewes and the genetic relationships with production traits. Animal Production Science 49: 1080-1085.


Hatcher S and Atkins KD (2009). Phenotypic aspects of lamb survival in Australian Merino sheep. Journal of Animal Science 87: 2781-2790.

Hatcher S, Atkins KD and Thornberry KJ (2009). Breeding plain-bodied fine wools - no problem! Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 18:330-333.

Hatcher S, Atkins KD and Thornberry KJ (2009).Survival of adult sheep is driven by longevity genes. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 18:580-583.

Shands CG, Mcleod B, Lollback ML, Duddy G, Hatcher S and O’Halloran WJ  (2009). Comparison of manual assessments of ewe fat reserves for on-farm use. Animal Production Science 49: 630-636.

Hatcher S, Atkins KD and Thornberry KJ (2008). Strategic use of sheep coats can improve your economic return. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 48: 762-767.


Hatcher S,  Eppleston,J, Graham PG, McDonald J, Schlunke S. Watt B and Thornberry KJ (2008). Higher weaning weight improves postweaning growth and survival in young Merino sheep. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 48: 966-973.

Refshauge PG, Hatcher S, Hinch GN, Nielsen S and Hopkins DL (2008). The impact of clean fleece weight and bodyweight selection in Merinos on meat traits in the progeny. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 48: 1076-1084.

Refshauge PG, Hatcher S, Hinch GN, Hopkins Dl and Nielsen S (2007). Does phenotypic selection for fleece weight reduce lamb survival? Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 17:561-564


Safari A, Fogarty NM, Mortimer SI, Greeff JC, Hatcher S, Lee GJ and Gilmour AR (2007). Feed intake and its genetic relationship with growth traits in Merino sheep. Does phenotypic selection for fleece weight reduce lamb survival? Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 17:199-202

Hatcher S and Atkins KD (2007). The impact of phenotypic selection for clean fleece weight on reproduction. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 17:260-263


Graham PG and Hatcher S (2006). Achieving fat score targets - the costs & benefits. AFBM Journal Farming Business Management Journal Management 3: 44-57.


Jordan DJ, Hatcher S, Lee GJ, McConnel I, Bowen MK, Della Bosca AJ and Rowe JB (2006). Nutritional management of reproductive efficiency. International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science 54: 35-41.

Professional associations and activities

  • Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Australian Society of Animal Production

Fields of research

  • 070201 Animal Breeding
  • 070203 Animal Management
  • 070206 Animal Reproduction

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Merino genetic improvement
  • reproductive efficiency of sheep
  • wool production and qualty
  • precision sheep management

Contact details

Email: sue.hatcher@dpi.nsw.gov.au