Tikana Wapiti Stud
Tikana is a leading, multi award-winning New Zealand Wapiti Stud. Our aim is to produce Wapiti Sire Bulls for New Zealand breeders and Wapiti terminal sires for commercial deer farmers.
All Tikana deer have been fully recorded on DEERSelect since 2005, which means all our deer are objectively selected to provide assessment of their genetic merit for growth, meat and velvet. This provides farmers with confidence in Tikana stock.
Tikana Wapiti Stud was established in 1984. The original Wapiti cows of the Tikana herd originated from wild caught Wapiti out of Fiordland. Pure Elk genetics were introduced from North America with importation of live bulls. Tikana has utilised reproductive technology with artificial insemination for 3 decades using the best genetics available from North America, when possible, and subsequently from within New Zealand. One hundred acres at Browns in central Southland has been home for the stud since 1996. Tikana has made huge gains in performance over the last two decades with new technologies being utilized in management and strategic genetic input.
All our stock is DNA profiled with our aim to stabilize the herd at 80% elk genes. Most Tikana deer are around the 80% mark which ensures we retain some of the "hardiness" which Fiordland Wapiti are renown for, and to avoid the "rangyness" so often seen with purebred elk.
Since 2005 Tikana has submitted herd information to DEERSelect – the national deer recording database. Pedigree and production data is supplied and estimated breeding values (eBV's) are generated. The analysis to obtain these eBVs means that all the environmental effects have been removed. This allows the comparison of individuals based on their genetic merit alone.
The Wapiti Sire Summary on DEERSelect means that the eBVs provided for growth and meat are directly comparable across the different herds of Wapiti. At present these Wapiti eBVs are not comparable to the Red Deer eBVs.
At Tikana we believe we have a good balance of traits being selected for. For Growth we use weight at 12 months and Carcass weight. Eye Muscle Area (EMA) is used for meat (tenderness and eating quality) and carcass composition (primal meat yield and meat to bone ratio). Using 2yr old velvet weight as our benchmark, we have gone from 2.8kg in 1994 to our current average of 5.7kg. We have also been saliva sampling each crop of fawns for the last 6 years. This CARLA test measures the protective immunoglobulin produced in saliva in response to parasite challenge. These CARLA results will in future mean Tikana deer will have an eBV for parasite tolerance.
Previous stud sire at Tikana, Trilogy was named Champion of Champions at the Elk & Wapiti Society of NZ Velvet Antler Competition 2008 and 2011. As an 8 year old he cut a New Zealand record 25.5kg EWSupreme velvet. One of our current sires Nepia as a 7 year old surpassed this record with a 26.3 kg EWSupreme.
The Terminal Index on DEERSelect represents a combination of growth and meat traits that are economically weighted to provide a dollar value of these genetics. Another current sire Isobar ranks number 1 on the terminal Index on the Wapiti sire summary.