Updated: Jun 15, 2019
Today was a very important day for Caluka Farms. Our first truckloads of sheep were sold and left the property. For the past 3-7 weeks, we've been buying in skinny merino lambs and merino crosses to fatten up and sell. We weighed all 1500 of them two weeks ago and it looked like we'd have about 180 to sell, and up to 300 if more put on another 1-2 kilos in that time. We just sold 749, plus 85 dry ewe lambs! A very pleasant surprise because they had put on more weight than we thought, thanks to the talent of our Westcoast Livestock agents. They said our stock are far heavier than we had been telling them, and it turned out, our Gallagher scale had not been calibrated and it was ~10kg out, in our favour. Awesome result. And together with the good prices compared to the little we paid for them, we've turned a very nice profit in just 7 weeks. The remaining 690 will be nearly all profit, once they get a little chubbier. I have one more thing to do to fix the non-wetting areas and then will crank the pastures up again, and start bringing in more skinny lambs to fatten up.
Our own lambs are still dropping on the ground (last one due 9th July), and we still have a huge fox problem we are not yet on top of. Much more work to be done, but everything else is going along very nicely at the moment.
Our collection of runt ewes and the dregs we bought but didn't get into lamb back in February, and had two more cycles with some boys, were just scanned. We expected ~40-50% would be in-lamb, but 85% were. So we'll have more lambs from them hitting the ground starting 30th July, and a bit less cash flow from the culls. However, the skinny merinos have more than made up for that.