With the current relatively high prices for sheep and the very high demand for sheep to be sent to the eastern states (of Australia), we took the opportunity to do a little extra culling. We took out the bottom 250 lambs we were waiting to fatten up to be joined and put them on a truck yesterday, along with the shorn merinos and suffolk x merino trade lambs we had ready to sell. Our first truck left yesterday with 790 of them and we have another 700+ to go on the next truck when it arrives, and then a smaller truckload of the dregs.
We'll also be taking the opportunity to pull out dry ewes (20-30) who lost their lambs before we get to the weaning stage. ~$120,000 for one truck load of sheep is too hard to ignore and we do have the sheep to sell. Our new milestone target is $250,000 of sales in a month, so it looks like we will achieve that this month, and we have bales of wool to sell. Sigh. That wasn't something I planned on, nor want to have to do again. We won't be doing that again.
After this clean up of everything we can sell, we will be down to our three ewe mobs and 53 rams. One mob has lambs that will be weaned in a few weeks and have rams put back in. Another mob is lambing right now, and our largest mob is partying with the rams. When it starts raining, we will look at buying in more trade lambs to fatten up, or if funds allow, obtain another 1500-2000 ewes for joining.
We have received some rain. 6mm. It made a nice little burst of green to the pastures as you can see in the photos below. Things are getting tight now as the sheep have eaten the dry feed down and are eating out the green kikuyu within a few days of being in the paddock, so we are starting to supplement with some hay and lupins where needed.
Our average break to the season is March, so statistically we are close to the opening rains arriving. And when they do, because we now have containment areas in place with lick feeders and water, the intention is to take all the sheep off the paddocks for 2-3 weeks to allow the clovers and ryegrass to get a little head start. The kikuyu will boom away in that time to give a nice green feed to the sheep.