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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Peak spring is nigh - and first ram purchase at auction.

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

On our 185ha, we currently have 4,111 ewes, weaners, lambs and trade sheep, plus hopefully >1,000 unmarked lambs and 212 late joined maiden ewes who started lambing yesterday. I have taken some photos today of the paddock the latter mob are in. I am still trying daily to find 2,000 more trade sheep to bring onto the property ASAP to utilise our spring flush.

I don't measure pasture production, but visually it's amazing to watch at this time of year. Our best nutrition paddocks grow past stocking rates of 100-140 DSE/ha. We are still moving them out of the paddock every 7-days, but it is disappointing to see the pasture not being utilised. Even our weakest paddocks are ready to graze again in 14 days. With abundant moisture in the soil and very mild temperatures (maximums of 16-18C and minimums of 6-9C), we should see pastures accelerate in biomass for another 3-4 weeks, and longer if more rain comes and temperatures stay mild.

On a different matter, I went to my first ram sale last week and I was way out of my league. Wow some people pay huge money for rams. I did bid on one very good one, but since brothers to this ram from the same sire sold for $14,700 and $18,000 with almost identical ASBV's and structure, I made a token few bids and decided to stop at $4,100. Fortunately, everyone else stopped too. I was so chuffed. I will get a photo of him when he arrives. I have ~2,000 girls I will give him access to in two mobs for 17-18 days in each one before sending in other rams 10-14 days later. This ram is a major step forward in the genetics I want in our flock. I prefer Katahdins of course, but they are not in Australia yet, so UltraWhites will remain our main genetics with some dabbling in Nudies and SheepMasters (I do like the look and performance of these).

If it is of interest, his ASBV's are BWT -0.13, WWT 7.4, PWWT 11.8, PFAT 1.9 and PEMD 3.5. The top ram at the sale sold for $18,000 from the same sire and his ASBV's are BWT -0.2, WWT 7.2, PWWT 11.7, PFAT 1.0 and PEMD 3.8. I was very fortunate. Both are excellent structure and are full shedding with superb muscling and nice fat levels. Hopefully his fat leads to resilience and his muscling to high value lambs produced. Time will tell.

Anyway, here are some photos from today.

In the background is ~1,000 ewes and 840 lambs with 212 ewes starting to lamb. The foreground is the paddock they were moved into after taking these photos. The next two photos are similar, just at different angles to show the whole flock and paddock.

Close up of the pasture the sheep are being moved into.

The paddock of the ewes and lambs on the left, and the paddock they are moving into on the right.

My dogometer (Luka) in a paddock that unfortunately won't wont be grazed for another 11 days. This is one of 8-paddocks we are using for our weaners and trade sheep, but need many more trade sheep to help utilise the spring flush.

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