Diverting a line of SAMM/Poll Dorset long tailed lambs from the live export market to WAMMCO at Katanning enabled Robert O’Halloran to capture the cooperative’s Producer of the Month title for November.
The line of 300 lambs achieved an average weight of 23.68 kg to return $69.43 per head including a skin value of $3.66.
One third of the draft achieved $2.90/kg over the scales, with 58 percent qualifying for the premium class (22.1-28 kg, Fat score 2 & 3.)
Robert said the sheep flock at his Cherry Tree property was traditionally Merino based, but he had started breeding SAMMs in the early 1990’s with the aim supplying long tailed lambs for export.
To increase his options, he recently began using Poll Dorset rams in an earlier mating with SAMM/Merino cross ewes to produce lambs that could go either for export or for processing.
"We have been doing well with the long tailed crossbreds for export, timing our production from October to cater for the Haj.
“My son Nick suggested using Poll Dorsets and bringing the mating forward a month to give us the option of a price from WAMMCO. We have been members of the cooperative since it was formed but were not previously major suppliers.
“The lambs went over the scales on WAMMCO’s daily schedule. They had been running on land affected by water-logging and came off drying pasture with a high clover content with some supplementary barley feeding in autumn.”
Robert is also keenly involved with other important sheep research. He is currently participating in a trial with sheep he obtained from the Rylington Park flock managed by John Karlsson, to identify and breed ‘non-muleser’ sheep, as well as separate work to breed worm resistant Merinos. The Mt.Barker based flock is regarded as the most worm resistant flock in Australia.
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