Bigger, plainer ewes of the Ramboullet sheep breed from France, have been used in a successful Poll Dorset/ Merino crossbreeding programme since 1994 by WAMMCO’s November Producer of the Month, Haydn Beeck of ‘Grand View’ Katanning.
Haydn won WAMMCO’s November award with a line of 110 crossbred lambs that weighed an average of 25.5 kg and were priced mainly in the $3.10 per kg premium price category to return an average of $78.07.
Worried that the abundant season would push fat scores too high, Haydn followed the advice of WAMMCO’s Rob Davidson by weaning lambs off their mothers earlier than usual.
“They were weaned about five weeks before delivery to the Katanning plant on November 17, and most of them came in at score 2-3 with a few going into the fat score 4 category.”
Haydn mates about 3000 ewes each year, maintaining a ratio of about 1200 ewes for prime lamb production. These are Merino/Ramboullet cross ewes using rams from Jim West’s Ramboullet stud at Wagin.
“We had been producing crossbred lambs since the 1960’s but began to look around for plainer, bigger animals in the mid 1990’s in response to changing demands. The larger frame, plainer body of the Ramboullet appealed as a Merino cross ewe base and has worked well with Poll Dorset sires.”
Haydn was expecting to deliver further consignments of lambs to WAMMCO before the Katanning plant closed for maintenance on December 16. He would offer further consignments from January to March, running these lambs on pasture.stubbles with self feeders in the paddock.
He said whereas he had delivered lambs to WAMMCO over many years, he became a shareholder only recently – but just in time to benefit from the cooperative’s first rebate.
He regarded the location of “Grand View’ just 12 km from the Katanning plant and having Fiona Clay to assist with lamb bookings, as further bonuses.
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