When Col Adler, ‘Cypress Park’ Barmedman via West Wyalong heard about Aussie Whites on the wireless he and his wife Rosemary were already down the path of selecting for haired sheep, using Wiltipoll over Merino ewes.
This was back in 2009 when the Adlers were producing Merino wool at 21 micron and grew increasingly frustrated by ordinary prices.
“I could see the meat producers were making more money,” Mr Adler said. “I had no intentions of going out of sheep. And as I am a ‘47 vintage I wanted an easy care type.
“When I heard about the work Graham Gilmore was doing at Tattykeel I thought ‘hair breed will do well on our country’.”
The Adlers were Tattykeel’s first customer, buying three rams before the breed’s official launch. Since that time improved traits have been line bred into the Aussie White but even back those early rams delivered.
“Straight away I could see an improvement in growth, earlier maturing,” said Mr Adler. We sell lambs at 24-26kg dressed at four and a half months depending on the season.
By turning lambs off so early there is time to let my pasture recover and so the system becomes somewhat self-fulfilling. “They provide a huge benefit by hitting weight so soon,” he said. “Pasture with more cover responds better when it rains.”
Two controlled joinings at autumn and spring maintain a consistent turn off and cash flow.
In subsequent years with improved Aussie White genetics, lambing percentage increased in the Adler’s’ flock from the 85 - 90 per cent that was normal when pure Merinos were running to 150 per cent as Tattykeel blood asserted its dominance.
Mr Adler usually joins ewe lambs at seven to eight months with young rams put to 100 ewes. That number is cut back by half as the ram ages.
“They are a very fertile breed,”he says. “With our ewe lambs they scan better than 90 per cent conception rate. They’re fantastic. We've never come across a breed like them. The ewes could join all year ‘round. With the Wilty Poll we could only join them once a year, in the spring.”
Meanwhile their shearing shed gathers dust as they haven’t shorn for three years.
“My main tools are the drafting race and scales for weighing the fat lambs,” he said. I have no regrets. Considering our lambing percentages this system more than pays for the loss of wool.
“I still have wool in my veins. I appreciate wool. But at my stage of life I need to be able to manage these sheep.”
Aussie Whites that melt in your mouth
Tattykeel Australian White stud, Oberon, has been offering the public a taste of its Aussie White lamb from the outset, first at Bendigo Sheep and Wool show before claiming gold at Sydney Fine Food Festival four years ago – the first time they entered.
The stud has funded its own research and development in the quest to genotype sensory eating quality. The breed’s ability to produce intra muscular fat levels similar to that of elite Wagyu has given the Gilmore family at Tattykeel a great platform to continue more comprehensive testing.
At first, trials conducted by Tattykeel on its Australian White lamb provided insight into the unusual eating quality of this product. It’s critical fat melting point is as low as 35 degrees as shown in early testing – 20 per cent lower than other major terminal breeds.
Melt in your mouth fats have another advantage in that they are rich in essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and 6. Wagyu already promotes this fact.
The Gilmore family have undertaken extensive embryo transfer focusing on key performance traits as well as smooth hair patterns, natural shedding ability and robust black hooves.