THE Central West Association of Agricultural Shows Maiden Merino Ewe Competition has been won by the Condobolin flock of Harold and Phillip Crouch of Karu Pastoral Pty Ltd, Milby
Judged by Rick Power from Landmark Stud Stock, Grenfell, and Garry Kopp from Towonga Merinos, Peak Hill, the Crouch's flock was described as a very even line across the board of well presented young breeding ewes.
The winning flock was of Milby blood and was classed by Chris Bowman of Hay.
Judge Garry Kopp said the maiden ewes were good wool cutters that were well grown and well covered.
"They are well balanced ewes that are structurally all very correct," Mr Kopp said.
"They have good rich nourished wools, and are very well grown and well covered.
"They are good wool cutters of rich gutsy wools."
The Crouch's maiden flock came back at 85 per cent scanned in lamb, a result Phillip Crouch said was attributable to them being fed and joined in a feedlot situation.
"They were joined in a feedlot situation, so the better tucker has probably helped them cycle better and therefore get in lamb better," he said.
"They were locked up from March or April and let out for a period of Christmas. They were fed oats and hay, along with a few lick blocks."
Joining 1900 ewes annually, the Crouch's have a culling percentage around the 30 to 33 per cent mark and hope to average around to 20-micron in their grown sheep.
Their breeding objective would be for all their ewes to cut around the nine kilogram mark and have a lamb each year. "We want them to cut plenty of wool and keep it at that 20 micron. That would be good at this rate," Mr Crouch said.
All the ewes in the winning flock were in the process of being shorn this week.
The Crouchs previously took out the 39th Don Brown Memorial Maiden Ewe field days on February 18 and 19, judged by Drew Chapman, Hinesville Merinos and West Plains Poll Merinos, Delegate, and Ray Cannon, Westray Merinos, Peak Hill.
Second place overall went to the Trundle Ted Little Memorial Merino Ewe competition winners James and Elise Nixon, Leewang, Yarrabandai.
Described during the Trundle competition on February 14 as true western sheep by Rick Baldwin, Bundilla Poll Merinos, Young, and Ashley White, Cowra,
The Leewang maidens totalling 237 head were of Bundemar blood and dropped in July/August 2017.
After a 32pc classing out by Tom Kirk, Condobolin, 160 head have been kept as replacement breeders within the 500-head self-replacing flock. Adult sheep are growing an average 19.2 micron wool.
In the runners-up competition, whereby all the second placed teams from each of the individual flock ewe competitions are judged against each other, it was again a Condobolin flock that caught the judges eyes.
Allen and Peter and Vikki Stuckey from Murtonga Pastoral, Murtonga, Condobolin, took the win in this section with their flock of Bundemar bloodlines classed by Tom Kirk, Condobolin.
With a 2018 lambing percentage of 85.5pc and a culling percentage of 31pc, the Murtonga flock is shorn in April with ewes lambing in June/July.