Dohne weight gain defies dry

Good weight gain with Dohnes despite dry

Recommended
EXCELLENT WEIGHT FOR AGE: Mark and Sue Evans' April and May-drop lambs reached $140 a head on AuctionsPlus in July.

EXCELLENT WEIGHT FOR AGE: Mark and Sue Evans' April and May-drop lambs reached $140 a head on AuctionsPlus in July.

Aa

Dohnes are pulling through the tough times and lambs are continuing to meet market demand, despite the extreme dry at Walgett.

Aa

Dohnes are pulling through the tough times and lambs are continuing to meet market demand, despite the extreme dry at Walgett.

Mark, Sue and Sam Evans run a 3000-head flock at Martindale, selling wether and cull ewe lambs through AuctionsPlus.

They were Merino breeders, but went into Dohnes about 15 years ago, with the goal to increase size and add another enterprise to the business.

"We're pretty happy with the way they're performing," Mr Evans said.

"They're better scroungers than Merinos so they do hang on a bit longer, but one thing is they'll eat everything, so there's not as much ground cover."

They source genetics from Macquarie Dohnes, with the aim to improve wool cut.

"In selecting rams we've got our focus on increasing wool production," Mr Evans said.

"The wool quality is excellent, but the quantity is a bit less, so that's what we're working on."

RELATED READING:

In good years the Evans family finishes lambs to trade weights on crop, but in recent years they've been fed in the on-farm feedlot.

"We've had seven consecutive dry summers and one wet winter in the last seven years, so the season is quite extreme. We have a lot of sheep on agistment at the moment on failed wheat crops, but we'd been feeding for 22 months straight before then."

Finishing lambs in the feedlot paid off this year, with April and May-drop lambs making $140 a head on AuctionsPlus in July.

"The weight for age is excellent," Mr Evans said.

"Our lambs were putting on 270 grams a day, straight off the ewes, and you wouldn't get anywhere near that weight with Merino lambs straight off mum.

Our lambs were putting on 270 grams a day, straight off the ewes. - Mark Evans, Walgett

"Ideally we'd wean them a bit later, in September, so they're a bit heavier and if the season's right they'd go on a winter crop. The feedlot's been a big help to us to finish off stock, but the biggest issue is the price of grain."

Mr Evans said the Dohnes had dealt with the drought well.

"We've always tried to hold on in a drought so when it does break you get back up to full production, but I'm not sure how this one will go.

"They're definitely better survivors and we've still been able to sell the lambs.

"The good thing about this drought is the sheep and wool markets have kept up well, because normally in a drought you can't give sheep away."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by