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Dohne shines in carcass and market suitability

June 8, 2016 – by Kim Woods Outcross Media

Dohne lambs have stacked up for carcass traits and market suitability by taking out the export class at this year’s Dubbo Show Prime Lamb Hoof and Hook competition.
Purebred lambs filled three of the four top carcass placings in the export class in the competition, held in May at Fletcher International.
Catering for pens of six, the competition drew a record 528 entries from 12 maternal, terminal and composite breeds.
Peter Hyland, Geurie, NSW, won the export class with a pure Dohne pen averaging 57.2kg liveweight, with a 27.6kg carcass weight, 48.3 per cent yield, 18.1sqcm eye muscle area and fat depth of 10mm to return a total hook score of 44.8 out of 50.
Peter, Margot and Andrew Hughes, Ardell Pastoral Company, Baldry, NSW, were in third place with a Dohne pen averaging 30.3kg dressed, 51.6 per cent yield and with a 15.4sqcm eye muscle area for a total 43.5 points.
Graham and Susan Coddington placed fourth with September-drop pure Dohnes averaging 53.2kg liveweight, 24.5kg carcass weight, 46.1 per cent yield and a 14.4sqcm eye muscle area to total 43.5 points.
The Dohne entries were the only breed to score nine or greater out of 10 on carcass suitability.
Mr Coddington, of Yeoval, enters a pen of commercial lambs each year in the prestigious competition to benchmark the breed and garner valuable chiller feedback.
Graham and Susan are strict on animal welfare and quality assurance practices to ensure superior meat eating quality in their lambs
“We aim for a quality carcass with a good eye muscle area and the right fat cover to result in eating consistency for a discerning consumer,’’ Graham said.
“Our lambs are ethically raised on chicory and lucerne pastures and we haven’t mulesed since 2006.’’
He runs 1000 commercial Dohne ewes on the 2226ha mixed enterprise, “Catombal’’ in a 700mm rainfall zone.
Ewes are joined across six weeks in October for a March lambing.
Maiden ewes are classed on conformation, carcass and wool quality, with 30 per cent classed out to join to a White Suffolk and 10 per cent to a Charollais.

“The maiden ewes are joined at 18 months with 92 per cent scanned in lamb and 94 per cent in the older ewes,’’ Mr Coddington said.
“Within six weeks of lambing, they are joined to Charollais rams to give an early maturing lamb ready for sale at the end of August.
“In 2014, the ewes had their second lamb in mid September with 68 per cent pregnant to give a marking percentage of 125.
“The Dohne cross lambs sold over-the-hooks to JBS Australia that year for an average of $144 and in 2015 for $136.
“We repeated the process in 2015 with 71 per cent scanning in lamb at the second joining (to a Charollais).’’
Mr Coddington has been impressed by the quick maturity and maternal traits.
“They really shine with their mothering ability, milk and lamb survival rates,’’ he said.
The flock runs on an eight month shearing interval, with a staple length of 80-85mm.
“We are breeding sheep with a loose skin with long free growing wool, averaging 18.6 micron, 5kg fleece weight and a comfort factor over 92 per cent,’’ Mr Coddington said.
“I’m after staple length and structure, whiteness, brightness and crimp definition.
“Good quality wool shears better and is less susceptible to fleece rot.’’
The last consignment of April shorn wool averaged 18.6 micron, with a 70 per cent yield and average comfort factor of 99.5 per cent to return 859c/kg greasy.
Mr Coddington was impressed from the start with the Dohne breed’s commercial approach to performance recording.
He enters his purebred and crossbred lambs in the Dubbo Hoof and Hook competition to compare with other breeds.
“I like to finish the Dohne lambs to export weights on a chicory, lucerne and clover mix, summer pastures and grazing cereals,’’ he said.
“Two weeks before sale I weigh the lambs to ensure they are 26-27kg carcass weight – any lighter lambs are finished on self-feeders.’’
A consignment of 900 purebred wether lambs sold over-the-hooks in February to Thomas Foods International, to average 24.2kg carcass weight at 550c/kg, while another load sold in April at 520c/kg to return an average of $136 (including skins).
The wethers had shorn 3kg of wool for a nett value of $20.
The Coddington and Hughes families will open their flocks on July 20 to national and international visitors during the 2016 Dohne Global Conference.

On display will be purebred maiden ewes, ewes with sucker lambs, rams and fleeces, and Dohne cross lambs.
As conference chairman, Mr Coddington will welcome 44 international guests and oversee a program packed with pre and post tours, and an unparalleled line-up of domestic and international guest speakers.
Topics include commercial flock genomic benchmarking and ram selection, lamb eating quality and yield, maternal qualities and feedlot performance.
For details, visit www.dohne.com.au

 

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