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Central West Genetics

Macquarie Dohne stud’s 18th annual ram sale is one for the record books

Macquarie Dohnes to $7000, $3518 average

By Edwina Watson The Land

ALREADY breed records have fallen thick and fast during the 2021 spring season of ram sales.

At Macquarie Dohne stud’s 18th annual production ram sale at Ballimore on Wednesday last week, spirited bidding lifted the stud to a new high and what is believed to be a Dohne record average, after snatching that title from another which had taken the record just days previously.

Overall 196 Dohne rams were sold for a perfect clearance and to an average of $3518.

Third in the draft was Macquarie Dohne 202622, which topped the sale at $7000 when longtime clients David and Annie Berrell, Midgery Dohne stud, Walgett, returned to the Ballimore stud.

A grandson of Wardry 2966 and a twin son of MD180479 and out of MD163270, the ram had Australian sheep breeding values placing him in the top 20 per cent of the breed for post-weaning weight, and in the top 5pc of the breed for yearling clean fleece weight.

He had a Dohne Plus index of 167.1, also placing him in the top 20pc of the breed.

Purchaser Mr Berrell said he had relied on Macquarie Dohne bloodlines for use within his own stud operation for close to two decades.

“We first went there in 2002 when we established Midgery Dohne stud,” Mr Berrell said.

“Within our operation we are breeding for that exceptional wool quality, bodyweight and fertility.

“The family of that top ram, the Wardry family, really suits our operation.”

Mr Berrell said the ram was high indexing, with very good Australian sheep breeding values.

He added that in all of two decades, he thought the stud had presented its best line-up of rams this year.

Mr and Mrs Berrell also purchased another Wardry family ram, Macquarie Dohne 022845, for $5000.

Vendor John Nadin said he was thrilled with the result.

“It’s quite incredible really,” Mr Nadin said.

“We offered and sold one of the highest-ever numbers of Dohne rams for an Australian on-property auction.”

Mr Nadin attributed the breed’s increasing popularity to its doing ability, carcase and growth rates.

“Dohnes offer producers a modern mules free, plain bodied, fertile and profitable sheep that enhances productivity when crossed with all breeds. They are such good doers and such good meat sheep,” Mr Nadin said.

“One of our new clients from the New England said he’d bought some Dohne ewes for a trade job, but he’s now going all Dohnes.

“He said it was their doing ability that really stood out to him.”

Likewise, Mr Nadin said the breed produced quality wool.

“I think our wool quality would match any Merino enterprise,” he said.

“The common perception is that Dohnes don’t cut as much wool as Merinos but, for example, the Currey family from Walgett have consistently had hogget ewes average 6.4 kg.

“Their wether lambs have run on native pasture dressed at an average of 32.2kg and returned $264. Add the wool component and you are looking at a $300-plus wether lamb.”

“The focus on wool-based sheep in Australia has changed. Wool is now seen as a by product.

“Now, the Merino guys are looking at a 70pc meat operation.

“They’re thinking ‘as long as I can make a bit out of the wool, make a few bob and cover my shearing costs, well so be it.”

Mr Nadin said mulesing had also played a part in the Dohne’s rise throughout Australia.

“We picked up quite a few traditional Merino clients yesterday and they’re after the bare breech. They’re phasing out mulesing,” he said.

Volume buyers included returning clients Andrew Yates, WG Yates and Co, Garah, who purchased 21 rams to an average of $2452; the Currey family, Walgett, who purchased 17 rams to an average of $3912; DP O’Brien Family Trust, Walgett, which purchased 16 rams to an average of $4188; O’Brien Brigalows Pastoral, Walgett, which purchased 13 rams to an average of $4115 and Rosscommon Farming, Mungindi, which purchased 12 rams to an average of $2417.

Of the gallery of buyers, there were 11 new clients of Macquarie Dohne stud that purchased rams.

First-time buyers Yaccabri Pastoral Company, Rankin Springs, purchased 11 rams to an average of $3519 and Craig Hattwell, Lake Cargelligo, purchased eight rams to an average of $2125.

In all, the rams were sold to buyers across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.

Selling agents were Clemson Hiscox and Co, Walgett.

Macquarie Dohne stud sold one of the highest-ever numbers of Dohne rams for an Australian on-property auction, clearing 196 to a top of $7000 and to a $3518 average.