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Why Dohnes?

At Macquarie we strive to, genetically, stay well ahead of the pack and realise higher returns for our clients.

James Koster & I have been working together as classer & stud master for over 25 years. This is an invaluable relationship when it comes to stud sheep breeding.

James is one of the few dohne stud classers who sees the dohne for what it is, gets the balance right and doesn’t favour wool over carcass or vice versa.

We are continually doing benchmarking comparisons & in light of the recent lift in the wool market & many classers/consultants/media talking up the value of wool, I thought it timely to do a comparison between two flocks in the same area.

The following recent figures are gross and are calculated on 1000 breeding ewes & a 1105c floor price.

 

  Flock 1 Flock 2
F3/F4 Dohne Merino
$   $
Wool cut 5.2kg          29,250 6kg                 33,750
Micron 20.0 21.5
% Yield 67 68
% Dry + lambed & lost 9 30
Lambing % 115 90
Weaning % 113 85
Store wether Lambs 529  @ $55      29,000 402 @ $38      15,300
Cull ewes 167  @ $120    20,000 121 @ $118    14,300
CFA ewes 200  @ $74      14,800 200 @ $64      12,800
Total(Gross)   93,050 76,150
Total(Gross) per ewe 93.05 76.15

Therefore, in this scenario, running an F3/F4 operation equates to a $16.90 profit margin per breeding ewe over a merino.

It is always difficult to perform comparative analysis because of different regions, seasons & management practices.

However, these figures do paint a picture.

What is hard to measure is the Dohnes doing ability, ease of management, ability to finish quickly, ability to perform & grow into a productive animal after a hard start, survivability, better feed conversion & pasture utilization.

The lambs in the above scenario have been sold as stores due to the drought conditions in both operations.

Recently, a client in southern NSW sold his sucker F3/F4 dohne wether lambs for $107 per head. Imagine the comparison with merinos under this scenario.

When equating the wool cut to a per hectare basis & taking into account that an extra 21% of merino ewes aren’t carrying or rearing a lamb (therefore maintaining the higher wool cut per head), the dohne with the increased weaning percentage and less dry ewes is on par with the merino in terms of wool cut and streets ahead on carcass value, growth rates, and doing ability; and easier and therefore, cheaper, to finish.

Interestingly, the wool yield on flock 1 has increased by 7% over the last decade, from 60 to 67%. Many of our clients’ flocks are yielding better than their merino flock.

We also have clients in traditional fine & super fine areas who, by introducing the dohne, have lifted body weight & fleece weight by 30% while maintaining micron & yield.

My observation of the dohne over the last 13 years is that regardless of the season the wool cut and micron remains reasonably stable whereas our merinos fluctuated quite dramatically in those extreme years.

Many people misunderstand the dohne & the role it has to play in the Australian sheep industry.

The dohne is a dual-purpose animal……..70% meat & 30% wool. We are continuously striving to increase the wool cut WITHOUT sacrificing the doing ability, growth rates, carcass attributes & fertility.

As I write the heavens have opened up in what, I only hope, delivers widespread rain especially throughout Northern NSW & Qld where the drought has taken its toll.

After an extremely dry 2012 winter, spring, summer and 2013 autumn, May & June delivered some useful rain. The rams haven’t been hand fed at all & will present in excellent condition at our sale on Wednesday 25th September.

All rams were shorn on the 19th June & have recently been cliked & vaccinated & are ready for work.

Macquarie is Brucellosis accredited & OJD free. We meet the criteria set down by the Australian authority’s to sell sheep into all states of Australia.

Free delivery to most areas applies.

Stop Press

Auctions plus today – Aug/Sept 12 drop Dohne ewes July shorn sold for $140, XB ewes same age & weight $117.50, Merino ewes $120.50.

We look forward to catching up in the near future.

MD103168 Premier Sale 2012

MD103168 “Ace Family”