We are off to Dubbo on Tuesday for the Border Leicester Sale to buy our stud rams. Hoping to buy three or four if the price is right but recently the market has been very firm. Having bought the best ewes though we wont be trying to be too cute on price. A good purchase now will pay off in two years. We could have taken a good ram from Sylvia Vale's last sale in December 2009 but it is vital that we introduce new bloodlines and vigour to our flock and give ourselves the best flock rams possible for the Daramalan inaugural sale in 2010.
We will also have to match the best ram for the best ewe in our flock of 230. We'll be monitoring and measuring number of lambs born, lambs weaned, yearling fleece weight, weaning weight, yearling weight and making regular notes on the 'look' of the animals. Our aim is the best that we can produce for the prime lamb producers. Not sure yet whether we will submit data to Lambplan or Superborders.
This year it seems that first cross ewes are in short supply so we have been fortunate to have held on to our 490 until our sale in December. Recently $195 per head was paid in Temora to the west and $125 in Narromine to the north. We are expecting somewhere in between and will be happy with anything over $150.
Each year Merino farmers buy a selection of flock rams, usually Border Leicesters but sometimes an other breed like the East Friesian. A ram can be used for about four years so each year's client list is slightly different.
We are hoping to have about 80 rams for sale in 2010.
Our first cross ewes are ultimately selected for meat production but their wool is not too bad. We sent our wool to the Sydney auction through Bryton's and expected $4.20 c/kg for 25 micron wool. Hardly Merino standard but we were thrilled to receive $4.92 c/kg.
It is a lucky omen for the business so long may it continue.
The image above is by Yusio Katoh of a wood pigeon...reminded me of the Daramalan wood pigeons and is a calming print!