At Glen Holme we have finished our grain harvest, despite breaks due to extreme weather conditions that lead to days of high fire danger. Many producers in our area have been thankful for the income streams from their livestock enterprises and have indicated that they will increase their breeding ewe flock.
In all things, balance is critical to both survival and great management, and we may well see the pendulum swing a little towards sheep instead of the high input costs of cropping.
We have been able to move most of our sheep on to the fresh feed of stubbles and ease off the pressure on our annual pastures.
We completed the second trip to the South East of South Australia to bring the remainder of the Jelmagh Stud sheep home to be relocated at Glen Holme. This extended our crutching season as we now have another 133 lambs, 48 ewe hoggets and 109 stud ewes.
Hay making and carting was both early and quick this year and was completed before lamb shearing and the AI program.
Harvest was delayed to accommodate a week of this work and has been interrupted through stoppages for contracting and days of very high fire danger.
The Jelmagh sheep have settled in and gained condition, and a top young ram is in with the older ewes.
Delivery of rams to the Mallee and South East Districts of South Australia has meant several trips and days away from home. These days are valuable because we see clients in their own setting.
We were given the opportunity to purchase a whole Dohne Stud when the owners had sold their land and were retiring from sheep breeding activities. Upon inspection of the sheep we made the decision to bring the Jelmagh Dohnes into our own flock for the future. We were pleased with their quality of breeding that comes from a lifetime of experience.
We wish Peter and Helen Ashby well for their plans to enjoy retirement, and we thank them for the opportunity to buy mature ewes, ewe hoggets, the entire 2015 lamb drop and a proven sire.
October is the month when much time is allocated to make good plans for both natural mating and an Artificial Insemination program. AI is the method of choice to get some fresh genetics to a selection of the best ewes when the ram is not for sale.
Our On-Property Auction was the best so far. We sold 63 of 76 to a top of $4200, averaging $1510. The top 2 rams were full ET brothers and went to other studs. No. 2 made $3200. Most buyers had bought our sheep before, but it was also pleasing to have new buyers come, many of whom we had met at field days. This was a huge team effort by our family, with everyone contributing their skills.
Auctioneer Leo Redden contributed his humour and knowledge to make the auction fun and fast moving. His one liners and wise cracks kept people in good spirits.
With strong interstate interest in our hoggets we have been busy providing photographs and information about them.
The display team at Crystal Brook Show included both Sires that we have used and the very best of our 2014 drop rams which have been reserved for our use and sales. Two fleeces were also taken to Crystal Brook Show, and were awarded ribbons for Champion Dohne Ram Fleece and Champion Dohne Ewe Fleece
Grading of our Sale team and decisions relating to lotting order are well underway, with our catalogue due to be available by early September. It will be available on our website and the Sheep Genetics website by following the Sheep Genetics>Dohne>Sale Catalogues pathway, or by contacting us directly we will be able to supply a file of the Sale Rams, complete with full parentage, ASBV’s and Dohne Index.
There has been a review of the formulation of the National Dohne index with a strengthening of the weightings for growth rate and muscle. None-the-less the 50% percentile has barely changed and now sits at 128.2.
Glen Holme sheep have shown that they still rank well under the new formula, and we have observed that the sheep that rank well are also the most productive (as they should be).
The style of Dohne that you purchase and or breed can be your choice. There is a lot of variation within traits in the Dohne population, and by using visual selection in combination with ASBV's, you have the ability to select animals to suit your breeding objectives. Read more
Shearing of all our 2014 drop ewes and rams went smoothly, and now, the last of the data recordings has been done. Soon, final breeding values will be available.
Attendance at the Outback Field Day in Pooncarie, NSW, in early May means we have been able to meet with some of our pastoral clients in the area, and show others our sheep.
Crop seeding has begun.
Stud lambing is now complete with the mothering up process finalised. This has allowed us to do the individual tagging and make good observations about family traits in both sire and dam lines. Three rains have brought a start to the growing season and we can steadily wind back the use of supplementary feeding after a hard summer and autumn.
Fat and muscle scanning is complete for the 2014 drop.
We have attended Field Days at Lucindale in the South East of South Australia and Karoonda in the Murray Mallee region, talking with current and prospective clients, showing them what we have to offer and also the results we have achieved in the last 12 months with wool sales, surplus sheep sales, and prime lamb results in the saleyard at auction and over the hooks by forward contract.
Lambs have started to arrive with some promising young Glen Holme sires producing the goods to our hopes and expectations.
This month we shore our mature ewes in full fleece, and have saved the display fleeces for our series of Field Days and Spring show, including the Royal Adelaide Show in September.
Lambs are on their way!
We have used a majority of young sires bred at Glen Holme for the March/April lambing. These have been the best progeny from our purchases of fresh sires and our AI and ET programmes in recent times.
We have found that our best young sheep came from Glen Holme born and bred mothers, and this year is the first year that all of our lambs will have an AJK prefix on one or both sides of their pedigree.
This testing of young sires sits in parallel with nominating some of them in National Trials.
More fresh sires will be put with ewes this month for a June 2015 lambing, enabling us to evaluate some more.