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Far David Kain Valley DOHNE. - Location - Arthur River Approx. 200 kms south of Perth Rainfall = 18 inches in last 20 years Primarily Mixed farming area.

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Presentation on theme: "Far David Kain Valley DOHNE. - Location - Arthur River Approx. 200 kms south of Perth Rainfall = 18 inches in last 20 years Primarily Mixed farming area."— Presentation transcript:

1 Far David Kain Valley DOHNE

2 - Location - Arthur River Approx. 200 kms south of Perth Rainfall = 18 inches in last 20 years Primarily Mixed farming area.

3 Far Valley Homestead

4 Far Valley the last 20 years…

5  We lease nearly all our Land  Traditional Merino Breeder  Typical of area in and around Arthur River in the 80’s and most of the 90’s, all sheep, and very little cropping.  Pig Producer for 30 odd years

6 Lots of Bacon

7 Far Valley Status in 1985  Wool and Meat – a good combination  Had typical Collinsville Peppin cross sheep  80 - 85 % Lambing  Good plain ewes doing 22.5 micron

8  I was breeding my own Rams and had started to sell a few to interested farmers.  Came 3 rd in local ewe hogget trial in 1985.  Was quite pleased with myself, definitely young and silly.

9 The Judge  When commenting on my ewe hoggets the judge said:  “Great House, but what about the furniture”.  He was of course, referring to the wool on my sheep.

10  Registered as a Merino Stud in 1987.  1989 the Wool Corporation collapsed.  Proceeded to put lots of quality furniture into the house.

11  By 1996, we came to the realization that the pig industry was facing imminent collapse.  With 6 – 7,000 pigs on hand at all times we were very vulnerable.  Because of corporate involvement the states sow herd had trebled in 12 months.  We got out just in time.

12 By 1997, we had that much furniture on my sheep, that the walls were starting to crumble.


14  Lambing %’s had fallen to 75%  The flock had gradually become poorer doer’s and needed a lot more looking after.  But the wool cut was great and the fibre, elite.

15 Flock Description  We had a 20 micron flock.  Producing 36 kg.s of wool per hectare.  We were running 8.9 d.s.e.’s to the Hectare.

16 VIABILITY ???? Nasty word isn’t it.

17  Wool prices were still depressed and had been for 9 years.  The future of the wool industry and more importantly ours were not looking bright.  The bank manager was dropping in a little too often and monthly reports to the bank had become a way of life.

18  Leases continued their upward climb and were becoming very expensive.  We had to do something that would reverse the trend and have some positive effect on income, or we were quite simply, out of business.

19 Diversification  We needed to put meat back into the equation on the farms.  We needed to retain the wool component.  Perhaps it was time to do more cropping.  I was aware that the bank manager was having a few breathing problems, whenever our account crossed his desk.

20 Relative meat and wool prices—1960 to 2000 9.3% 6.9% Cumulative increase Over the past 4 decades Sheep meat prices increased at a rate 34% faster than that of wool

21  Three very important things happened to change it all around. 1.We got lucky - In 1998 commodity prices improved across the board. 2.Export hay - I did 200 ha and got it through without rain on it. 3.We found Dohnes.


23 Why Dohnes ?  In the sheep industry, the Dohne is not recognized as being the best in any one particular area or trait.  They certainly are not the biggest.

24  A Merino can cut more wool per head  A Texel might have a better carcass.  A pure White Suffolk might grow faster.  A Finn might have more lambs.  A Damara might be hardier or tougher.

25  But the Dohne is very good at all the above.  It is a very uncomplicated sheep and as you learn more about the breed, you will understand better, how and why it can do what it does.  It is the best multi purpose woolled sheep in the world today.

26 1999 - became a Dohne Stud.  We bought 70 recipient ewes carrying pure Dohne lambs to start us off.  In process of converting to a full Dohne flock in the commercials.  Moving through F1 and F2 status, but doing it as quickly as possible.

27 F1 Commercial ewes just before mating in 2004 * Note: Condition Score

28 2004 Matings  In 2004 we mated 4,106 F1 and F2 ewes. This included 1100 maidens  We put the Dohne Rams in on the 30 th January.  We removed them on the 5 th of March.  A mating of 35 days.

29 Pregnancy Facts In the first month after conception, eye muscle depth is set. In the last month of pregnancy wool follicles are set.

30 Pregnancy Scanning  Employed a New Zealander to do the scanning.  2,956 ewes were carrying singles.  965 ewes were carrying twins.  185 were scanned as dry.

31  A conception rate of 119%  Note: Condition score and Feeding regime prior to mating all important, but that is another issue.

32 12 – point mating program for autumn/early winter lambing 1.Get Rams ready 6 weeks prior 2.Make sure ewes are isolated from rams. 3.Inject wethers twice 7 days apart, put with ewes = day 0. 4.Days 7 to 14 -feed 500 grams lupins/head daily. 5.Day 15 – 45 put up to 3% Rams in.

33 6.Day 45 - Remove Rams and Teasers from ewes. 7.Day 85 - scan ewes ( Approx. 40 days pregnant). 8.Identify 0, 1 + multiples. 9.Re mate your dry ewes? 10. Special management for all multiples. 11. Day 135 - Vaccinate,Drench, give Vit E + Sel ? 12. Implement strategies to lift lamb survival, especially twins.

34 Dohne F2 Ewe Hoggets

35 YES, Dohne ewes can count.  We separated the twinning ewes and ran them accordingly.  Basically gave them 30% more country.  I must make mention of the fact that when you put twin bearing ewes in a mob together they behave totally different. Very quiet.

36  Averaged 112% from ewes mated at Mulesing time.  An increase of 37% in 5 years.  We cut 39 kg/ha of 19.5 micron wool.  An increase of 3 kgs in 5 years.  We are now running 10.4 winter d.s.e.’s/ha  Up 1.5 in 5 years


38 Other 2004 Achievements  We came 3 rd with a pen of F2’s in the carcass competition at the 2004 Williams Expo.  We were beaten by Texels, who won and Suffolk crosses who came 2 nd.

39 F2’s in the Feedlot

40 Carcasses at Hillside Meats

41  Part of the mob (223) went to Hillside Meats in March and the average carcass weight was 21.2 kg. And average price was $72.54 after costs.  Reg Crabbe reported “All the carcasses were of a very high standard and met the criteria for Q Lamb product range at Hillside”.  Reg is the Field Development Officer at Hillside Meats.  Note: 100% of the lambs met the Q Lamb criteria. None were over fat.

42 F2 wether lambs

43  The heavier portion of the F2’s went to DBC in March and averaged $76 in the yard. Once again they were very happy with them.  Note: Presentation of your lambs is critical.  All the F1 2003 drop male lambs were left entire and sold to the shipping trade.  Have a client from Bodallin who sold his April drop F1’s at 50 kgs in September.

44 2004 Wool  In June this year had clients from Williams who won clip of the week, selling through Elders.  On August 18th 2004 we sold the last part of the 2003 Far Valley clip. The top price for a 21 bale line that averaged 18.8 micron, was a little over a 1,000 cents clean. Definitely up at the top end of the market.

45 2005 Matings  Total Mated 3,627 F1 & F2 Dohne Ewes. * mating Including 1395 maidens  Joined for a 28 day.

46 2005 Scanning  2084 were carrying Singles  1,277 were carrying multiples  266 were dry  * A Conception rate of 129%

47 2005 Foundation Flock Results  A single mob 1,346 F1 Foundation ewes  561 Singles  726 multiples  59 dry  Conception rate of 149%

48 2005 Lambing Results  At Mulesing we finished with 115% lambs from ewes mated.  Slightly disappointing, but there were issues with eagles, and a bad weather event during lambing.

49 2005 F2 Ewes with F3 Lambs at Foot 29 Ha of pasture – Crimson, Prima Gland, Dalkeith Clovers and a mixture of 5 Tetraloid Rye Grasses. 269 Maiden Ewes = 16.2 WGDSE 317 Lambs = 118% Lambs birth weight = 2 kg 80 day weight = 36.1 kg Growth rate = 451 grams/day Gross Margin Projection (Based on 2004 actuals) 269 ewes 5.75 kg wool @ $5.00 = 1546 kg = $7,734.00 317 lambs 1.5 kg wool @ $3.00 = 475 kg = $1,426.00 317 @ $70.00 average = = $22,190.00 Total = $31,350.00 $1,081.00 / hectare

50 2005 Meat Results  At Far Valley we have sold over a 1,000 F1 & F2 wether lambs to Hillside Meats from Feb to April 2005.  Been in Q Lambs top 10% producers of the month for all 3 months.  At an average dressed weight of 22.2 kgs.  Average price of $72.00

51 2005 WAMMCO Results In April Far Valley participated in a WAMMCO trial and our lambs performed exceptionally well, with the Far Valley lambs dressing out at 26.1 kgs and having amongst other things the largest EMA. The meat colour of the Dohne lambs were exceptional and the shape of the F2’s carcasses led WAMMCO officials to accept Dohne F2 lambs at prime lamb scheduled prices.


53 Sheep and Cropping at Far Valley.  Currently we are 50% sheep and 50% cropping.  As we get to Purebred Dohne status in our commercials, intend to go 60% sheep and 40% cropping.

54 Current Status at Far Valley  Maintaining our wool  Putting more meat on faster growing lambs.  Rapidly increasing lambing percentages.  Introducing a lot hardier and easy care genotype into our flock.

55 Proportion of Income from Sheep  Five years ago we were roughly 70% income from Wool and 30% from Meat.  Now 60% Meat and 40% Wool  Not far from main objective,  70% meat and 30% wool

56 HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?  Not necessarily from less wool cut per hectare.  Increase in sheep sales.  Increase in carrying capacity (better feed converters).  In 2 words… “ more production.”

57 Marketing Percentages  More important than lambing or weaning percentages.  That is the number of lambs sold per ewe per year.

58 The Dohne Advantage  Because you have the ability to sell your lambs faster, it also has a carryover effect on the number of ewes you can retain for breeding.

59 FV04 0911 with Ewe Lambs

60 HOW CAN THEY DO IT?  How much grass in a glass?  It requires 4 times the energy to grow a kilogram of wool versus a kilogram of meat.

61 Dohne Selection Objectives  The fundamental Objective is financial - to realise the highest possible profit.  Flocks achieving the highest gross margins exhibit the following features;  70% of total income is derived from meat production and 30% from wool.  Ewes in full production comprise at least 60% of the total flock.  High reproductive rates are being achieved.

62 FV04 0911 Age: 9 Months

63 Dollars in Pockets  To put it simply, our sheep are earning us more money and importantly, more of it is staying in our pockets.

64 Time will tell the Story.  20 odd years have passed, but I think I can now say, yes, I do have a better sheep to deal with market fluctuations.  It really is exciting to watch it happen on your own farm and then see the same thing happen on others.  The Dohne is the fastest growing breed in Australia and let me assure you, it is here to stay.

65 The growth of Stud Dohnes in Australia since 1998



68 Index Improvement

69 Data from Ag. WA Productivity Trials - 2004

70 Far Valley 10 Year Plan  To average 150% lambing across the entire commercial flock.  To bring flock micron down to 18.5 (currently 19.5)  Maintain a W.P.P. of 6% (Wool Production Potential ) i.e. 6 kgs of greasy wool per 100kgs bwt.

71 The End ‘Click’ here to go back to Far Valley Dohne

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