Saturday, 24 October 2015 14:26

A true terminal sire that’s gone in a hurry

Written by 

Southdown breeder Chris Medlicott says farmers too often focus on the price per lamb instead of the return on kilograms of dry matter eaten.

He says more lambs sold off the ewe at weaning equates to higher efficiency, but this is not always achievable on different classes of country.

Medlicott says high lamb weaning weights are achieved by high quality feed, milking ability of the ewe and genetic ability to grow and lay down muscle. He also believes early spring country plays its part.

"For lambs left after weaning, it is important to have them growing at speed. The quicker those lambs exit your farm over summer the more options you have to improve next year's production or take on trading stock."

Medlicott says a simple way to work out the value is on a weak schedule price, like that predicted for the upcoming main killing season.

"At $5/kg a 17kg lamb brings $85," he explains. "Lambs left after the December 10 weaning draft – with an average liveweight of 28kg -- at a store value of $2.40/kg bring $67.20 per head.

"But when these lambs reach an average kill weight of 17kg by January 12 it equates to a return of only 28 cents per kilo of drymatter consumed.

"At a later killing date of January 29 the return will only be 23 cents, and if killed on March 20 the return will now be only 14 cents per kilo of dry matter consumed."

Medlicott says the key message is for farmers to do their sums, taking into account a range of things including climatic conditions.

"Getting lambs away early is one of the strengths of the Southdown breed. A really positive attribute of the Southdown is they don't suffer a weaning check, so you can be back drafting soon after weaning.

"A true terminal should be exactly that – gone in a hurry."

More like this

Future-proofing NZ's sheep

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics' Low Input Sheep Progeny Trial is identifying the genetics that will future-proof this country's sheep industry.

Drenching - doing it right

Effective and accurate drenching is important for animal health and productivity. It needs strategic decision making and should be part of a parasite management plan.

Shedding Wiltshire's anti wool appeal

Of all the projects Massey University's School of Agriculture has been involved in over the years, it's never had such interest as it has in its Wiltshire breeding programme.

Trial for low methane sheep

Artificial breeding will play a role in accelerating the transition of a proportion of Beef + Lamb New Zealand's (B+LNZ) commercial ewe flock to a low methane emitting flock.

Sheep and dairy numbers fall

Climate change activists, who believe NZ is going to hell in a handcart due to the methane emissions from the country's livestock population, will be delighted to learn that these numbers have fallen dramatically.

National

Meat heads!

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) says it's facing bureaucratic barriers from Immigration NZ as it tries to get sufficient halal…

No end in sight!

Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Sirma Karapeeva sees no end in sight to the shipping and logistical woes that…

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Dirty tricks?

OPINION: An email from Fed Farmers' president Andrew Hoggard to Ag Minister Damien O'Connor saying some unkind things about the…

Greenwashing!

OPINION: A mate of the Hound's wants to know what's happened to meat company Silver Fern Farms and its latter…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter