Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Easy Choice When all Added Up


“We can’t justify breeding crossbred lambs anymore because the Dohne lambs bring in more money.”

INTRODUCING the Dohne breed and a new feeding system has increased lamb survival rates and profits for the Boyne family.

Peter Boyne, together with his brother Richard and his wife Fran and their two children Shane and Reece own 8000 hectares in the Koorda district in WA and over the last four years have undergone a transformation of the Dohne kind.

Due to the dry seasonal conditions and management reasons the Boynes have recently made the decision to phase out their Merinos and slowly breed up to a pure Dohne flock.

The family now mates 1,000 Merino and Dohne Merino cross ewes to Dohne rams and 500 Merino ewes to Suffolk rams.

“Our goal is to mate 2000 ewes to Dohne rams next year,” Peter said.

“The Dohne is a hardier breed than the Merino and can basically look after itself in tough conditions.”

The Dohne offers the Boyne family the full potential of a dual purpose meat and wool sheep.

“They weigh as much, or more, than the crossbred lambs and they have the advantage of the meat as well as the wool,” Peter said.

“I look for the same things that I would look for in a Merino when selecting Dohne rams,” Peter said.

“I focus on wool quality and this coming season I will look closely at the wool cut.”

In October last year the Boynes produced their first line of Dohne wool.

Peter said there was a noticeable difference between the micron and wool cut.

“Our F1 Dohne ewes averaged 21 micron while our Merino ewes average 23 micron,” Peter said.

“But although the Dohne ewes produced a finer micron wool it coincided with slightly less wool cut.”

With the use of Dohne genetics the Boyne family is now breeding a large-framed, plain-bodied sheep with fewer wrinkles.

They are also in the process of implementing lick feeders to their operation.

Peter said the initial introduction was only last year when they bought four lick feeders from Advantage Feeders and converted three Moylan feeders into lick feeders.

“They have revolutionised how you can feed your stock,” Peter said.

“There is no mis-mothering when using lick feeders and the paddock feed lasts a lot longer because the sheep are not running around trying to get tucker into their stomachs.”

Conveniently the family puts all their seconds from the crops into the lick feeders for the sheep.

“ It’s cost effective and we know exactly what we are feeding our sheep,” Peter said.

“Another advantage is we are able to add a stock mineral mix to it.”

The combination of the new lick feeders and the easy-care Dohne has allowed the Boynes to concentrate on the 6000ha cropping operation in peak season.

Peter said they would like to run more sheep if the seasons improved.

Over recent years the Boyne family has changed its lambing period from March-April to June-July and has seen a significant change in lambing percentages.

“Since moving our lambing dates we have increased our lambing percentage by 15pc,” Peter said.

Reece Boyne with his Dohne Merino Cross Ewes. “ Well grown Dohne wool is keenly sought after in the market and well recognised for its performance in processing.”

Practical Guide
Dohne Database