Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

February Newsletter 2024

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AMSEA Coonong Sire Evaluation Open Day Report
Coonong sire trial open day 21st February was attended by approx. 50 people including 8 sire entrant owners.
Adult ewe updates to fleece and body were presented as well as final figures on the wether drop, as well as visual scoring and classing results.
Udder and teat traits were collected and presented by Allan Casey. While there were not any huge variations in these scores as maidens, discussion did suggest that more variation would appear in the following years. Reproduction data was collected and reported from the maiden joining with variable results across the four components of reproduction. A second joining of the trial ewes from 30th November 2023 for 5 weeks and with scanning results collected the day before open day. Scanning results were reported as a mob-based result with 123% embryos.
The results of the meat eating quality assessment from the wether drop were presented by Peta Bradley from Sheep Genetics. Discussion was around ongoing data collection creating breeding values and the importance to industry marketing brands and consumer.
Ben Swain provided an insightful report on measured data and visual aspects of each sires ewe group with Q and A from attendees following each team.
Sophie Holt presented a report of studies into sheep dentition from not only the Coonong site, but across several AMSEA sites she is working with.
Tom and Sophie also displayed a range of garments from their Ethical Outback Wool enterprise, with attendees making favourable comments and several orders followed.
Lamb marking will be the next event in this year’s program.
Don Mills – Convenor, ADBA Coonong Sire Evaluation

AMSEA Coonong Sire Evaluation Open Day Presenters; Don Mills (MC), Allan Casey (ADBA Approved Classer), Ben Swain (AMSEA), Sophie Holt (Ethical Outback Wool), Tom Holt (Coonong Station), Jason Southwell (ADBA Approved Classer), Jim Meckiff (JM Livestock) and Peta Bradley (Sheep Genetics).

AMSEA Coonong Sire Evaluation Open Day attendees.

AMSEA Coonong Sire Evaluation Open Day, Pen Walk with Ben Swain. 

Wolf Pack Face to Face Report
Part of the Dohne Merino Council’s F2F meeting at Narrandera was the inaugural meeting of the self-named Wolf Pack. The members of the wolf pack are a mix of the next generation of Dohne Merino breeders representing most states; who will be discussing from their perspective issues and ideas relevant to the future development of the Dohne Merino association, breed and council. The group will meet primarily via zoom over the year with an intended face to face meeting to be held at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show to coincide with the Dohne Merino Feature Breed.
Host: Kaye Butler – ensuring no preconceived agenda by Council was involved
Present: Matt Mills (NSW) Charlie Berrell (NSW), Robert Hall (SA), Sandy Pye (NSW), Lily Cameron (Vic) and Daniel Pumpa (NSW).
Apologies: Mitchell Appelgate (WA) Robert Holmes (SA) Will Nadin (NSW), Lauren Philp (SA) 
The pack will total 10-12 members across the states.
The first night’s meeting was intended as an ice breaker and introduction to the members (many of whom did not know each other) but proved to be a night of active discussion and interaction showing a high level of passion and commitment to the Dohne Merino breed from our young breeders. Several new ideas and suggestions came forward for further discussion at later meetings and the next meeting was scheduled for early May.
Some topics for discussion included;

  • Joint Analysis
  • Wether competition
  • Importance of accurate data
  • Understanding of data
  • Mixing it with the crossbreds
  • Importance of presence of Dohne Merino brand/breed at events
  • Butcher shop promotion
  • Cyclic nature of the sheep industry (meat, wool, etc)
  • Regional differences affecting stud operations

Dohne Sale Results
Sale report and photo on behalf of The Land.

Harewood Annual On Property Ram Sale, Armidale NSW
38 rams sold to $3900 and averaged $1485.

Harewood Dohne Stud principal Justin Tombs with agent Bill Gibbs Trangie Livestock and Property holding the top priced ram $3900, purchased by Macquarie Dohne Stud. 

Alfoxton On Property Ram Sale, Armidale NSW
55 rams sold to $3000 (twice) and averaged $1646.
Full Sale Report – Click Here

Robbie Bloch and Theo Golding, AWN Squires, Inverell, with Chris Clonan, Alfoxton, and Harold Manttan, AWN, alongside top buyers Ian Uebergang and Kate Cutler, Oakhurst Partnership, North Star.

Practical Guide
Dohne Database