Animal Husbandry & Management.
Konongwootong Dorsets are part of OJD MAP and has a MN2V status.
All sheep are Lambplan tested and the stud has an accreditation free status for brucellosis. All sheep are injected with Gudair at weaning and the stud is second generation vaccinates. All our sheep are regularly monitored for worms and are scratched for scabby mouth. They have also received 8:1 x 2 doses and 6:1 injections.
Our flock rams are grass fed on pasture improved paddocks and lucerne crops. They are run on a mixture of sown down pastures of clovers, rye grass, lucerne and chicory. No supplementary grain has been given to the flock rams. Our rams are basically run as one mob from weaning to post weaning. We believe that this allows the “cream to rise to the surface”. This gives them all the same chance to naturally express their genetics and abilities.
Our show team is chosen from the main flock of rams about Easter time each year. Selection is made on structural correctness, early maturing ability, and high growth rate. We aim to produce a long, well fleshed ram with good length of carcass and a good carcass/loin ratio. Structural soundness is vital to our selection as we believe that if a ram can’t perform in the paddock, under commercial conditions, then it doesn’t matter what his figures are; he is not a good commercial animal. Our show team is given extra rations of beans.
We take great pride in the accuracy of our record keeping. All lambs are weighed at birth and sire and dam recorded, which enables us to have confidence in the accuracy of the data we produce. Weaning weights are recorded and all rams and ewes are Lambplan scanned at post weaning. At times we also use Prime Scan and Stockscan to give us additional information.
At Konongwootong, we do not produce “hot house flowers”- Sheep that look good but cannot compete in the real world. We aim at producing a robust, commercially sound ram that will perform under any climatic conditions and produce lambs suitable for the market that the commercial prime lamb producer is aiming at, whether that is the export or domestic market.
We also run a commercial flock of around 3000 coopworth x dorset ewes. These are lambed down in July/August and are trurned off in November/December as sucker lambs. Poll Dorset cross lambs are ideally suited to both the export and domestic trade markets. They are very quick to mature. In the same time that it takes other breeds to produce a trade weight lamb, we can produce a lamb of export weight. Therefore, we have the added bonus of not being locked into one particular market. Our commercial flock averages 143% marketing rate and our ewes are scanned and divided up for singles and multiple births and managed accordingly. As we run a commercial enterprise as well as a stud, we believe we know the challenges that face the prime lamb producer and we breed rams to meet their needs.
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