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2018 Newsletter


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Welcome to the Kardinia Dohne Stud 2018 newsletter.  Increased prices for wool and lamb have seen records broken even with the lack of rainfall in some areas.  We are receiving lots of positive feedback about how Dohne’s are performing producing prime lambs and quality wool and one passionate grower conducted their own mini trial using a combination of Dohne’s Merino’s and Poll Merino’s.  Whilst the group of 100 ewes in each of the 4 groups was too small to draw any firm conclusions the results are certainly interesting.  Dohne’s won conclusively  in the lambing and weaning % , Dohne’s led the way across weight, fat, muscle depth and micron but were slightly lower in fleece weight.  Overall gross per ewe averaged out over the 100 in each group was as follows.
Pure Dohne $311.55
Dohne over Poll Merino $299.46
Poll Merino over Dohne $276.10
Pure Poll Merino $261.15
As I have always said one way to know how a Dohne performs is to take one home and trial in your flock.  More lambs means more dollars $$$

We are getting ready for our upcoming ram sale.  Please note the date is THURSDAY 20th September 2018.  Sale will commence at 1pm, rams available for inspection from 10am with lunch and refreshments available.  A full list can be downloaded from

Composite Breeders

As wool prices have continued to rise, composite breeders have increasingly questioned the cost of shearing their sheep and the minimal return or the negative return of the whole shearing exercise.
Subsequently we have fielded enquiry from several composite breeders regarding the possibility of Dohnes to add wool value to their ewes and still maintain fertility, growth rate, milking ability and mothering ability.
With Kardinia Dohnes being above breed average for all of the major meat and growth traits, we well suited to supply suitable rams for this purpose to retain their important growth and meat traits but also add significant value to composite ewe fleece. The wool market is too good at present not to take full advantage of the increased value of your wool.

Why Scanning is Important

PREGNANCY scanning of ewes has become an important tool in managing reproductive performance in ewe flocks. It enables producers to make informed management decisions that will improve productivity and profitability of their sheep enterprise.
The benefits of scanning include the ability to identify and manage ewes according to their pregnancy status. Dry ewes can be sold, re-mated or stocked at higher rates. Single and multiple bearing ewes can be managed according to nutritional requirements and enable optimisation of pasture/feed. It enables producers to calculate lamb losses between scanning and marking and also measure the reproductive potential of their ewe flock. An increase of 10% in lambing percentage equates to a considerable increase in profits.
Producers are no longer limited by the inability to know how many lambs ewes are carrying prior to lambing. Real time ultrasound has enabled producers to make significant advances in flock management and improve lambing and lamb survival rates percentage equates to a considerable increase in profits.

Kardinia SW 3

How to Breed the Sheep for the Future and Prosper

Adapt or be disrupted.  This was the advice given at the recent LambEx conference in Perth.  It is imperative that breeders are rethinking the way they breed with three key adaptations to build the future ewe.  Get to understand what the consumer wants and understand the drivers behind buying wool and meat.  We have to build trust with the consumer  and breeding is part of the future.  The affluent consumer mindset is increasingly on health, welfare, social impact, safety and experience.
We have to guarantee we have the eating experience for our consumers in place therefore putting intramuscular fat into our ewes in imperative.
The second adapter was to get focused on cost, time and chemicals in our breeding programmes.  According to MLA costing reports the top five costs are all under some form of genetic control such as lamb mortality, internal parasites and fly strike.  They are all things we can select for to improve.
The third adapter is embracing data by having that information at our fingertips.  We are already seeing the ability to accurately map both the inputs and outputs of individual sheep to determine which are indeed the most profitable in a commercial setting.


Kardinia again on the New York Catwalk

Wool from our 2018 shearing attracted strong interest in the June wool sales and we were extremely excited to receive 100 cents per kilo clean above the market price.  Kardinia ceased mulesing over 10 years ago and are certainly seeing the benefits in flock management and wool returns.
A high end US based fashion house was specifically looking for unmulesed wool for a new range of garments that will be launched for the US fall and winter.  They joined with  like-minded brands in consulting with Textile Exchange, the nonprofit agency that introduced the Responsible Wool Standard in 2016.
We are proud to be among the first Australian sheep producers to introduce RWS certified wool. We feel strongly that this new standard, while still a work in progress, represents a significant improvement over “business as usual.” It’s an important step in moving the global industry toward ever better practices.  RWS certification requires audits to ensure that farms meet the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. Defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee and internationally accepted, these standards call for:

  • Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  • Freedom to express normal patterns of behavior
  • Freedom from fear and distress

fashion shoot

Sale Results

Congratulations to JHW Paterson & Son from Hells Gate who topped the August Hay store sheep sale results with 482 DohneX ewes.  It again highlights the Dohne’s ability to do well in less than ideal seasonal conditions.  15,000 sheep were offered with the sale described as “very strong” considering the season.

Australian Sheep and Wool Show Bendigo

We again exhibited at the national sheep show that welcomes domestic and international visitors who are interested in sheep breeding.  Dohnes are certainly going from strength to strength and breeders are looking specifically for a true Dohne type that has a full pedigree history.  Dohnes are the only breed to have a compulsory data collection process that has strict guidelines to follow to ensure that animals are measured accurately. ASBV’s clearly outline the data that you can use to confidently select rams to use in commercial flocks.  While feeding regimes do have an impact it is the genetics that hold the key.