Leading genetics to feature in Woolumbool sale

Buyers at Woolumbool’s 35th Annual Spring Sale can expect to get hold of a range of leading sheep genetics in Australia.

The auction on Wednesday October 5 near Lucindale, South Australia will feature nearly 300 rams, including 12 Elites and 270 flock rams, and will look to build on a record-breaking 2021 result.

The sale will include four Elite Poll Dorsets, 8 Elite White Suffolks, 90 Poll Dorset flock rams, 90 White Suffolk flock rams, 60 Muti-Meat Composite Maternal Homozygous flock rams with double copy of the booroola gene, and 20 Multi-Meat Composite Maternal Heterozygous flock rams with single copy of the booroola gene.

While the full sale team has not yet been finalised, the catalogue will include several notable sires with progeny, including Poll Dorset Felix 190968 and White Suffolk Trigger Vale 191124.

Leading genetics to feature in Woolumbool sale

“There have been a few changes in sheep genetics in recent years, but their LEQ (Lamb Eating Quality) numbers have still held up,” Woolumbool stud principal Aaron Clothier said.

“They’ve got good growth, good fat coverage, good eating quality and they will be very popular.”

On the back of a record average of $2177 with a top price of $12,000 and near total clearance at the 2021 sale, Aaron Clothier is upbeat about the prospects this year.

“The future of the sheep industry is strong with good lamb sales continuing, I would expect the market to hold for a while yet,” Aaron said.

The current season at Woolumbool hasn’t been without its challenges. “We have had a later start, with a drier and colder than average July with feed being kept in short supply, but feed is looking good heading into spring, and the rams are growing out well” Aaron said.

He is confident buyers will have good options throughout the catalogue at the October 5 sale.

“With the terminals, potential buyers can expect to get hold of some of the leading genetics in Australia, with fast growth, good fat, high muscle, increased worm resistance, good meat-eating quality rams all backed up by their gold quality ASBVs,” Aaron said.

In the maternals, multi-meat buyers can expect the same as the terminals with added finer micron wool, increased fecundity, and lower adult weights.

Multi-meat composites were included for the first time and sold well, and Mr Clothier will look at expanding this option in future years.

All rams at Woolumbool are fully paddock reared with no supplementary feeding and will be 13-15 months of age at auction.

The annual auction is now one of the most respected and well-established sales in the country, and local commercial Poll Dorset client Patrick Ross can talk to his success over that long period of time.

“I don’t think I’ve missed buying a ram at the Woolumbool sale for nearly four decades,” Patrick said.

“I’ve been there virtually from the start and will be bidding again this year.”

Patrick said the success of his purchases keep him coming back.

“I keep going back because I live in the district, so they are acclimatised to the local environment, but it’s also because almost the entire offering of the Woolumbool sheep is in the top 10 per cent of breed,” he said.

“To be able to go to a sale and know you’re buying in the top 10 per cent of the breed, gives you an enormous amount of confidence in the quality of the data.

“Woolumbool don’t show their sheep and are very data driven.”

Patrick sees the success of his purchases in the paddock. “When I apply their genetics to my ewe flock, I get an incredibly good result with my prime lambs,” he said.

“Because I’m strictly a commercial operator, I’m commercially focussed. From the Woolumbool sires, all my lambs in the past five years have had average growth rates in excess of 400 grams per day from birth to the day they are sold at 22 kilograms.

“The lambs are all off the property between 16 and 22 weeks which is a really great turnaround time.

“I do bench-marking and that’s right up there as far as growth rates are concerned.”

The Clothier family look forward to welcoming all buyers to their on-property auction in the Yacca Downs Woolshed, The on-site sale will be interfaced with Auctions Plus.

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