Robbie Blaine on the podium together with auctioneer, Jeromè Pearson to welcome all attendees to Wauldby Dohnes first production sale.
Dohne Merino breeders in the Eastern Cape added an additional production sale on their calender to increase the number of major sales in the Stutterheim area to three. To top this achievement John Gary Wardle’s nucleus staged their 10th very successful ram selection.
The XT-nucleus of John Gary Wardle consisting of 400 ewes, is of special significance to the Dohne industry on account of the following:
- Contributing flocks are all extensive commercial units.
- Breeding policy is honed in on productivity(optimum income)under strict extensive flock farming conditions.
- The biggest attribute of the nucleus is the intake of only ewes with proven reproductive performance measured at a very early age.
The few facts above, emphasive the leading role that this group has taken in the Dohne Merino Stud industry to se-cure the very basic attribute of being ex-tremely hardy and reproductive under totally extensive sheep farming condi-tions.
This season a total of 149 rams were sold at an average price of R5 800 on these three sales. Richard Armstrong who sold two rams at R24 000 each at-tained the highest price for an individual ram. Congratulations to Robbie Blaine who hosted the first production sale of his Wauldby Stud. The Wauldby stud also has the distinction of being the first to present breeding values for worm re-sistance on a production sale.
John Gary Wardle also made rams available for sale at the Keiroad sale for the first time. Mr Boet Steenkamp of Olea Dohnes,Barkly East and Mr Mey-burg Erasmus, Olmar Dohnes, Molteno, also had rams for sale at Kei Road.
These sales in the Eastern Cape not on-ly open up more options for local com-mercial farmers, but should also be no-ted by Stud breeders in other areas. Breeding values are comparable on a national basis and the statistical model equalises the relatively small genetic in-teraction effects that may exist. Selec-tion under the harsh Eastern Cape conditions may however be very effective regarding aspects including reproduction under veld conditions, resistance to fly-strike, fleece rot and parasites. Confor-mation, measured or visually appraised also adds an additional dimension to Eastern Cape rams.
It may just be of value to breeders with-out the same level of predisposition to these important “hardiness” factors, to take a “second look” at these phenotypi-cally “less fancy” rams of the Eastern Cape.