After interest was expressed at the Wakool Sheep Night in June, a Bredwell Fedwell workshop was organised at the Mooloomoon shearing shed in Moulamein, NSW on 2nd August 2017.
Co-ordinators Jason Tromph and Tim Leeming educated participants on the use of breeding objectives, visual assessment of sheep, nutritional requirements of lactating ewes and common areas of profit wastage in an enterprise. Jason explained that "As an industry, when people ask what we do, we say 'I'm a wool grower son' but wool is only 30% of profit in most modern sheep enterprises. It is important to acknowledge the meat and surplus stock sides of your business too." He pointed out the need to assess whole business performance to identify current shortfalls and have a clear view of future targets for each enterprise.
Merino and Terminal Sire rams were provided by 'Kerri Kerri Merinos' and Nick McKindlay for structural and genetic assessment. Participants were asked to identify the highest and lowest performers for a given trait. This demonstrated the necessity of ASBV's to accurately choose for traits such as lamb birth weight or post weaning eye muscle depth.
In the nutrition segment, Tim Leeming explained "I always scan for multiples around 85 days post joining and then separate the single and twin bearing ewes and feed to their energy requirements; you can undercook multiples and overcook singles, especially in the third trimester."
Overall, the day was well-attended with a good mix of paperwork and practical exercises highly relevant to the enterprises of attendees.
This event was made available through the generosity of the Murray Local Lands Services as part of the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
WMLIG would like to thank Nick McKindlay for the use of his shed, Caroline Ellis for her photography and the Moulamein Café for catering the event.