Despite the year trending at tougher market conditions, The Ranch Stud principals Melinda Davies and Cameron Steadman (and their three sons), have been pleased to see their stock holding value, reflective of last year’s good prices. Selling direct over the hook and utilising the AuctionPlus platform, The Ranch sells up to 20 decks of lamb and meat sheep a year.
“It is encouraging for us, to turn over large numbers while maintaining the high quality that is reflected by competitive bidding,” Melinda said. Having commercially bred Dorpers’ for more than 15 years, there is no doubt of the success of their breeding with consistent saleability.
“Our commercial understanding of the breed has allowed us success with our stud,” Melinda said. “All sheep must prove their productivity and performance. We’re striving to breed rams that reflect what makes our commercial operation successful –maximum growth within the lamb tooth stages, low expense, minimal maintenance and fertility.
Buyers are looking for the best return but also are becoming increasingly mindful of the push for ethical, humane and stress-free meat production. It is becoming more apparent that steps to bridge the gap can only be favourable. The Dorper breed is an excellent representative of minimally influenced meat production.
“We feel it is beneficial to successfully reduce the amount of times the sheep are in the yards, the Dorper supports this naturally while having the benefit of being extremely productive and profitable,” Melinda said. “Their flexible breeding also allows the Dorper to substitute income throughout the year and have proven to be more flexible to the climatic challenges of Western Queensland than other breeds.”
2023 DSSA Journal, Page 32