Striking the right balance by crossing Border Leicesters with Corriedales to “breed a new ewe” as an easy and economical way of stocking their Allendale East property is getting results for the Jenkin family.
Lee and Megan Jenkin, along with children Isobel, 13, and Charlie, 11, are enjoying another strong season and are pleased with good prices for their Border Leicester/Corriedale-cross stock.
“We were quite happy with the prices over the selling year, getting a taste of the highs and decent prices, even at the lower end of things,’’ Mr Jenkin said
“Some of them go through the Mount Gambier saleyards, but a fair percentage go straight to slaughter.’’
Their 1500 hectare property, Nayook South, carries 6000 breeding ewes, of which 2000 are Border Leicester-Corriedales.
The remainder are Corriedales, which are gradually being classed out.
“For a while we were putting a Dorset over the ewes and it was a way of breeding a new ewe,’’ Mr Jenkin said.
“We had tried another maternal breed before and didn’t have the success we were after. We’re looking for as many lambs as we can get on the ground and quick growth rates.’’
That is what the Border Leicesters bring to the table at Nayook South.
“Our lambing percentages are good,” he said.
“The tops are at up to 140 per cent, depending on the age of the ewes and the season, which this year has been pretty good.’’
The two annual lambings, autumn and spring, are set to spread the workload for Mr Jenkin and a couple of farm hands, as well as the rams.
“The rams get used twice a year instead of once,’’ he said.
“They go out for a break and recharge and back in they go.’’
The Border Leicester flock rams are bought from Johno’s Border Leicester stud, bringing in five or six each year.
The ewe flock is split pretty closely in half for the two lambings, with joining just before Christmas for autumn lambing and in February for the spring lambing.
The ewe replacements get “switched” in seasons when coming in, so they have their first lambing at 1.5 years of age.