Extreme demand for sheep industry’s ‘little cattle’ breed

Terry Sim, September 22, 2021

This line of 15 13-14 month-old Australian White ewes with 20 lambs sold for a record $2145 a unit at Tarcutta, NSW, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

RECORD prices for limited releases of Australian White ewes continued this week with certified Tattykeel blood ewe/lamb units selling for up to $2145 on AuctionsPlus.

Breed founder Tattykeel sold 15 13-14 month-old commercial AW ewes ready for rejoining and with 2-8 week-old lambs for $2145 in the National Sheep Sale.

The stud also sold another 15 13-14 month-old ewes with 20 lambs for $2090.

Other Tattykeel certified Australian White in the sale sold from $950-$1191, with uncertified scanned in-lamb or mated AW ewe lambs and hoggets making $310-$445. Illinois Farms at Woodstock in NSW sold 250 March-April 2021 drop ewe lambs for $614-$618 in five lines. Unjoined or scanned empty AW lambs and hoggets sold for up to $675, some mated hoggets made $322 and a 21 2-4 year-old lines made $$280. Larger lines of scanned in-lamb pure AW and AW-White Dorper hoggets and unjoined March-April 2021 drop ewe lambs made $422-$511. Scanned AW-Composite ewes from 1.5-6.5 years old sold for $275-$488.

Little ‘cattle’ are selling well

These young scanned in-lamb Australian White ewes sold for $1191 at Wombat, NSW, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

Delta Livestock and Property agent Greg Holt at Cootamundra sold three small lots of scanned in-lamb Tattykeel-certified AW ewes on AuctionsPlus for the Affleck family at Wombat in New South Wales. These included seven 105-12 month-old ewes scanned with multiple foetuses for $1191 to a buyer at Forbes, NSW. Two lines of 26 and 27 Affleck ewes scanned with single foetuses have sold for the reserve of $1000, also to NSW buyers.

Mr Holt said there were not large numbers of the certified Tattykeel blood ewes available. His AW clients were running flocks of 300-400 ewes and still building numbers, and were offering a few ewes to take advantage of the price being paid.

He expected the certified AW ewes would continue to be offered in small lots “while this big money is around, to make it more appealing to more people.”

“If you put 400 or 500 together it’s a lot of money.”

He said the ewes sold yesterday went to commercial lamb producers who were having trouble finding shearers for small mobs of sheep. They also liked the ability of the breed to have three lambings in two years.

Mr Holt said the sheep were very fertile and easily maintained, and breeders had told him they were “virtually like running little cattle.”

He said the larger non-certified Australian White ewe lines being offered were also selling onto commercial properties.

“It (demand) is certainly very strong and Tattykeel have marketed them very well.

“I think that red (certified Tattykeel) tag is probably worth $300, just to have that in their ears at the moment.

“To get an Aussie White of similar weight and style without the tag you are talking $600-$700 and if it has got that red tag, it seems to be $1000 – they’ve just marketed them brilliantly.”


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