Hardwick brothers break records with Dorper rams

Sheep Central, March 25, 2022

FIFTH generation Victorian sheep and beef industry producers, brothers Luke, James and Patrick Hardwick have paid a record $62,000 for a Dorper ram at the recent Burrawang ram stud sale.

The sale price on Monday broke last year’s ram sale record of $27,000 set at the Burrawang Dorper and White Dorper stud sale in addition to the Australian record for a Dorper set in 2020 at auction of $50,000.

The Hardwicks sold their interest in the family meat processing business in Kyneton Victoria late last year and the three brothers now plan to turn their significant industry expertise to an expanding investment in the Sheep shedding breed market.

James said the highly adaptable Dorpers and white Dorpers are very popular on the east coast of Australia and the brothers have experienced first-hand the quality meat and carcase attributes the Dorper sheep breed offers.

“We are excited about this opportunity and our goal is to be active into the Dorper’s genetic breed at our recently acquired historic Deepdale Farm at Toodyay north of Perth.

“The Dorpers are an impressive genetic breed due to their high yielding meat quality as well as their low maintenance production and suitability to Australian climate,” he said.

“They are extremely durable and tolerant in marginal rainfall areas which makes them an ideal sheep breed for Western Australia sheep producers.

“Dorpers are also extremely fertile sheep breed that shed their coats and don’t need regular shearing so there is a significant benefit to farm production costs,” James said.

More than 200 rams were offered at the Burrawang Stud sale, easily topping last October’s sale where 137 rams were presented to market.

Luke Hardwick said lamb producers are actively seeking to secure the Dorper breed to combat issues surrounding changing climate conditions as well as the labour shortages and rising production costs associated with other sheep breeds.

“Our family has a long history in farming and producing and our experience in the meat industry gives us great confidence in the genetics of the Dorper breed as we seek to open new channels to supply chains.”

The Burrawang purchases will be the foundation of the Deepdale Dorper Stud, Luke said.


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  1. Craig Heggaton, March 26, 2022

    It continues to astound me that newcomers to the sheep industry believe that Dorpers are
    “extremely fertile”.
    After being involved in the initial importation of Dorper genetics from South Africa, one of the early factors identified to their detriment was their poor fertility.
    Our pregnancy scanning business also confirmed that clients introducing Dorpers into their flocks saw a steady and consistent decrease in fertility.

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