Heavy Merino lamb record at Dubbo

Sheep Central, July 29, 2019

Agents from CPS Thomas, Ballhausen and Irvine, Dubbo this draft of 217 Merino lambs for a record-breaking $307.20 a head at Monday’s sale. The lambs were offered on behalf of Jaimie and Lara Zell, “Widgerie”, Tooraweenah. They weighed an average of 71 kilograms live weight and were Glendemar Multi Purpose Merino blood.

AGENTS at Dubbo have claimed a new national record with a line of heavy Merino lambs selling for $307.20 a head.

The price was achieved for a line of 217 Merino lambs sold by the team at CPS Thomas Ballhausen and Irvine.

The Glendemar multi-purpose blood lambs were offered on behalf of Tooraweenah vendors Jaimie and Lara Zell, “Widgerie”.

The lambs were purchased in December as 28 kilogram wethers and weighed an average of 71 kilograms live weight prior to sale at Dubbo.

They had been in the Zell’s feedlot since March, on a ration including barley and chickpea gradings.

Mr Zell said they generally fed lambs for up to three months but the current dry season meant lambs were being fed longer.

“I try to keep the lambs in the paddock for as long as I can,” he said.

Mr Zell has been finishing his lambs in the feedlot for almost 12 years, aiming to have the lambs ready to sell during the winter peak in the market.

The Zell’s run 900 Merino ewes, joining them to White Suffolk rams and buy in anywhere from 600 to 1000 lambs per year to finish in their feedlot.

Numbers almost doubled at Monday’s market compared to the previous week, with almost 20,000 lambs penned.

Lambs overall were firm to cheaper, selling to $159/hd for light weights and $255/hd for trade weights.

Heavy weight crossbreds sold to a top of $344/hd. Hoggets sold to $220/hd.

The mutton market was dearer for heavy weight pens, selling to $218 for full fleece Merino ewes and $220 for crossbreds.

Merino wethers sold to $235/hd.

Source: Dubbo Stock and Station Agents Pty Ltd


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  1. Glenn Nix, August 2, 2019

    If you are selling them all as slaughter lambs Deane, clearly there is no need for mulesing. I suspect the traditional Merino breeders are holding on to their lambs so they can cut wool worth $18-$20 a kilogram and not $12 a kilogram. You are not understanding how things work. You don’t have to eat everything, you can keep them to 5 or 6 years or even 7 years just for the wool and still sell them for $130 after 5-7 shearings.

  2. Deane Goode, August 1, 2019

    Congratulations to the Zell family on a great result. Importantly, congratulations to Glendemar for providing the genetics.
    These lambs are modern easy-care sheep which I expect haven’t been mulesed. Over the last few weeks the Merino lamb record has been broken several times by MPG genetics. Where are the traditional Merino breeders selling their lambs? I guess they are keeping them till they are hoggets, when they are marketable.

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