Tassie’s own

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - KAROLIN MACGREOR

THEY are a breed unique to Tas­ma­nia and now the world’s last stud flock of El­liot dales needs a new home.

Own­ers Jan and Carl Ter­rey have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to sell the sheep be­cause of ill health, but so far no def­i­nite buy­ers have been found.

“It would be ab­so­lutely crim­i­nal to send them off the butch­ers so we’re re­ally hop­ing some­one will want to buy them,” Mrs Ter­rey said.

El­liot dales were a breed orig­i­nally de­vel­oped dur­ing the 1970s at the El­liot Re­search Sta­tion, where Mr Ter­rey used to work.

Their main pur­pose was car­pet wool pro­duc­tion but since the demise of Aus­tralia’s car­pet in­dus­try, de­mand for this type of wool is min­i­mal.

The sheep can be shorn up to three times a year and pro­duce an im­pres­sive 9kg of wool.

How­ever, the breed also has very good car­cass traits and Mrs Ter­rey said they are sought by butch­ers.

The Ter­reys bought most of the sheep from the re­search sta­tion when the stud was dis­persed and orig­i­nally start- ed with three dif­fer­ent flock fam­i­lies. Over the years, how­ever, Mr Ter­rey has con­tin­ued to de­velop the breed and their flock now in­cludes six dif­fer­ent breed­ing groups.

While there is an­other com­mer­cial flock of El­liot dales in Can­berra, the Ter­reys are the only ones to now have a stud flock.

While they would like to see the sheep sold as one flock, they are pre­pared to spilt them into their dif­fer­ent breed­ing lots if needed.

The flock con­sists of 110 mixed-age ewes with 116 lambs at foot.

There are also 48 hoggets with 35 lambs at foot and 30 rams.

“They are very per­son­able sheep and d easy to han­dle,” Mrs Ter­rey said.

“You do need good fences be­cause they can be es­cape artists but they have lovely tem­per­a­ments; even the rams are very gen­tle.”

Mrs Ter­rey said part of the sale would also in­clude the flock stud books, which date back to the orig­i­nal breed­ing pro­gram at the re­search sta­tion. Roberts live­stock agent Mark Lam­prey, who is han­dling the sale, said there had been some in­ter­est from po­ten­tial buy­ers.

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