UNIQUE BREED HAILED SUCCESS
The inaugural Lamb Master field day showed progressive signs of growth for the relatively new sheep meat breed, with visitors keen to learn more.
Stud principals Neil Garnett and Brent Watson hosted the Margaret River event, which attracted 75 like-minded producers — including many who have been following the Lamb Master genetic journey, which involved crossing eight different sheep breeds.
“It is ongoing work in progress; however, we are at a stage to release 70 exceptional rams this year which will grow to 150 rams in 2019,” Mr Garnett said.
“We has several inquiries throughout the day and are also in pre-negotiations with overseas interests.
“This idea to produce a cleanskin sheep suited for WA conditions began 25 years ago with WA’s importation of 10,000 embryos (Dorper and Damara) from South Africa back in 1994.
“These breeds offered hardiness and strong family orientation for easy management and containment and were justified for producers who just want to focus on meat.
“The Lamb Master concept has improved on those initial sheep in areas of importance.
“WA conditions require an animal to walk up to 10km to water, requiring the correct skeleton conformation, which also allows a productive jaw to eat.
“With only meat as income, fertility and mothering ability must be over 150 per cent and this we have also achieved remarkably well with 160 to 170 per cent lambing. Milk supply is amble with partial genetics from the East Friesian sheep.
“Our selection criteria has and will be suited to the Lamb Master’s progressive requirements.”
Mr Garnett said Lamb Master rams would be offered on a visualonly basis.
“We have no plans to look at Estimated Sheep Breeding Values, rather keep everything simple so not to complicate producer’s decisions,” he said.
Donnybrook White Dorper producer Arthur Lukins said he was keen to increase the meat in his flock plus add more performance with consideration towards Lamb Master sheep. Viewing the display of Lamb Master sheep, Mr Lukins said they appeared to have good sound conformation.
Lake King producer Quinten Evans said the sheep displayed good muscling and temperament.
Lamb Master co-principals Brent Watson and Tahita Lang, of Margaret River, with a display of the sheep.
Lamb Master co-principal Neil Garnett discusses the benefits of the breed to field day visitor Arthur Lukins, of Donnybrook.