I finally have some sheep - Damaras.

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by floot, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    As someone who has never had to kill an animal for food I'm finding this whole discussion very enlightening. Thanks to all for sharing. Now I just have to find someone who kills their own and work out a way to get invited over to work on my psyche.... I reckon I could do it, but have never had the opportunity to find out.
     
  2. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    AN UPDATE!

    Well 12 months on the sheep are still proving to be the best farm animal we have had on the place. They sailed thru the last Wet Season very well. The downside so far has been that we have lost 5 lambs and a ewe to dingoes. I think this problem has been overcome because the station beside my place had an aerial baiting campaign and we havent had any predation for about 8 months.

    We found another wether amongst the flock and ate that one too. Indeterminate age and a bit gamier than the first one but I suspect this had to do with the sheep doing a wonderful job and ate all the hiptus [St Johns Wort] on the place. This is a strong flavoured and strong smelling weed. The property is now free of sida too another nasty tropical pasture weed.

    Currently our flock is 12 ewes, 1 ram, 6 weaned lambs [5 ewes and 1 ram] and the first lamb at foot... another female... the remaining 11 ewes all seem pregnant so we are set for a sheep explosion. I expect to hit our 24-25 self-sustaining flock in just a few months. I hope to sell a few in the next few weeks. Rambo is definitely going as he has done his job and has now taken to butting my wife and will have a go at me now...

    We will probably eat our first lamb for Christmas and hope it dresses out at about 12kg.

    A nearby cattle station has just purchased 6000 Damara sheep, the first commercial flock of the NT. This may give me an opportunity to develop a stud herd and supply rams. It is very early days yet but all opportunities have to be considered...

    Cheers
     
  3. teela

    teela Junior Member

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    Congrats on the sheep Floot. I also have a similar sized flock of Damara sheep as you. I first researched different breeds of sheep that were low maintenance and drought tolerant and the Damara came up every time. Where I lived was very dry with killer hot summers, Damaras were perfect for that area, then I moved somewhere completely the opposite. I debated wether to take my sheep or not...in the end deciding to take 7 of my best and see how they coped. From grazing on dirt and salt bush - to knee high, green, lush grass.

    Fast forward 3 years - the Damaras have coped very well.
    So the breed must be very versatile.
     
  4. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    Teela,

    I had forgotten something. One of the reasons I picked Damaras is because about 2 years ago I happened to be driving thru Forbes, NSW when the sheep sales were on. Two reasons I always stop at a saleyard. One is that I like them, always have. Secondly, is that the CWA normally do the catering and their sandwiches, scones and tea are just fabulous.

    Anyway, I was watching the sheep being loaded onto trucks and in one of the first sale pens were 4 Dorper rams. A grizzled old stockman eventually got to them and started swearing and calling out if anyone had a spare cattle dog ''to run these bastards out of here''. I asked why and he replied that Dorpers were so stupid they made Merinos look like professors. I then asked him about Damaras and Wiltshire Horn sheep too. He commented that the Wiltshires were ok but 'those damaras can do well anywhere and should even manage the Top End'. I had probably been inclined towards Dorpers or Wiltshire Horn prior to this. As is it now it would have all been academic as I now know that only Damaras are allowed in the Northern Territory. It is always good to get a second opinion though.

    Teela, you would be familiar with most sheep breeds why did you pick damaras?

    Helen,

    My wife and I are poor photographers and never remember to take photos. I will get some of the sheep and post them here. I am about to sell some of the black ones so I should get photos before they go.

    cheers,
     

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