Why Dohne Merinos are the ideal breed with which to maximize profit
DOHNE MERINO, TIPS, AUCTIONS | Jul 30, 2019
You may know the history of the Dohne Merino: They were developed in a region of severe environmental and nutritional constraints (the sour grassland of the Eastern Cape in South Africa).
Guest blog post: André Fourie, Anker Agri
This is a follow-up from the blog:
Commercial objectives were set at the outset and selection, particularly during the initial phase, was done under very severe nutritional and environmental stress, laying the foundation for its inherent hardiness, adaptability and superior productivity.
The rate of progress towards more efficient sheep has been enhanced thanks to 2 aspects:
– the application of performance and pedigree recording from the outset;
– and the practical use of these records to select the most efficient animals.
For generations, Dohnes have been selected for high reproduction rates and lamb growth rates in this harsh environment.
As a result, they are non-selective grazers and efficient converters of low-quality feed. Because of their inherent efficiency and non-selective grazing habits, Dohnes use a wider range of herbage and can be run at higher stocking rates.
Efficient conversion of low-quality feed means that spectacular results are achieved in good conditions with high-quality feed – resulting in the phenomenal performance experienced in good environments and feedlots.
Plain bodies and easy-care features reduce management and input costs. Vigorous rams can be joined at 1% and less.
An optimum relationship between wool production and body size (WPP% = 6%) facilitates high reproduction and growth rates. This does not mean that less wool is produced. Because sheep are thriving, and higher stocking densities are possible, very often more wool is produced from a given enterprise.
Dohnes produce high quality Merino wool. Selection over generations for high-quality fine wool and resistance to fleece rot and body strike means that maximum value is achieved from the wool component of the enterprise.
Suidplaas Ram & Ewe Auction:
In August, Suidplaas Dohnes will once again hold a Dohne ram sale – one of the biggest private auctions to be held in the southern hemisphere. We’ll have 120 rams on auction, and 550 young ewes.