Water carting helps get Suffolks ready

23 Feb, 2001 10:00 PM
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WOOLORAMA will be a welcome respite from carting water for Roy and Melinda Addis, Ashbourne stud, Nyabing.

With more than 40 dry dams they have been kept busy carting water, spending a full day every third day to make hour-long round trips to and from the nearest stand pipe to cart water.

By early February they had carted more than 500,000 litres and the prospect of a long autumn is daunting.

Despite the harshness of the season Roy expects his Suffolk and White Suffolk sheep to perform and produce top quality sucker lambs and he knows they will.

The Suffolk's hardiness and the ability to do well under his conditions, temperament and their clean points were the some of the most important the characteristics that appealed to Roy when he started the Suffolk stud in 1983.

So, three years ago when he looked for a breed with white points it was logical that he should choose White Suffolk.

He established the stud with a Clifton Downs ram bought at the 1998 Perth Royal Show and a line of Ida Vale ewes and the six sheep he will be taking to this year's Woolorama are all by this sire.

This year will be the second year Roy and his 10 year old son Joshua have shown White Suffolks at Woolorama and he says his first attempt was a learning curve for him.

"There are a few differences in what the different breeds look for," he said.

Even as Australian Suffolk Association president he doesn't rate one breed above the other but says the best carcase qualities are left by F1 cross Suffolk White Suffolk sires.

"From a carcase quality perspective they are the best lambs we breed."

The Addis family turns off up to 1000 sucker lambs a year and Roy says marketing strategies are important when aiming to get the best price for lambs and for that reason he sells either on-farm or directly to the WAMMCO abattoir.

Ashbourne has been one of the most successful Suffolk studs at Woolorama and although he enjoys showing Roy says main preference is the challenge of breeding good commercial rams.

At last year's Woolorama, Ashbourne had the distinction of winning the inaugural Farm Weekly award for the best pair of rams of the show for all breeds.

It was one of Ashbourne's most successful shows notching up the champion Suffolk ram and grand champion Suffolk exhibit.

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