When we arrived in 2001 the property had been run as a fine wool operation including shedded “Sharlea” merino sheep. With the falling wool prices we made the decision to look for a suitable replacement breed that would provide minimum input and produce both a prime lamb and a useful wool cut.
For us the Perendale breed made it the sheep we were looking for and until we sold out at the end of 2010, had grown the flock from one ram and twenty two ewes to where maintained a self replacing flock of three hundred ewes, six stud rams and some sixty flock rams that are sold each year to a growing client base here and interstate.
In 2011 we now run a small flock of 80 breeding ewes at Macarthur here in the Western District of Victoria.
Over the years we steadily introduced genetics from NZ based on two of the top Perendale studs there and now we are starting to see a marked improvement in the oncoming progeny. We will continue to AI our stud flock with semen from "Mapari" Stud for some time to come to ensure improvement of our flock and those of our clients.
Along with the prime lamb side of the operation we have also been paying considerable attention to ensuring that we produce top quality wool especially as hogget wool where we are working to establish a vertically integrated marketing system to sell Perendale wool both locally and overseas due to its special characteristics. [refer Wool section of this site]
As relative newcomers to this industry we feel that Perendales have been a good choice and fulfil all of our objectives that are to have ‘Dual Purpose’ self replacing flock that is hardy and above all easy care.
Lieton Park Partnership
In the late sixties Perendale Rams were purchased to put over the existing Merino flock to produce a line of hardy dual purpose ewes.
These crossbred ewes were able to provide us with a prime lamb we wanted and did well in the local conditions here in Willaura.
We continued to source Australian bred Rams through the 80,s and by this stage we were completely 100% Perendale and started to selectively use our own rams due to a severe lack of suitable replacements from outside Perendale breeders.
By the year 2005/2006 we were working with Summit Park and purchasing Rams that were a result of their AI program using NZ Genetics.
Since then we have purchased up to 10 rams each year and replaced all of our own progeny so that the genetic improvement now translates right through our entire commercial flock of 1500 ewes.
In line with meeting the market both in Ballarat and Hamilton a portion of our older ewe flock is joined to Hampshire Downs to produce a suitable 18-20 KG lamb born July shipped early December. We also ship Perendale lambs early in the New Year and of course as a self replacing "Maternal Flock" we objectively select our replacement ewe lambs.
As we have full " Organic Certification" and grow a range of certified crops our Perendales replace the Herbicides we would otherwise use and have been found to be ideal in this situation.
Our sheep have to perform in intensive and at times harsh conditions as weed and stubble foragers and require very little input maintenance other than organic drenching and dry feed support during the wet winter months.
Having shifted from a suburban block in Warrnambool onto acreage just out side at Woodford we both decided that we would like to run a sheep based enterprise.
To do this and run our existing business we needed to find a breed of sheep that would provide minimum inputs from us and talking to a NZ shearer friend he told us that we needed Perendales.
Through the Perendale website we contacted Peter & Angela Fraser and after purchasing some ewes and rams we now run a Perendale flock on our farm with great success. They have proven to be the true "easy-care" sheep, excellent mothers with their lambs and importantly for us very manageable when moving paddocks or yarding. Since arriving they have shown their ability to utilise the existing feed including some very rough and ordinary pasture.
Base on the success of the Perendale flock since its arrival we are now committed to increasing the flock and working together with Peter Fraser and Andrew Liesfield who are undertaking ongoing AI programs based upon top NZ Genetics.
The future for us is to be able to offer limited numbers of Perendale ewes and rams at the end of 2014 and by then have our nucleus stud operational. All of our sheep are OJD vaccinated and Brucellosis free.