When you are planning a livestock production enterprise – large or small scale – it pays to have the facts. Victorian Suffolk Breeders have put together a day that gives you – novice or experienced – the basics to build a farm that is viable, profitable and enjoyable.
Breed and genetics.
The Suffolk have certain attributes and is a breed continually evolving as we select characteristics that are advantageous within the market place. Historically, this has been done upon a visual appraisal. However, the ancestry and measurements of that which is under the skin can now be identified – within the mysterious ASBV’s . MLA and Sheep Genetics will introduce you to the Australian Sheep Breeding Values and indexes, explaining how these can be useful to each breeder and what future opportunities are available. But it is not just about numbers. To illustrate how these figures can be related to the animal on the hoof, Daniel Brown and James Taylor will discuss breeding programme design and demonstrate how a carcass is evaluated. And then you get to taste it! And you won’t forget how different Suffolk lamb is with delicious slow roasted Suffolk lamb rolls with coleslaw for lunch.
The basis of all grazing enterprises is the grass, so ruminant specialist, Rob Inglis, will outline grazing management strategies to ensure that optimum nutrition, fertility and growth are achieved by the ultimate grass harvester – the Suffolk ewe. Rob knows the Suffolk well and will share with you the breed advantages as a terminal sire grass of prime lambs.
With the main game being lamb production, Ridley Stock Feeds will present how to maintain ewe body condition during the 5 month pregnancy. Healthy lambs – and lots of them – will make your job easier and more profitable. You have to get that feeding right and often it is just minor tweaking that is necessary.
Working dog training.
And how do you manage the flocks? Well…. you can run around after them yourself. But the Suffolk is an intelligent animal who is quite capable of exhausting you as you try to move a group through a paddock full of lush feed to the yards. A working dog delights in herding the sheep and is happy to run around and let you direct from the sides. And the sheep remain calm. Joe Spicer of Gogetta Kelpie has trained 5 Australian Champion Yard dogs and has been training kelpies for more than 25 years. He brings to the event a team of dogs to demonstrate how to get that pup started as your most valuable employee – and probably your most affectionate and loyal. The organizers think it could also be very entertaining.
Everyone is welcome but please book your ticket to assist with catering.
Suffolk Field Day
19th May 2019
Eden Park, Romsey Vic