A CROSSBREEDING lamb operation is paying dividends for Paula Dean, both in the show ring and at home at Notus Downs south of Longreach.
Paula’s 2013 June drop first cross Coolalee lambs, weighing in at a hefty 49, 52 and 42kg respectively, gave her first place in the championship for crossbred lambs at the Isisford Show on the weekend.
The pen was valued at $312, giving weight to Paula’s reasoning for running them, that as well as tasting great, they are a source of an alternative cash flow.
“Any ewe that scans in lamb but doesn’t rear one, goes into the Coolalee herd,” she said.
“I think their progeny has better survivability than a Merino lamb.
“For me, they have good fertility but not so much maternity.”
It’s a plan she’s had in operation for 11 years and finds that as well as being able to wean at 12 weeks rather than 20 weeks, she’s received an average price of $60 for 35kg lambs.
At eight decks or 1000 head, that’s a cashflow not to be sneezed at.
As well as three pens of trade lambs, Paula brought three pens of flock ewes to Isisford, which was dominated by the Chandler family’s ewes from Oma, a different pen to the one chosen at earlier shows at Blackall and Barcaldine.
Paula said a welcome new addition to the show catalogue was allowing points awarded to any Merino entries in the trade section to count towards the show’s sheep aggregate.
Prizes were evenly distributed in the commercial cattle section at Isisford.
Kerry and Trish Bailey won the blue ribbon ahead of Portland Downs in the breeders section.
The heifer class prize went to John and Maree MacMillan, Cecil Park, Ilfracombe, shading Stew and Sally Campbell, Clarenden, Blackall.
Alan McPherson, Ruthven, Isisford flew the home flag in the steer section, taking first place from Isis Downs and Powella, Aramac.