by Joely Mitchell, The Stock Journal, 5 Apr 2017
SOUTHDOWNS are the ideal terminal sire, according to Nedelle Southdowns stud principal Ned Nagorcka.
Mr Nagorcka said he started his stud business after finding it hard to source Southdown rams.
“We’ve always used Southdowns as terminal sire, and we found that everyone was fighting to secure Southdown rams,” Mr Nagorcka said.
“They were getting harder and harder to find, so I thought, I’ll start my own stud up just for ourselves, and it’s just grown, demand has been incredible.”
He said prior to this, he had been breeding superfine Saxon Merino sheep.
“They just weren’t profitable at the time, so we decided to go into the prime lamb market,” he said.
“We now run 1200 composite ewes in commercial form, and 350 stud Southdown ewes, on about 240 hectares of land on two properties in Hawkesdale and Minhamite.”
He said they’ve become one of the largest Southdown studs in the country, which he credits to growing interest in the breed.
“They’re just so easy to run, they’re easy to lamb, have good growth rates, and you’ve got a bigger window for selling because their skins are really tight,” he said.
“You’ve got the ability to put Southdowns over any age group, whether it be ewe lambs, maiden ewes, or older age groups, and you can also put them over any breed of sheep and still be confident that you’re going to get an even run of lambs,” he said.
He said they sell privately throughout the year, and have sold out of rams every year since the stud was established in 2005.
“We sold 160 rams privately last year, and could have sold a whole lot more,” he said.