Merinos show dual-purpose strength in Booborowie competition

MERINO lambs made their mark at Booborowie in a competition held in early 2016 in South Australia, performing extremely well against a line‐up of 69 teams and proving the breed’s excellent dual‐purpose capabilities.

A commercial Merino lamb team recorded average weight gains of up to 307 grams per day during the competition, among the highest weight gains among any of the placegetters in any of the three sections. Third‐place in the commercial Merino/SAMM/Dohne section went to the Pratt family’s Merino lambs, which recorded a 63.7 percent average gain, a dressing percentage of 48.3pc and an average lamb carcase value (including the skin) of $174.40.

Other individual Merino lambs also equalled the weight gain and growth of top crossbred lambs, with the highest carcase value being awarded to a Merino lamb at 36.3kg worth $184, entered by Gerald Mulligan, Hilltown, SA.

The event was the inaugural Thomas Foods International Booborowie Lamb Competition. Teams included 21 commercial crossbreds, 34 commercial Merino/SAMM/Dohnes and 14 studs which were grain fed in the Saltbush Ag Feedlot for 60 days as part of the competition, then processed over‐hooks at Thomas Foods International’s Murray Bridge plant. Each team consisted of three lambs, with each lamb electronically tagged to monitor performance during the duration of the competition. In the stud section, the Hammat family’s Baderloo Poll Merino Stud team had an average percentage gain of 68.7pc, placing them second only by 0.7 pc. Their second‐placed team had an average weight gain of 206 grams/day, a dressing percentage of 48.2pc and an average lamb carcase value of $118.