Our farm adjoins the State Highway at Waipara and runs over Mount Cass to the East Coast. As well as lamb & beef we also grow crops of wheat, barley, oats, and linseed.
Our stock consists solely of cleanskin Wiltshire crosses. They are derived from the ancient horned sheep which used to roam across south west England. This means they shed their wool naturally every year. Often, they are known as hair sheep because of the texture of the fibre.
Sometimes that looks untidy but it means that lice can’t gain a purchase on their skin, and dags do not persist, which means they are resistant to fly strike, so we don’t need to dip the flock these days. We run an elite stud, testing and recording the performance of the rams in order to produce the fastest growing and tastiest lambs, measuring a number of attributes to select only the most resilient ewes, who can thrive without drenches and medications.
We grow herbs in the pasture, like chicory, which deters parasitic nematode larvae, and lucerne which is full of protein. We also practice a clean grazing regime, whereby the lambs, at their most vulnerable, graze on paddocks which have been rotated by crops and cross grazed with cattle to minimise parasite egg contamination.
Our Cattle are a mix of English Beef Breeds (Angus and Hereford predominantly) selected for the quality of their meat, with emphasis on marbling. The flecks of intramuscular fat make the meat juicy and flavoursome.
The breeding herd mainly graze on our hill pastures, where the cows help create quality pasture and provide clean grazing for our sheep flock. Weaned at 8 or 9 months old the young cattle are brought down to the lower paddocks with the lambs to fatten during the summer months on our mixed clover and herb pastures.
All the beef grazing is complementary to the sheep because they eat a different length of leaf and they are susceptible to different species of worms. Over winter they will eat hay, baleage, grass and feed crops. Slowly they will develop, as much as two years, until they reach prime condition.