Baringa/Seriston Australian Whites: They save time and make you money

Baringa/Seriston Australian Whites: They save time and make you money

Story sponsored by Baringa Sheep Stud and Seriston Pastoral Company.

If you want to take advantage of the high lamb prices but don't have the time or money for the traditional inputs associated with intensive care animals, then the Australian White might be the breed for you.

On October 22, two pioneers of the breed - Baringa Sheep Stud and Seriston Pastoral Company - will hold a joint sale at the Jamestown Showgrounds.

Together, the sister studs will be selling 100 of their best rams and 20 stud ewes, all of which have full ASBVs. They're the only studs in Australia that have ASBVs for Australian Whites.

The sheep will also be unshorn and unfed on sale day, so that potential buyers can see how well they perform in the paddock.

The Australian White is a shedding breed and as such they're a low care animal.

In fact, the Baringa/Seriston Australian White doesn't require shearing, crutching, lice treatment or mulesing. They're also fast maturing, allowing them to get to trade weight more quickly, and they produce meat that is high in eating quality.

A lot of work has gone into the Baringa/Seriston Australian White. Both studs have been working on the project for many years and say their clients are now reaping the rewards.

In 2008, Baringa joined forces with four other studs to help create the first Australian White Sheep. By 2012, they had developed their own genetic base and withdrew from the foundational flock.

Not long after, Seriston took part in an embryo transfer program to set up a sister stud on their genetics.

Since then, both studs have employed the latest technologies and they've come along in leaps and bounds.

In fact, they've been so successful that some now believe their Australian Whites could be the sheep of the future.

"(When we started the breed back in 2008) a lot farmers in our region were starting to go out of sheep and were getting primarily into cattle, just because of the amount of extra work involved in sheep," Baringa Sheep Stud owner Brayden Gilmore explained.

"So what we were trying to do was breed an easy care animal which didn't require as much shearing... We wanted to breed a sheep that a handpiece would never have to touch..." he continued.

"We knew it would take time to really set in concrete and make sure (our results) were consistent but it actually came together a lot faster than any of us expected it to... Now, 90pc of our flock have never had a handpiece near them. That's how far we've come."

"A lot of work has gone in on the type of hair we have on the sheep and the gene we have in there for the shedding capabilities," Seriston Pastoral Company owner Anthony Hurst added.

"What we're finding now is that a lot of our sheep are not getting any wool at all. It's just a winter coat that they're shedding."

Whilst the Baringa/Seriston Australian White's skin is one of its main selling points, it is by no means it's only one. They're a lower care animal across the board and thanks to their state of the art breeding program they've managed to skip through the generations in just eleven years.

The studs have large breeding bases and use DNA, genomics, electronic verification, embryo transfers, trait measurements and indexation to track the progress of their breeding programs and ensure consistent results.

They also work with Sheep Genetics to track their progress for eating quality, to ensure that their lambs are even more valuable to clients.

Today, Baringa and Seriston are two of the most renowned studs in the country and their bloodlines are revolutionising the flocks of commercial breeders in a multitude of climates. From the coast to inland to tropical Queensland, the feedback they've received is that the animals are adapting quickly and thriving.

"The biggest saving we're hearing back on though is the saving of time," Mr Gilmore said.

"People are coming back and saying it's the time factor. They're spending less time having to shear them and crutch them and put them through shearing sheds and chasing flies. We don't have an issue with flystrike either because of their coat," he continued.

"They're also non-mulesing and we're even starting to leave the tails on the them too because they've got a shorter tail which is full hair. We've done studies which have found that ewes with a tail can breed at the same percentages as ewes without a tail. So, we're finding that's a real positive and it's just one less piece of handling."

The studs will hold an open day for viewing at Seriston on Friday, October 16, at 9am.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the sale will also be interfaced with Auctions Plus. The sale will begin at 11am and all rams and ewes will have photos and videos available on the site.

Additionally, the studs are offering free delivery where possible to buyers.

For more information contact Baringa Sheep Stud on (02) 6335 8161 or Anthony Hurst from Seriston Pastoral Company on 0428 332 676.

Story sponsored by Baringa Sheep Stud and Seriston Pastoral Company.

This story Baringa/Seriston Australian Whites: They save time and make you money first appeared on Stock Journal.