Roys happy with lamb draft

Brothers Paul (left) and Ian Roy have been pleased with the number of lambs they have finished so...
Brothers Paul (left) and Ian Roy have been pleased with the number of lambs they have finished so far this season. They are pictured here in a file photo mouthing and uddering ewes. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES
Keeping grazing off the "floorboards" has been the key to getting heavy lambs away this season, Macraes Moonlight farmer Ian Roy says.

Mr Roy farms a 1600ha sheep and beef property in conjunction with his brother, Paul, and parents Penny and Bruce.

This year’s drafts have been pleasing. Kill weights are up on previous years and bigger numbers are being sent off to Silver Fern Farms for processing.

In the farm’s first draft before Christmas, the Roys received 50% of the draft go straight off mum with an average kill weight of 19.4kg.

"We were pleased about that. It’s a bugger the price isn’t where any of us would like it, but that part of it is outside of our control."

Since then, they have had multiple unit loads away. About 3000 lambs had finished so far with a small mob of late lambs yet to be drafted.

"We’re pretty pleased with that. This time last year it was a very different story with the works only taking small numbers at a time. It dragged on for quite some time."

As the season has progressed, the kill weights have dropped back.

‘‘We have dug a bit deeper as things are starting to get dry".

The farm usually winters around 8000 mixed-aged breeding ewes but they are back this season at 7500. Lambing season had been kind to them with good weather and grass growth. Like many in the area, they were kept busy on lambing beats dealing with bearing ewes which Mr Roy agreed was usually a good sign the lambs would milk well on their mothers which were in good condition.

All of the lambs were brought in on mum in early December to get a drench. Grazing management had been something they had been keeping a good eye on.

"Just being proactive, I suppose. Keeping the mobs in a good rotation system and not letting the grass get down to the floorboards."

By Alice Scott


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