A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE OLD RAM

Baymule

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WOW! Those rams are impressive! Lucky you, to finally get them to your farm. They are gorgeous in every way. I can't wait to see what they produce. You are going to come up with a SUPER SHEEP! Any ideas yet what you are going to name this new breed you are creating? My vote is for Jenny Sheep. :love
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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I'm not sure I can imagine the chart that would be needed to keep track of all the ewe and ram breedings!
At this point Bruce ,neither can I? A year or so ago I purchased from a company in China whosr Marketing Director is a member of the FB group EID's in 8 colors for about A.15c ea,and she sent me a scanner as well.Each ram will be given a color and the ewes will have the same,their prodgeny will also carry that color.If I select a lamb from a given group to go to another ram,it's lambs will carry both colors one in each ear indicaiting2/3 generations before.

Well ,that is how I envisage it at the moment,the EID's are numbered and individuals can be identified.T.O.R.
 

Ridgetop

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That is similar to how we tag our lambs. 4 different rams, each assigned a color and their female progeny tagged with the sire's color. Makes it easy to sort them for breeding but gets harder when we want to identify the ewe's maternal lines! LOL Still working on that.
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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This was posted on the FB page today,look forward to the groups reactions.
REGEN ITIVE AGRICULTURE: THE PROCESS OF CHANGE.

The change in thinking is substantial when contemplating the transition to what is a complete reversal of the way that farming is currently undertaken.

In the current farming structure, the farmer controls what happens in both the long and short term, so consider the following setup.

The farm is a company. Nature is the Managing Director. The farmer is the General Manager. There are a number of Departments responsible to the GM. These are made up of,

1Fertilizer, Pharmaceuticals and Herbicide.

2.Livestock.

3.Nature of Pastures and Landscape.

4.Water, it’s supply and conservation.

5.Paddock size, number, and type of landscape.

Nature as MD delivers company policy in the shape of heat and cold, sun and rain. It is the job of the GM to develop strategies to maximize the financial returns to the company from the existing policy’s which may change from year to year

Capital outlays must reduce the COP, because net profit is the difference between the COP and the net returns from sales. Production growth will increase over time as the decisions of the GM and the directions of the MD take effect.

  • This dept most likely contributes the most to the annual cost of running the company and its elimination will return the most benefits to COP, livestock and land health and the total environment. It should most likely be undertaken over a period of years, although in our case we went “cold turkey”. Our path does have costs however as stock unable to cope “will die”, but those that survive will be so much stronger as the basis of your future financial returns. Instead of the previous inputs you will replace them with a complete mineral mix which will support and strengthen the animal’s natural system. (We started this process over 40 years ago) If you are now only starting out on this path you can expect to go a whole year before the improvement in animal health is evident (patience and perseverance is needed along with “nerves of steel”).
  • Livestock (if that’s your thing) will be your principal income stream, but does your current species actually fit the land you are farming?....After the wool “crash”, many farmers in our district turned to Cattle as their principal income stream, even on our current farm they tried for 20 years, “at least “,prior to our purchase to produce Cattle profitably and in my view, all “failed” ,due to the nature of the landscape and soil type .Our principal grazing flats and slightly rising land is decomposed Granite generally < 5 PH along with high Aluminum. The bulk of our farm sits on the edge of soil changing from Granite to a poor soil mix which only really supports shrubby plants and dry country trees, but it does support excellent stands of Microlaena. A term I like is “Make the livestock fit the landscape, not the landscape fit the stock”.
  • Diversity is the 2nd key to stock health, IMO you will never have healthy stock who a fed a mono or duo pasture mix. Our pastures both Annual and Perennial, Native and surviving Exotics and it has been measured at about 50 species. Animal manures both wild and domestic are the only nutrients added to the pastures. Our pastures vary from flood plain to sloping ones with a max of about 30 degrees, ground cover over the farm exceeds 95% and approx. 30% is grazing woodland almost all towards the top of the catchment.
  • Our surface water is only used for two purposes, stock/wildlife water and as an agent for re-hydrating the flood plain where water is transferred through the soil profile which is accessed by the pastures without evaporation loss. Our system of capture means that the water arrives in the best possible condition for stock and wildlife. Part of our restored creek is now an active “wetland”, which feeds below waterline life as well as above. We now host at various times an array of water birds, numbering about 5 species.
  • Currently we have 18 grazing paddocks of varying sizes and production capabilities. Were we to run the flock as one, the grazing requirement would be two 15 day (in the main) per year? Currently the program requires 3 or 4 groups as we develop the animal type I prefer in the long term, currently we “join” about 150 ewes with an aim of 250 breeders in a few years’ time.
The MD will deliver policy to the GM, it will however be different, based on the slant that Nature takes, it could be one of Sun, Rain, Heat or Cold. The various departments will need to respond differently depending on the impact of each scenario. The GM will demand a flexible approach to achieve a desirable outcome.

There are very few who remember the times in the 40’s ,when up until then all farming was conducted in a sustainable manner, but a return to the days of old does not have to result in a loss of net profit just a reduction in the Cost of Production.

At the height of the last “dry” we undertook to hand-feed the beginnings of the new flock, but in doing, locked up the rest of the farm approx. 80% and continued feeding for about a month after the break.

The ongoing future of the program is not “set in stone "as it must proceed within the constraints of Jenny’s health outcome...................T.O.R.
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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G'day folks, well I guess you heard that we have had a shower or two of rain of late.

As regular readers will know we have been working on water management and control on our farms creek.Briefly ,the catchment is approx 400 acs and in recent weeks we have had approx 200mm's or 8 ins of rain. This event is by far the largest test the system has been subjected to.The peak flow is estimated to be over 6 meters wide and 1 meter deep.

The photos show the result and the "lack of damage" inflicked on the streambed and streambank, the lack of damage is IMO because we manage the speed of the flows..The photos start at the boundary fence and the creeeks exit from our farm,next shows water clarity,the rest are upstream.
 

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Baymule

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That is about the best explanation I’ve ever read. Farming is a lot more than tossing livestock out in pastures and hoping for the best.

Grass.

Grass is the single most important plant worldwide, for all life stems from grass.

You have done an outstanding work on providing a sustainable environment for the native and “brought in” grasses on your farm. You don’t try to “tame” Nature, but as GM of the farm, you work with Nature for the best possible outcome.

You are an inspiration and have set a standard for us all to emulate.

I recently sold my small farm and have moved to a rent house that belongs to my son. I sold my horses, gave away my chickens and culled my flock. My sheep and dogs have about an acre now. I’m looking for another farm, hopefully with more acreage and grass. My plans include rotational grazing, water retention and conservation and a wide variety of grasses and forbs . I want to increase my flock, keeping both registered and commercial Katahdin sheep.

I watched you and your beloved Jenny, at an age where most people are ready to retire, sell out your prize sheep and embark upon a whole new breeding program. The spirit of adventure runs deep in your veins. You generously share the wisdom of your years and experience with others, clear across the world. You have much more impact than you will ever realize.
 

farmerjan

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Very nice the way you have managed the water runoff from exceptional rains like that. Envious of the beautiful green grass, but we will soon start to see greening up here as our spring comes in and you will be going in the opposite direction, into fall.

You have done an exceptional job of being able to negate all that water that mother nature saw fit to dump on you at once.
 
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