Dohne Sheep In Australia

January 13, 2010

So what does a little farm in the southern United States have to do with Dohne sheep in Australia?

Well, although we obviously don’t have any Dohne sheep, I have a friend in Australia who does.  Ironically, we didn’t meet because we both love sheep, we met because of guinea pigs.  Now that’s not because of the pet variety of guinea pigs mind you, but because WE were the guinea pigs.  We were in a group of about a dozen people called, yes, The Guinea Pigs!  We were testing an internet marketing system.  So I’d already discovered Susan was nice before I found out she had sheep, but that’s when I knew she’s REALLY special!

What’s better, she just sent me some pictures of some of her gorgeous sheep and graciously agreed to let me publish them on my blog.

Dohne Ewe

Dohne Ewe

Doesn’t this ewe have a lovely face?  But she’s not just a pretty face!  Oh no, this dual purpose breed allows a producer to market both a quality heavy-weight slaughter lamb and fine-medium white wool.

Oh, and in case you’re like me and wondering just how to pronounce Dohne, Susan says it’s pronounced ‘do knee’.

Check out this picture of the flock last October, during lambing season.

Dohne Sheep

Dohne Sheep

Another irony there, as October was when we used to breed our Shetland ewes, but since their seasons in Australia are reversed from ours in the States, so are the times for breeding and lambing.

And here’s one of the Dohne lambs. . .

Dohne Lamb from Australia

Dohne Lamb from Australia

And as cute as this little lamb is, I think this picture is even cuter. . .

Sleeping Dohne lamb at Homebush in Australia

Sleeping Dohne Lamb at Homebush in Australia

Isn’t that precious? Come on now, you know it is!

In case you’re not familiar with the Dohne breed, the Australian Dohne Breeders Association says they were

“developed by the South African Department of Agriculture using Peppin–type Merino ewes and German Mutton Merino sires. The progeny were interbred and selected for high fertility, rapid lamb growth rate and fine wool under commercial pastoral conditions.”

So not only are they a robust meat breed, they have that lovely Merino wool.  Susan says, “Our wool is still around the 18.5 micron, so we lose nothing in wool quality! It is soft and beautiful.”

Looking after these sheep has to be a big project considering the size of Homebush.  Our little 12-acre farm is only about 1/3 of 1% the size of their place.  Or to put it another way, our farm is 1/259th the size of Homebush.  Quick!  So how big is their place???

Mustering Dohne Ewes

Mustering a flock of Dohne Ewes in Australia.

If you said 3108, you calculated correctly, but the precise number is actually 3110 acres.  (It was too hard to put fiddly teensy fractions in there!)

That’s a lot of land to go looking for sheep!  Looks like they have canine assistance to bring in the lambs though.

Mustering Dohne Lambs

Mustering Dohne Lambs at Homebush in Australia.

The lambs in the above picture are only 2 – 3 months old.  They grow quick!

I asked Susan how many sheep and other livestock they have, and here’s the count she gave me for creatures at Homebush:

  • 1000 Dohne sheep
  • 100 Brangus Cows with calves
  • 2 Horses
  • 5 Dogs
  • 3 Cats
  • 15 Chickens
  • 1 Corella (native to Australia; also called a Bare-eyed Cockatoo)
  • And hundreds of kangaroos that eat our precious grass!!
  • Plus plenty of wild pigs that eat our lambs, and
  • Eagles that steal lambs, not to mention
  • Crows that try to kill lambs and ewes . . .
  • ….and that’s about it, except for us three humans, my mum, my husband and me

All I can say is…. Wow!  And with that, it’s time for the end. . .

Mustering Dohne Lambs

Mustering Dohne Lambs

Or maybe a whole lot of ends!

Thanks Susan for sharing your pictures and fun info about your Dohne sheep and other critters at Homebush farm in Queensland,  Australia!

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