Monday, November 5

Daramalan/Logancrest Ram Sale November 12th


So, here are the Daramalan Border Leicester rams for sale on Monday November 12th at Logancrest, 5 minutes from Crookwell and 25 minutes from Goulburn on the Crookwell-Goulburn Road. Viewing from 12:00 and auction at 1:00 pm with Steve Ridley from Elders holding the gavel as always.

The rams are as good as they come and the best we have produced so far. We hope you can make it to our third sale and that you are impressed enough by the condition and breeding of the rams to bid for them. We are sure they will work well for you in your enterprise. Thanks to all of our old and and new clients - we very much appreciate your support and feedback. Thanks also to Sharon and Craig Coggan of Logancrest Poll Dorset Stud for hosting the sale.

See you next Monday!!

Wednesday, October 10

Renault Print Ads

I have never driven a Renault Twingo but I like their whimsical advertisements particularly as they feature sheep!! I really like the print ad shown below and keep asking my shearers to have a go!!

For what it is worth Top Gear said "Far better styled, and available in right-hand drive, the new Renault Twingo is a really decent stab at the city car market. The only catch is the price, which may not seem far enough off the bigger, better Clio." Seems to be about 6/10. I'll stick with my Subaru Outback and the old ute.

Thursday, October 4

The Ram Class of 2011 - Ready for sale November 12th

Here are the flock rams in the yards before shearing in August - they are really filled out now and will be ready for the sale on November 12th at Logancrest, Goulburn Road, Crookwell.
There is also a short video of the rams from late September on the website ( - not great quality but good enough to see their structure and condition.

Etna, Vico and Rivelin arrive at DBLS!!!

Etna (#4) and Vico (#7) with Ashley Corkhill of Normanhurst Border Leicester Stud, Boorowa

On 27th September we bought three new rams from the Corkhill family's Normanhurst Stud in Boorowa. The two stud (Etna and Vico) and one flock (Rivelin) rams were sired by Cadell Stud rams and Normanhurst ewes and all had good bloodlines with Cadell and Retallack influence. Rivelin and Vico are also registered $uperBorder$ meaning that any First Cross Ewes they sire can be marketed as such and hopefully for a small premium. All up three very good purchases, genetically and financially. They will all be working very hard next year at joining time.

Not the best day though as my car broke down halfway between Crookwell and Boorowa. If it had not been for the kindness and genorosity of John Rankine ( and Brad Croker of Elders Crookwell the whole day would have been a right off. Now I have to just be patient about the car getting repaired.......

Thursday, September 13

Ear tag colour codes - Purple for 2012

"The ability to trace livestock from property of birth to slaughter is crucial to the safety of red meat.
The Australian red meat industry has implemented a national system to ensure the quality and safety of beef, lamb, sheepmeat and goatmeat.

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for identification and traceability of livestock. It was introduced in 1999 to meet European Union requirements for cattle exports. Since then it has expanded to enable cattle, sheep and goats to be traced from property of birth to slaughter for:
  • Biosecurity
  • Meat safety
  • Product integrity
  • Market access
NLIS is endorsed by major producer, feedlot, agent, saleyard and processor bodies. In addition to this it is underpinned by State/Territory legislation, which forms the regulatory framework for the system.
NLIS Ltd operates the central NLIS Database on which the livestock movements must be recorded. "


Naturally I am as interested in the colour sequence as I am in biosecurity. Is there any significance to the colour order? Not that I can tell or find out from anywhere. It is a clever system though and makes identification easier when drafting out the oldest sheep. Also I was taught that ewes are tagged in the right ear and rams in the left....because 'women are always right'. Boom tish!!

The 2012 Lambs are here!

We started lambing about three weeks ago and the Border Leicesters are about three quarters done. Plenty of twins and some triplets will make for a busy lamb marking day next week. We expect to have over 125 lambs to mark so it has been a good season. Purple tags this year, green last and orange the year before - I'll post the sequence at a later date.

The Merinos started early last week and so by end September we can mark the first cross lambs. Don't have a photo (yet) but there is one lamb with a black saddle - very unusual and very cute!

Sunday, September 9

Shepherds from the Landes region of France

The region of the Landes is an immense plain situated in south-west France delimited by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by the banks of the Adour to the South and by the ones of the Garonne to the north-east. Today it shelters the largest forest in Europe, constituted essentially of pine trees planted in the middle of the 19th century on Napoleon III’s initiative or decree.

The department of Les Landes, the second largest department in France, with an area of about a million hectares, was created in 1790 by uniting administratively a mosaic of fourteen small local pays.

The low population in Les Landes, about 300,000 people, has not changed much for the last 150 years and before becoming the greatest area of forest in France during the nineteenth century, this infertile land of moving sandy ground, becoming marshland in winter when the rivers swelled and flooded,  truly merited the name of moor - la lande in French. It was known as the French Sahara. It attracted neither immigration, nor commercial traffic. There were various experiments to control the sogginess of this desolate region, together with agricultural experiments - rice, mulberry trees, tobacco, peanuts - which all failed.

My interest (as always) though is with the shepherds who had a unique way of moving around the region with their flocks. There were few ways to earn a living in this unhealthy, temperate desert, keeping flocks of sheep being a major occupation. In 1850, there were 1 million sheep; by 1862, there were 527,000, and by 1890 this had reduced to 295,000 as forest replaced the frugal moor pastures. The land was so poor that it would only support one animal per hectare. Thus, the shepherds and their flocks roamed widely over the area, moving up to 20 kms a day over communal moorlands to find sufficient grazing for the flock. At night, the sheep were penned in a sheepfold, which ensured that the animals’ manure was not dispersed unnecessarily. The manure was the main crop from the sheep, being used on the fields. The output of twenty to thirty sheep was required to adequately fertilise one hectare of the the poor, acid Landais soil.
  • 1 kilogram of rye bread fed an adult, a family of eight to ten people would eat 4,000 kg rye bread a year.
  • 3,200 kg flour are needed to make 4,000 kg bread.
  • 4,000 kg rye grains are ground to make 3,200 kg flour.
  • 4 hectares of land are needed to produce 4,000 kg rye grains.
  • 60 tons of manure are needed to fertilise 4 hectares of land.
  • 100 sheep will produce 60 tons of fertiliser.
  • 100 hectares of moorland provide food for 100 sheep.
Stilts first appeared well before the forest, when Les Landes was an immense marshy country with the vegetation primarily consisting of grass and undergrowth. Principally, it was shepherds who lived in this landscape. The shepherds had several reasons for using stilts in order to more easily make a path through the vegetation when the shepherds travelled the long daily distances required by their sheep-tending to avoid wetting their feet in the marshes but their main use was to be able to supervise their flocks of sheep from afar.
The first records of stilts in Les Landes date from the beginning of the 18th century. However, it is not known whether using stilts was invented locally by the shepherds, or whether they were an import, say from the Flemish region of Belgium, where stilts had been used since the Middle Ages.
Landais stilts were made from two pieces of wood:
  • the escasse (“leg” in landais patois) from where comes the modern French name for stilts: l’échasse; and
  • the pé paouse (“foot rest” in landais patois), which is fixed on the escasse, generally giving a stilt height ranging between 90 cm and 1 m 20.
The stilt user attaches the stilt to his (or her) leg with two leather thin straps.

The use of stilts by the shepherds for work purposes disappeared gradually between the middle of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century with the establishment of the forest, which drained the marshes and eliminated the pastures, and thus the sheep and their shepherds on stilts.Today none of the original marshy Landes remains.