WHITE PLACE, WHITE TIME: Mark Davey and Murray Schroder at their Keilah Australian Whites property outside of Stanthorpe.
WHITE PLACE, WHITE TIME: Mark Davey and Murray Schroder at their Keilah Australian Whites property outside of Stanthorpe. Debbie Pfingst

Lifetime farmer finds success with hybrid sheep

WITH a sheep-farming family legacy dating back 200 years, Murray Schroder knows his way around lambs, rams and ewes of all varieties.

Mr Schroder's longevity within the industry has been in part due to his ability to recognise when he needs to make a change.

After raising dorper sheep for years he grew increasingly frustrated at the breed's slow growth-rate and was on the lookout for something new.

The Australian white sheep breed came onto the radar of Mr Schroder and his business partner Mark Davey after they read about them in an industry newspaper.

The pair purchased two Australian white sires from Tattykeel and one ram from Castlereagh and started an embryo program which produced 50 ewes.

They have been running the breed for four years from Keilah Australian Whites outside of Stanthorpe and Mr Schroder said he had never worked with anything like it.

"They are a composite breed made from white dorper, van rooy, poll dorset and texel genes and have only been around for 10-12 years" he said.

"They have an incredibly fast growth rate and a beautiful docile nature, you do not get any rogues."

Mr Schroder said the high- quality meat the lamb produces is especially nutritious.

"I've heard be called the wagyu of the lamb world."

The pair entered their lambs into the Stanthorpe Agricultural Show last year where they won Supreme Lamb of Show, Grand Champion Single Lamb and Grand Champion Lamb Pen.

"They cleaned up and were only grass-fed, up against competitors who were using feed," he said.

"It was an incredible feat considering we are in the middle of a drought."

Mr Schroder said the lamb market will continue to prosper thanks to innovations like the Australian White.

"They are the lamb of the future, I have no doubt in saying that."

Mr Schroder and Mr Davey will be hosting a sale of their sheep at Stanthorpe Showgrounds on Friday September 6 at 1pm.


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