TOP PRICE: Sheep and cattle producer Hal Enscoe, Merino, paid top price at the Kalenea sale.

Repeat buyers seek easy care Kalenea rams

A RAM described as having “very much a quality fleece” has gained top price of $2100, at the inaugural Kalenea Merino stud, Penshurst, on-property sale.

Merino, Victoria, beef and wool producer Hal Enscoe said the ram’s bright, stylish fleece attracted him.

“He was above average on his fleece weight and I like to get them well sprung in the ribs,” Mr Enscoe said.

“He also has a good broad back on him.

“I suppose if you looked at all various things you look at in a sheep, he ticked nearly all the boxes.”

Mr Enscoe said while he was running prime lambs and beef cattle, the main focus of his operation was wool production.

“I am hoping he will maintain body weight and produce sheep with a very very soft, positive micron wool,” Mr Enscoe said.

The ram would be joined to ewes in the 4000 strong flock in early January.

Mr Enscoe said he had been associated with the Fernleigh bloodlines, which were taken up by the Mibus family when they formed Kalenea in 2015.

Kalenea stud principal Ben Mibus said the family had been buying the Fernleigh rams for more than 36 years, from the stud and at Sheepvention, adding Orrie Cowie genetics two years ago.

Mr Enscoe said he had stuck with the Fernleigh bloodlines, and then Kalenea, for nearly fifty years.

“I had been a client at Fernleigh for close on 30 years – when it dispersed. The Mibus’ decided to give it a go, I followed on,” he said.

“But I go way back to 1969 when I was a wool classer and followed what Fernleigh had been doing and thought, ‘this is going to suit me’.”

Mr Mibus said it was the first time the stud had held an on-property sale.

“Previously we’ve just had general, private selection sales,” Mr Mibus said.

“We’ve had a good clearance rate with selection days, but we went to an auction so everyone had a chance.”

He said Kalanea didn’t produce fine wool rams and flock buyers were to the fore, at the sale.

“They want good, easy caring sheep - that’s their aim,” Mr Mibus said.

“People want to buy good, dual purpose Merinos; our previous buyers said they wanted that easy care sheep again.”

The sale rams were selected from the best of the May/June 2016 drop and paddock reared.

The sale topper, lot 58, was by a Kalenea syndicate ram.

The animal had a 19.6 micron fleece, a standard deviation (SD) of 2.6, co-efficient of variation (CV) of 13, a spinning fineness (EPPu) of 18 and fleece weight of 105.3.

The second top priced ram, lot 45, went to Pepper Partnership for $2000.

Sired by Kalenea 4458, it had figures of an 18.9 micron fleece, 2.8 SD, 15pc CV and EPPu of 17.5.

Volume buyers were prominent at the sale, with Fairholme Pastoral Company, Birregurra taking home five rams.

LK Millard, Merino, Victoria and DW, CB and CD Spring took four each, while Pepper Partnership, Tahara, and Den Hills Partnership bought three each.

Elders auctioneer Ross Milne said it was a very solid sale.

“There were a lot of repeat clients who came along, to support the sale,” Mr Milne said. The Helmsman sale was conducted by Elders.