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Mullengudgery Merinos stand the test of time

Posted by Rabobank Australia on

18/08/2022
Quartermaine Family

After almost a century of wool growing, invaluable experience and unique hindsight affords the Moxham family a tried-and-tested formula for success on their Mullengudgery Merino Stud.

But third generation sheep producer Tom Moxham – recently named Australian Wool Growers Association (AWGA) newest board member –  is certainly not resting on his laurels as he looks firmly towards a strong, and sustainable wool future.

“The fibre performance of wool, as well as its increasing recognition as a carbon sink and circular economy gives wool a strong advantage in the competitive international fibre market, and there are some really exciting times ahead for the industry,” he said.

The Moxhams’ Nyngan property – which includes Tom’s 92-year-old father ‘Bomber’ Moxham – runs a flock of 20,000, split between a stud and commercial operation that features poll and horn Merinos, described by Tom as “classic dual-purpose animals”.

“We get two bites of the cherry, our sheep are capable of producing both high quality wool and high quality sheep meat, and after a century, we are well and truly assured of the Merino breed’s hardiness for this environment.”

The Mullengudgery Poll Merino stud boasts an impressive depth of breeding, their regular horn stud was one of the first established in NSW, and today the stud runs 4,500 sheep – including both horned and regular polled rams.

Manning Doughty is the property manager, a vital cog in the success of the operation, who Tom credits with injecting a refreshing youth and energy into the Mullengudgery Stud.

Describing the Mullengudgery mob as ‘good, honest sheep’, he said the family had bred a consistent type that were big wool cutters, large framed and hardy.

“Mullengudgery Merinos are durable sheep that thrive in tough conditions. We don’t mollycoddle them or feed them, they’re raised here in western NSW for station life, and have evolved to withstand conditions, whatever the season may bring.”

“Our rams are proven in south-western QLD, far-western NSW and the sheep and wheat areas of NSW - Bomber has even sold rams into the tablelands,” Manning smiled.

He said the Moxham’s progression over generations was evident today, with fleece testing conducted on-farm now for over 30 years.

The family also run a commercially-based  AI program, lambing from three Poll Boonoke sires (including PB 612) and a proven White River Poll sire.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing what the progeny is like over the next 12 months, and we’re excited for the gains that can be made thanks to genetics.”

“Ultimately though, the real strength behind the Mullengudgery Merino Stud is the enormous, and unique benefit of it being a long-term family operation, with a proven history of breeding great sheep, while keeping an astute eye on the future,” Manning said.

Stud rams ready to show

After a three year hiatus, Manning said the stud was looking forward to showcasing their hard work at this month’s Rabobank National Sheep Show and Sale, to be held August 23 and 24 at Dubbo.

The stud will show two rams this year at the sale, a fine/medium March shorn and a fine/medium August shorn, and Manning said it felt good to be able to physically show sheep again after covid diverted many sales online.

“For us, this show is a great opportunity not only to promote our stud, but to also see how our rams are tracking in comparison to others. It’s a really important education tool for market research and benchmarking, and helps identify genetic opportunities we can leverage.”

The show also provides current and prospective Mullengudgery Merino clients a snapshot of what they can expect at stud’s own on-farm field day on October 7, where 600 rams will be offered for private selection including 12 specially selected rams.