Lamb finishing is a perfect fit

Lamb finishing is a perfect fit

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SALE DAY: Moonlight Flat's Phil Davies with sons Jack, Max and Ben, along with agent John Wagstaff, Nutrien Ag, at Ballarat with his lambs that averaged $220.

SALE DAY: Moonlight Flat's Phil Davies with sons Jack, Max and Ben, along with agent John Wagstaff, Nutrien Ag, at Ballarat with his lambs that averaged $220.

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Farm fencing and lamb finishing program keeps Phil Davies a busy man.

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Moonlight Flat landholder Phil Davies says his small lamb finishing operation keeps him with an interest in farming.

Mr Davies owns a small farm block of 40 hectares not far from Maryborough and leases another 40ha at nearby Timor.

The lamb finishing job is confined to the home farm while the leased country is cropped.

Mr Davies said the normal plan was to buy Merino wethers and run them on the stubble from oat and vetch crops with some supplementary feeding using a trail feeder.

He said this year, for the first time, he ramped up the program by buying a feeder and running some pellets to finish the lambs.

"This year I ramped it up and just tried to do a better job," he said.

"[I] thought if we are going to do it, we'll try and do it a bit better."

It was also the first year for some time that he bought second-cross lambs to finish.

His sales are generally guided by when the paddocks are available for grazing and needed for cropping.

The lambs, by White Suffolk rams out of Border Leicester/Merino ewes, were bought on AuctionsPlus in early December.

The lambs came from north-east Victoria and he said they were "pretty quiet".

"It was a pretty easy process buying online where you can find a mob that meets your budget and bid on them, they were delivered as described," he said.

"We got them home and knocked the wool off them and put them out.

"They were pretty handy lambs when we bought them.

"We paid a bit more than I would normally but thought I'd go for something on the heavier side."

The lambs averaged $220 a head.

With 50 lambs from the mob still at home he won't buy again until after cropping.

Mr Davies said he had farmed, sheared and run the family farm over the years.

He shears his own sheep but is a "social shearer" nowadays.

He said the boys, Ben, Jack and Max, were all interested in the farming side and did the wool handling in the shed.

After working around the country he started a business doing farm fencing.

"I'm pretty much full-time fencing now and do a little bit of farming on the side," he said.

He has about 50 kilometres of fencing already booked up.

He said while sheep prices were good and dairy farmers were getting a bit more confidence, there was a bit of work.

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