Who We Are
Douwana Dorper Sheep Stud is a family-run livestock and grain enterprise established in 1999 by Peter Batten, with son's Jason and Kim, who now operate Batten Farms and Douwana Stud.
The Batten family farm was first settled by Walter John Batten at East Yuna in 1934. Three generations later the broad acre farming enterprise now comprises of 7,070 hectares with a mixed grain and livestock enterprise.
OUR BREEDING PHILOSOPHY
The Batten family has set about producing fast growing, highly muscled, low maintenance sheep for the Australian prime lamb industry. Because of the Dorpers ability to shed it's coat they require no shearing or mulesing which means less labour and chemical inputs.
Douwana has made major improvements to it’s flock since it’s initial purchase from SAABCO of 20 embryo’s from the South African Dorper studs of ‘Jordaan’, ‘Dell’ , ‘Phillips’ and ‘Cronje’. With the use of the Lambplan system, together with accurate recording and reporting, Douwana has seen fast genetic gain in heritable traits. The shedding ability, temperament, growth, muscling and fat distribution are the most important of these traits.
LIVESTOCK & CROP INTEGRATION
Why it works
Dorpers are integrated into a grazing and cropping system due to our low rainfall zone, which receives approximately 230mm per annum of mainly winter rainfall, with normally hot dry summers. Dorpers graze throughout the winter on pastures consisting of mostly ryegrass and wild radish. Both these weeds are becoming increasing resistant to chemical in the cropping phase. Dorpers, with their non selective grazing habits, are a vital tool in our system.
Ewes are mated between December and July, avoiding lambing in the harsh summer environment as well as giving ewes the opportunity to conceive with lamb at foot in more favourable seasons.
Wheat is our main crop yielding on average 1.4 tonne per hectare. Wheat is seeded in late spring/early winter into furrows which allow water to be harvested. Other crops grown are canola and lupins.