| 31 MEAT & WOOL » Chris Medlicott Fattening strategy includes local crop farms Russell Fredric F attening 8000 lambs annually from a base of 187 hectares sounds like woolly mathematics, but for a Waimate farmer, Chris Medlicott, it’s a reality. Equally impressive, when these lambs are sent for processing three times a season they achieve carcass weights of 20 to 23.5 kilograms. Chris also runs a highly successful Southdown stud which had its first on-farm sale last year; in 2005 one of his Southdowns broke the world record, selling for $16,000. He reveals that his lamb fattening strategy lies in his home farm being supported by nearby cropping farms which provide an ideal grazing system. The total of 8000 lambs are broken into 2000 summer, 2000 autumn and 4000 winter lambs which are all processed through ANZCO Foods and which respectively kill at carcass weights of 20kg to 21kg, 21kg to 21.5kg and 23.5kg during the season. This system works well both for Chris’ grazing needs and as a catch crop for the landowners, with the associated environmental benefits of capturing residual nutrients. “We used to be a mixed cropping and finishing farm but we found it’s easier to manage just being specialised in one form,” Chris says. “I enjoy fattening lambs or just finishing live- stock.” “You’ve got to specialise in what you think you’re best at and try and keep developing systems and I suppose I’ve tried to work on my expertise, but also when I’m grazing out I actually reward those guys pretty well.” “They don’t have to worry about the livestock, they can specialise on their cropping and our lambs just come in to eat some of their surplus feed and we make sure they’re rewarded for it.” While the lambs are on the home farm, Chris fo- cuses strongly on maximising growth rates through feed efficiency. “It is quite kind country, we grow a lot of clover and some specialist crops for finishing. We work on pastures that grow into the (season) shoulders, we grow grass that will grow into the winter and come out of the winter earlier.” The lamb fattening is complemented by cattle which are ideal as a pasture and animal health management tool, with the focus currently on dairy beef. Calves are bought in at about 160 kilograms and grown to about 300 kilograms. The farm’s Southdown stud was started by Chris’ father and grandfather in 1956; Chris has been involved since the early 1980s. “I suppose it’s a family passion.” Chris describes Southdowns as a meat machine. “I really concentrate on early maturity and early muscle development. My clients have options to kill a lot of lambs off mum or very soon after. I think that’s their niche.” This enables clients’ lamb crop to be capitalised on quickly while freeing up feed for the following year’s production. “As a ram breeder I’ve always considered myself as a commercial farmer first and a ram breeder second and a lot of my decision processes are made around that.” Last year’s on-farm Southdown sale was above expectations; this year’s sale will be held on November 19. “I enjoy fattening lambs or just finishing livestock. You’ve got to specialise in what you think you’re best at and try and keep developing systems and I suppose I’ve tried to work on my expertise, but also when I’m grazing out I actually reward those guys pretty well.” CLIFTON DOWNS SOUTHDOWN RAM & EWE SALE 19TH NOVEMBER 2021 VIEWING FROM: 11.00am SNACK: 11.00pm - 1.00pm AUCTION: 1.00PM BBQ & REFRESHMENTS: AT SALE COMPLETION Agents: Kelvin Sadler 0274 302 029 Simon Eddington 0275 908 612 or call Chris Medlicott 027 621 6696 Taking a practical approach to accounting • Cashflowmanagement & budgeting • Business plans • Tax preparation & planning Agri-business accounting and advisory specialists • Succession planning • Payroll • Information technology Talk to our farming specialists MikeMedlicott: firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Greenslade: email@example.com Chartered Accountants Nexia House, Level 4, 123 Victoria Street, Christchurch • P: 03 379 0829 • W: www.nexia.co.nz Photos: Waimate farmer Chris Medlicott focuses on maximising growth rates through feed efficiency. Olivia holding Thea alongside Rachel, Miles, Shelley and Chris Medlicott.