n Farmer’s Weekly - Charlton Dohne Merinos flourish on Boschberg sourveld : livestock - cover

Volume 2016, Issue 16010
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



"I think we are the only Dohne Merino stud farmed without cultivated lands," says Philip Erasmus about his 32-year-old Charlton Dohne Merino Stud. "We lamb on the veld and rear the rams on the veld - we do everything on the veld!" In fact, Charlton Dohnes - consisting of 700 stud and 1 200 commercial ewes - receive no more than a salt/protein lick in winter and a salt/phosphate lick in summer, while rams being rounded off for sale receive a lick and maize on the veld. The Charlton flock's ability to produce efficiently on the 5 500ha sour veld on the Boschberg (which they share with a 400-strong Bonsmara breeding herd) and the 1 500ha sweet veld farm, Deelkraal, has convinced Philip to breed the majority of his own flock sires. He fully appreciate show superbly adapted his animals are to their environment. "I've often brought somebody else's rams onto my property and after a year I realised that my animals looked better. One often thinks that another breeder's animals are better, but it's not always the case," he says.

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