Our vision is to be pioneers in sustainable sheep farming, with our dual offerings: breeding from an exceptional Meatmaster stud flock 🐑 and premium LANDRANI®️ LAMB meat products. We strive to set global benchmarks in both genetic excellence and meat quality, contributing to a more sustainable and ethical food supply chain. The value chain must belong to the farmer, and true food security will lie in a relationship directly between the farmer and the consumer. We strive to establish just that.
LANDRANI®️ Meatmasters dedicates itself to excellence in two distinct but interconnected spheres:
Providing superior Meatmaster genetics through our breeding offering to enhance global breeding programs, and providing ethically raised, slaughtered, and packaged LANDRANI®️ LAMB meat products.
Our mission includes promoting sustainable farming practices, promoting animal welfare, and delivering unmatched quality to our customers, from farm to table. We are also committed to developing the end consumer market and strengthening the relationship between the farmer and the consumer.
MEATMASTER STUD HERD
Once again, we would like to mention with great humility that LANDRANI®️ Meatmasters has managed to register a SA Stud Book recorded herd of approximately 2400 females in just over 3.5 years. The only reason I mention this is to paint the picture around the benefits and challenges of so many recorded animals. The number of females will increase to approximately 2900 as soon as the next groups of young ewes are born and taken into the herd. Our herd is now divided into 6 groups of 400 ewes, where every 6 weeks a group of 500 ewes will be covered. Because we are highly motivated to breed our entire herd into SP status, we have to select aggressively and we have many young ewes in the herd. To be true to the Meatmaster’s ability to be mated at 7 months we give the young ewes a first opportunity at 7 months. But sexual maturity in the breed varies to such an extent that some ewes’ uteruses are just not fully developed at 7 months and they get a second chance at 10 months. Hence the reason that an additional 100 ewes are covered with the group of 400. As the average age of the stud ewes increases, the group of “reserve players” will decrease.
With a small stud herd, new births can be recorded by keeping the animals in the field all the time and then with great effort identifying the lamb/ewe relationships and linking them to the ewes. But even with a small herd, many mistakes creep in. The accuracy of birth dates, birth weights as well as linking of multiples remains a major challenge.
If the numbers we work with are recorded accurately, it is impossible to let the ewes lamb in the field. To accurately determine the above data for 500-600 lambs every 6 weeks cannot happen in a conventional 100% field farming. This challenge led precisely to the development of our targeted LamFabriek™️. And then the subsequent GroeiFabriek™️. We have no choice but to move our ewes to a high concentration area where lambs can be accurately matched and measured from birth. Now we are not even talking about the influence of predators on our lamb harvest.
For us, it’s about getting the right balance between the ewes’ “field adaptability” and accurate data collection. We firmly believe that with our three phases, Field, LamFabriek™️ and GroeiFabriek™️, we achieve the best of all worlds and the benefit of accurate data and mortality management outweighs any possible disadvantage the ewe may have by lambing in smaller groups in a protected environment.
We would like to mention that we recently signed an agreement with a well-known farmer in the Loxton area. In terms of this agreement we gain access to 14000ha for 2400 stud animals. This includes natural grazing for a permanent herd of 400 stud rams as well as 2000 stud female ewes (young and old). In terms of the 6 groups, there will always be 800-900 stud ewes on Landrani®️ in Oudtshoorn, divided between the LamFabriek™️ and GroeiFabriek™️. Directly after weaning at 45, 60 and 75 days, the ewes go back to Loxton. Here in the field, we make them pregnant again while they graze for a total period of 6 months until they have to lamb again. We have found that it works best to transport our pregnant ewes one week before they start lambing. We get minimal early births due to the little stress and most lambs survive where it does. It’s less than 5 hours on the truck and our ewes actually travel very well.
Due to our purposeful pursuit to get our herd to SP status as soon as possible, we will be forced to put very good A and B ewes on the market. It will be sad because many of these status ewes are very good and beautiful ewes, but they will only be able to breed for our B and C lambs which will hinder our journey to SP status. So we have no choice but to make these animals available to commercial or young stud farmers who want to start measuring or recording. You just start with the A and B ewes, choose the rams you want to breed with, and build your own C and SP herd over time.
Next week I will introduce our newly developed “Soft Auction” concept to you.
This was quite a long message, but nevertheless essential regarding clarity of how exactly we farm the herd of ewes. I will also provide more clarity in the near future regarding our strategy for expanding the herd for slaughter lambs as the LANDRANI®️ LAMB business grows.