Home' Otago Southland Farmer : April 5th 2013 Contents 14
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Diversification bringing rewards
Integrating several stock classes paying dividends at Five Rivers property
Dry bites: Southland Deer Industry Focus Farmer David Nind, left, and farm consultant Alistair Gibson check out the fodder beet crop that has
been struggling because of dry conditions.
Stock on hand
1129 mixed-age hinds
280 rising two-year hinds
280 rising one-year hinds
280 rising two-year hinds
1888 rising one-year stags
28 breeding stags
2720 mixed-age ewes
1400 ewe hoggets
65 rising two-year heifers
67 rising one-year heifers
25 rising one year steers
Weaner stag weight 52.6kg cw
Weaner hind weight 50.5kg cw
Lamb weight 19.1kgcw
Integrated operation: Deer are one
part of the farming equation on David
and Pam Nind's property at Five Rivers
in Northern Southland.
By DIANE BISHOP
The future of deer farming is an
integrated stocking system.
That's the view of Five Rivers
farmer David Nind who believes
farming several types of stock is
better than one for cashflow and
''We've got a lot of debt and it
comes down to dollars and cents.
''If we had all our eggs in one
basket that would be pretty
scary,'' he said.
David and his wife Pam, who form
part of the Southland Deer
Industry Focus Farm Group, farm
deer, sheep and cattle on their
728-hectare East Dome property at
Five Rivers in Northern South-
Previously farming just deer at
Dipton, they took up a one-year
lease at East Dome before buying
the property from Woody Rouse
five years ago, and set about
The Ninds currently farm about
1200 mixed-age Eastern European
Red hinds and are now upgrading
their breeding programme.
They are aiming to create an elite
herd by mating the heavier
yearlings to higher breeding
value stags, which they currently
buy from the Doncaster and
Wilkins' families, and produce
But David has no intention of
breeding his own stags.
''We want to keep the operation
simple but we want to get the best
value from what we're buying,''
The Ninds also buy in up to 1400
weaners which they finish on top
of their own home-bred weaners.
They source mainly stag fawns at
just under 60 kilograms live-
weight and aim to finish them at
92kg or an average 52.6kg carcass
weight in the spring while weaner
hinds -- not kept as replacements --
are finished at an average 50.5kg.
About 1000 weaners are finished
by Christmas. ''Everything is
weighed -- there's no guessing,''
The mixed-age hinds are cur-
rently fawning about 90 per cent.
The Ninds have poured a lot of
money into developing East Dome
with new water systems and
lanes, a new deer shed and more
recently, a new woolshed.
With more than 400ha deer-
fenced, there is yet more to do,
with another 72ha hill block yet to
be completed as well as three
kilometres of sheep fencing and
new cattle yards.
The Ninds have also taken on the
lease of a new property at Garston
which they take over next month.
As well as deer, they also farm
about 2700 mixed-age ewes, cur-
rently lambing about 150 per cent
and 1400 replacement ewe hoggets
which will go to the ram this
They also farm 65 rising two-year
heifers, 67 rising one-year heifers
and 25 rising one-year steers.
The mix of stock works well as
their feed demands are complem-
entary and it also spreads their
risk and income.
The Ninds previously farmed just
deer at Dipton, through the
difficult years of the deer indus-
try, and wouldn't go back to just
one class of stock.
''There are real benefits to having
an integrated system such as a
good steady cashflow.''
Farm consultant Alistair Gibson
said integration could be hard to
achieve but was ''jolly effective''
as the grazing patterns of the
different classes of stock comple-
mented each other.
The Ninds also put two or three
layers of stock through their
fodder beet crop, although it has
struggled this season because of
the dry conditions.
This was the fourth season it has
''The first year it was trial and
error, but the next year was a
boomer and we got a 30 tonne
crop,'' he said.
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