This year's crop of lambs was probably the most even yet
Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30
Buyers from all over the country travelled to the Mayo Mule and Greyface group sale that took place last Friday in Ballinrobe, with a full clearance on the day.
Trade was strong with a few exceptional pens of hoggets and prize winners making €248.
With buyers commenting on the quality and strength of lambs on offer, a few top lots made from €160 to €196 and prize winners making €206. My sheep made an average price of €174, up €18 on last year.
It could be said that these lambs have been prepared since last March when they were born but I think the process starts in September of the previous year. Preparing ewes and rams is now on the agenda for next season.
I am very happy with the crop of lambs this year. It is probably the most even crop of lambs I have had for sale to date. Despite difficult weather conditions at times this year, grass growth and lamb growth was quite good overall. All the lambs that I offered for sale in Ballinrobe are all capable of breeding in their first year.
This is something that some customers are looking for and I have been providing for this niche in the market for many years now. Many who breed these ewe lambs scan up to 1.5 lambs/ewe lamb. This then leaves the farmer with a young, experienced and cheaper ewe hogget.
Preparation for next year's crop has begun already. Blackface ewes have been graded into groups depending on body condition score (BCS) and are on different quality fields of grass because of this. There is more room now since the lambs have been sold and ewes will get preferential treatment from now on.
I went through all the ewes to make sure I didn't miss any ewes with mastitis or ewes that didn't perform to requirements. I have also selected the ewes that I will run with the Lanark type Blackface rams this season.