This usually means selling underfleshed lambs but word from a couple of factory sources at the moment would suggest that a larger percentage of overweight stock than they would like are being offered.
Just as it is important to get them to a certain level, it is equally key to move them on before they get too fat and heavy.
Commenting on the trade, newly elected IFA national sheep chairman John Lynskey said lamb feeders were strongly resisting factory pressure on price.
He said €4.85/kg was being paid, with some deals of €4.90/kg from last week. There is no change to the quotes for the cull ewes with all plants on a quote of 200c/kg. Farmers with numbers are bargaining successfully for 20-30c/kg more in places.
Bord Bia report that the trade in Britain has returned to more normal levels after the Christmas and New Year holiday periods.
The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €4.72/kg including VAT deadweight.
In France, trade was steady but weak domestic demand and favourable exchange rates are making British lamb more competitive and putting pressure on price levels. The price for Irish Grade 1 lamb was €4.82kg (including VAT).
Yesterday's sheep marts threw up varying reports with great prices paid for heavy lambs down in Fermoy while prices in Athenry seemed to be struggling at levels significantly behind those paid last week.
For instance a pen of butcher lambs weighing 53kg in the south made up to €126, while the same weight and bought for the same purpose in the west topped out at €105.
In fairness the top price was €108 but this was paid by a farmer for nice ewe lambs weighing 49kg.
In the main fleshed lambs here were making from €45 to €53 with the €1/kg. A lot of the heavier lambs in Fermoy were making €50-67 over the weight, with the aforementioned tops of €73 over.
In Kilkenny, the trade was probably back by €2-3/hd. Butcher lambs sold for €100-115/hd or €48-56 with the €1/kg. Factory types ranged from €82 to €105 or €42-56 with the weight, while stores made up to €84/hd or €27-45 over.
Carnew reported a huge entry with 2,850 sheep on offer. Trade was very strong, with prices up by €1-2 on the previous week.
Butcher lambs were selling at prices of €108-105 or €57-62 over the €1/kg. Stores were moving at €67-95/hd.
Factory lambs ranged from €98 to €110 or €63-64 over their weight. Cull ewes made €45-98. In lamb ewes sold to a top of €140/hd.
The sheep trade was improved at Dowra Mart last Saturday last with the best of the lambs making €80-102 each. The lighter pens for feeding lambs were making €45-75.
The tops of the cull ewes made from €60 to €90, while ewes for feeding sold for €35-55. A few pens of in-lamb ewes saw the better lots make €120-150. Older plainer types were making €80-120.
At their opening sale for 2014, Baltinglass reported an improved trade for heavy and store lambs.
The 40-50kg lambs sold from €93-107.50. Stores made from €68-83. Cull ewes ranged from €55 to €80.
Blackface ewes with mixed mouths were selling for €21-58 in Maam Cross.
Hoggets made up to €85. Cross bred lambs sold for €30-68 in the main with a top price of €80.
Blackface wether and ram lambs made from €28-58.