Sheep Breeding Sales underway

The summer is stomping on and we took tups to the first of the Suffolk sales at the end of last week. Not a spectacular start to be honest: we only took two of the Suffolks, but both came back home, not reaching their reserve. It might be a bit too early for the commercial trade. I think trade may be steady throughout the next few months, Many are feeling the pinch and thinking of the mouths they have to feed going into winter.

We flushed a couple of our Suffolk ewes this week and implanted nine eggs into five of the Dorset recipients. Let's hope they all take. In the next few days the tup will be running with the ewes we artificially inseminated recently, so all being well all the ewes will be impregnated one way or another.
The piglets are just beginning to gain their confidence and are venturing a bit further away from mum. At this stage, they are easily startled as they face new encounters and experiences, so it is very amusing to see them scurry back to her when they lose their nerve!

The big breeding sheep sales are now well underway and, at Thame last week, which is always a good indicator of trade, there was a steady if not spectacular demand for the better sheep with averages slightly down for most breeds. 
The NSA ram sale at Builth Wells topped at 2,800gns for a Texel from Paul and Anna Johnson, but the clearance rate of 54 per cent was disappointing.

One of the highlights of the week's pedigree sales was when a new Zwartbles breed record of 4,000gns was set at Carlisle for a ram lamb Didcot Ferrari from Heather Houston, Orkney.

Store lamb trade seems surprisingly good despite the lack of grass. Prime lamb and cull ewe prices have seen a rise for the better quality as the Muslim festival of Eid approaches.

Don't forget that 24 hours in farming starts at 5am tomorrow, so please spread positivity and involved with your stock, using the #farm24 hashtag. 
Sales coming up this week
  • Thursday, August 9 – Wright Marshall will be holding a Charollais Day, a show and sale of rams and ram lambs for the Charollais Society atBeeston Castle Auction
  • Friday, August 10 –  Graham Watkins will be holding a complete farm dispersal sale of tractors and machinery at Race House Farm, SK17 0ER
  • Saturday, August 11 – Greenslade Taylor Hunt will be holding the first of two monthly catalogued sales of suckler cows, calves, heifers and bulls, including a major reduction sale of the 'Nordel' herd of 159 pedigree Welsh Black and crossbred cows at Sedgemoor Auction Centre
  • Tuesday, August 14  – United Auctions will be holding a sale of pedigree North Country Cheviot lambs on behalf of the North Country Cheviot Sheep Society at Lairg Auction Mart 

Jemma Naish

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