Thinking of buying a new ram? Upcoming sales to showcase best in breeds

As the summer edges closer to an end sheep farmers must start planning their breeding for next year.

But what ram breeds should they use and where can they purchase?

Suffolk

The Suffolk is a black faced sheep which are fast finishers, according to the society, and they allow for a fast return on investment and produce lambs fit for slaughter at 16-18 weeks.

This scrapie-resistant breed are easy lambing which produces both quality and quantity.

The society will hold its premier sale this Saturday in Roscrea and there will be 150 ram lambs on offer. Ram lambs averaged €1,050 at the corresponding sale last year. Rams destined for sale are from Sheep Ireland flocks and have star ratings up to five stars.

suffolk cross lambs

Charollais

The Charollais sheep originated in France and is an easy lambing terminal breed which produces highly vigorous lambs. They also produce top class carcasses which are in demand by factory and butcher buyers.

Rams lambs averaged €650/head at the premier society on July 25, the top price hogget ram sold for €2,000 while the champion male sold for €2,600. Both were sold to pedigree breeders.

The next Charollais sale will take place on August 15 in Roscommon, there will be 60 ram lambs on offer with individual star ratings.

charollais sheep

Belclare

The Belclare is a maternal sheep breed, the society says and Belclare rams will add prolifically into the flock with daughters producing 2+ lambs/ewe. They produce good hardly lambs at birth which can also produce a good quality carcass, the society says.

Belclare ewes are great mothers which produce plenty of milk.

The society had their premier sale in Kilkenny on August 4, Sherling rams averaged €595/head there was a 90% clearance of ram lambs which averaged €610/head. The society will hold there next sale in Roscommon on September 26.

belclare ewes
Source: belclare.org

Vendeen

Another breed of French origin the Vendeen is a terminal sire which produces hardy lambs with a nice coating of wool, the society says and Vendeen lambs are very lively at birth and a quick to suckle.

Lambs have high growth rates and confirmation which are suitable for the factory market.

Ram lambs averaged €500 at this years premier sale, there will be 15 lambs on sale at a multi-breed sale in Tullamore on August 22, while a further 12-15 rams will be on offer in Roscommon on August 22.

vendeen sheep

Texel

The Texel sheep are a terminal breed known for their high parasitic resistance. They also produce lambs with a high lean meat % and high kill out, the Texel Society says.

Although the breed is primarily a terminal breed they can cross the line as maternal as well and according to the society Texel cross ewes are prolific and have a long breeding life. They are also very docile and milky dams.

The premier sale will be held on August 15, there will be 259 rams and 65 females on offer. In 2014 commercial rams sold from €400-1,100/head.

texel sheep

Cheviot

The Cheviot is an extremely hardy hill breed and is a maternal ewe, according to the society. There are 150,000 Cheviot ewes in Wicklow. The ewes are known best for producing the Borris ewe (Suffolk x Cheviot).

The Cheviot are a hardy sheep and the majority of rams are used to replenish existing flocks.

In 2014 Cheviot rams averaged €750/head. The Cheviot sheep sale will take place in Blessington on October 3.

cheviot sheep

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