The ‘Big Boy Ram Sale’ is set to take place this Friday, August 16, at The Showgrounds, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, at 5:00pm.

The sale was set up by a group of young breeders who have come together to develop a sale of grass-fed rams.

The sale will consist of 11 breeds, both terminal and maternal, with a total of 120 rams up for grabs. This is double the amount present at last year’s sale.

The sale is aimed at commercial farmers that are on the look-out for rams for the up-coming breeding season. Given the nature of the breeds available, the rams are claimed to be suitable for producing “high-quality and well-conformed lamb carcasses”.

The number of rams for sale in each breed is as follows:

  • Suffolk – 26;
  • Texel – 25;
  • Charollais – 25;
  • Chartex – 10;
  • Aberfield – 10;
  • Belclare – 11;
  • Vendéen – six;
  • Zwartbles – four;
  • Rouge – two;
  • Beltex – two;
  • Blue Texels – two.

The 2018 sale

Last year’s sale had a reported clearance rate of 70%, with the top price going to a Blue Texel ram – owned by Philip Crowe, Ballinagh, Co. Cavan – which made €1,200.

This was followed by a Texel ram – owned by Stuart Dorran, Dromard, Co. Sligo – which made €1,000.

The average price across all breeds was as follows:

  • Texel shearlings: €796;
  • Texel ram-lambs: €534;
  • Charollais shearlings: €538;
  • Chartex shearlings: €536;
  • Beltex shearlings: €400;
  • Beltex ram-lambs: €400;
  • Blue Texel shearlings: €933; and
  • Vendéen ram-lambs: €400.

Speaking to AgriLand, Stuart Dorran, who is organising the sale, said: “This is a unique sale with it being the only one of its kind in the west of Ireland.

“We got good feedback from last year’s sale, with farmers delighted with the rams they purchased.

“One farmer who bought a Blue Texel ram said his crop of lambs this year killed-out at 58%, while other farmers reported kill-outs of 55%, which is extremely good and represents the quality of rams on offer at this sale,” he concluded.