Quality and numbers seem to be on the decline across most marts for breeding sheep, as the breeding season edges closer.

The trade for hoggets, ewe lambs and older breeding ewes remains strong. Ewe lambs continue to trade well and, across many marts, last week prices for these lots ranged from €100/head up to €165/head for lambs weighing in excess of 40kg.

A couple of mart managers have reported that the quality of hoggets being presented for sale is slowly starting to decline and this is being reflected in the prices paid out for these types.

Also Read: Clearance sale of 200 'genuine' ewes this Thursday, as farm makes way for dairy

Hoggets, over the past week, have been trading from €100/head up to over the €215/head at normal weekly mart sales.

Older breeding ewes continue to trade well and, in general, these types have been making from €110/head up to €215/head.

Mart round-up

Enniscorthy Mart

Kevin Murphy of Enniscorthy Mart reported a solid trade for breeding sheep at last Wednesday’s weekly sheep sale.

However, he noted that there was a smaller entry of hoggets and that those on offer weren’t of the same quality as previous weeks.

On the day, hogget ewes made from €162/head up to a top price of €215/head.

There were some “very nice” pens of Suffolk ewe lambs on offer and these types sold from €106/head up to €137/head.

Sample ewe lamb prices: 

  • 10 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €137/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 38kg sold for €116/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 46kg sold for €131/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 51kg sold for €130/head.

Loughrea Mart

Loughrea Mart manager Jimmy Cooney reported a lively trade for ewe lambs on Thursday last (September 17).

Nice-quality ewe lambs weighing over 40kg sold from €100/head up to over €120/head, with lighter ewe lambs weighing just under 40kg making back to €90/head.

He noted that hogget numbers are slowly falling back; however, the trade remains good for these types and has been over the past few weeks.

Generally, hoggets sold from €165-170/head, with some exceptional lots making up to €195/head.

Sample ewe lamb prices:

  • 47kg: €113/head;
  • 43.6kg: €116.50/head;
  • 39.5kg: €100/head;
  • 43kg: €108/head;
  • 44kg: €105/head;
  • 40kg: €102/head.

Special sales round-up

The Donegal Mule Group held its second sale at Carnew Mart on Friday last (September 18).

2,000 sheep were on offer and were met with an “exceptional trade, which led to a full clearance”, according to a spokesperson for the group.

Ewe lambs sold from €90/head up to €170/head, while hogget ewes traded from €160/head up to €215/head.

At Tuam Mart last Friday, a sale of 650 Mule Lanark cross ewe lambs took place. Speaking about the sale, John Meeneghan said that there was a flying trade on the day, which led to a full clearance.

Prices ranged from €116/head up to €190/head. The lambs on offer weighed from 35kg up to 55kg.

Nice-quality ewe lambs weighing 35-40kg made from €140/head up to €145/head mainly, with heavier lambs weighing upwards of 45kg selling from €160/head up to €180/head.