Pics and prices: Ewe lambs and hoggets the highlight of the sale at Blessington Mart

A Suffolk cross Cheviot ewe lamb and ewe hogget show and sale was held at Blessington Mart alongside its weekly sheep sale on Tuesday last, August 11.

There was a strong demand for ewe lambs fit for breeding, store lambs and hoggets on the day, which led to a very lively trade.

On account of the closure of Kildare Chilling due to a coronavirus outbreak last week, the number of factory-type lambs and heavy ewes on offer were minimal.

Also Read: Hoggets make up to €272/head at Blessington Mart

It was also the mart’s first sale where facemasks were compulsory to wear. Farmers were met at the entrance of the mart to make sure that they had a facemask to wear before entering the mart.

Furthermore, strict social distancing measures were also in place, which have been a common theme in marts across the country ever since Covid-19 struck in Ireland.

Anyone attending the mart on Tuesday had to wear a facemask as per government guidelines

‘Speckled-faced’ ewe lambs

The Suffolk cross Cheviot ewe lamb and hogget show and sale drew a strong crowd on the day.

‘Speckled-faced ewe lambs were in strong demand. Suffolk cross ewe lamb prices ranged from €100/head up to €165/head. However, the bulk of these types sold from €120/head up to €140/head.

This lot of 20 ewe lambs weighing 44.5kg went under the hammer for €157/head

Sample Suffolk cross ewe lamb prices:

  • 15 ewe lambs weighing 49.5kg sold for €130/head;
  • 15 ewe lambs weighing 45.4kg sold for €122/head;
  • 15 ewe lambs weighing 40kg sold for €120/head;
  • 15 ewe lambs weighing 39kg sold for €106/head;
  • 15 ewe lambs weighing 50kg sold for €133/head.

Ewe hoggets

There was a good showing of breeding hoggets on offer at Blessington on Tuesday last. Prices for these lots ranged from €142/head up to €272/head.

Although, in the main, the majority of hoggets went under the hammer for €170/head up to €210/head.

There was a high clearance rate in this section, with very few pens going unsold.

Click on a thumbnail in the gallery (below) to open up a full-size image; once opened you can scroll sideways to see the next picture. Refer to each caption to see details of each lot, including the sale price.

Store lambs

There was a strong interest for store lambs on Tuesday last, with lighter lots in particular catching the eye.

In general, forward-type store lambs weighing between 39kg and 42kg sold from €85/head up to €94/head.

Lambs weighing between 33kg and 38kg generally made from €79/head up to €86/head, while lighter store lambs sold back to €49/head.

There was a ‘good bite’ for lighter lots as mentioned already, with lambs weighing between 25kg and 30kg making upwards of €70/head.

It’s worth noting that the majority of the stores that were on offer consisted mainly of ewe lambs.

Factory lambs

As mentioned already, factory-type lambs were in short supply last Tuesday.

In general, prices for these lots ranged from €94/head up to a top price of €111/head.

Sample factory-fit lamb prices: 

  • Three lambs weighing 48.5kg sold for €100/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 45kg sold for €97/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 43.5kg sold for €94/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €101/head.

Cast ewes

The majority of cast ewes that were on offer last Tuesday at Blessington Mart consisted of feeding-type ewes, with only a handful of heavy ewes on show.

In general, the few heavy ewes that were on offer sold from €110/head up to €120/head, while store ewes made from €64/head up to €100/head.

Sample cast ewe prices:

  • Two well-fleshed Suffolk ewes sold for €120/head;
  • Four aged, yet well-fleshed, Cheviot ewes sold for €114/head;
  • Two forward store Suffolk ewes sold for €95/head;
  • Two forward store Cheviot ewes sold for €94/head.