On Saturday 23rd of August all roads lead to Tullamore for the Sheep Ireland multi-breed ram sale. Overall we were happy with the sale with 165 lots moving through the sales ring. The number of breeders that did not arrive with stock on the day despite entering them in the catalogue was somewhat disappointing, this can be frustrating for travelling buyers. This is something we will address in the future should we organise future sales. In total 118 rams found a new home – a clearance of 72%.
Average price paid for Charollais rams was €525, with two rams achieving a top price of €900. One of these (lot 45) was a ram lamb bred by Edward Buckley from Macroom, Co. Cork and the other (lot 64) a hogget ram bred by Eamonn Quinlivan from Tulla, Co. Clare. The Edward Buckley ram lamb was sired by a UK sourced sire 13DG03368, a ram that is performing very well within the Charollais breed, while Eamonn Quinlivan’s hogget ram was sired by a ram (12ZEG00093) bred by the Riverdale flock from Co. Down. Both of these top priced rams had very high Terminal Indices and ticked all the boxes from a physical point of view which in turn made them very attractive to buyers on the day.
The average price paid for Texels was €465, with a top price of €880 for lot 119 a very strong ram lamb bred by John, Colm & Michael McHugh of Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. This ram was again a very high Index ram in the top 4% in the Replacement Index and top 5% in the Terminal Index. This ram had the highest accuracy evaluations in the sale, mainly due to the fact his sire PNI11051 has been used extensively in the Sheep Ireland CPT in the past, again this commercial data background proved attractive to buyers.
There was 9 Belclare rams entered in the sale and as a result demand was strong with an average price of €545. The top price was €680 for a John Renehan ram lamb (lot 164). This lamb is in the top 1% for the Replacement Index and top 5% for Terminal. The ram also had a very good ‘Days to Slaughter’ Index of -5.454 days (top 4%).
Gordon and Yvonne Johnston of Tyrrellspass, Co. Westmeath entered the only Vendeen rams in the sale. The rams averaged €433 with a top price of €460. All three ram had good levels of accuracy%.
The final breed to pass through the ring was Suffolk. Demand was strong which resulted in another good average price of €550. Top Suffolk price and the top overall sale price of €1000 was paid to John Hanly for a ram lamb (lot 182). This was a very strong lamb which is ranked in the top 1% for Replacement and top 2% for Terminal. Eamonn Duffy of Kells, Co. Meath sold three ram lambs to an average of €720. Another noticeable lot in the Suffolk section was lot 211 from Arthur & Patrick O’Keeffe. This lamb was a son of DND09045 (Rookery Classic), a sire used in the Sheep Ireland CPT to sire commercial lambs in 2014. This ram lamb had an excellent ‘Days to Slaughter’ figure of -9.5 days, ranking him in the top 1% of the Suffolk breed and the highest Days to Slaughter figure in the sale.
While there was some good prices paid for exceptional rams on the day, there was also plenty of lower priced, very high index rams available to farmers. The lower priced rams were as follows, Charollais ram sold at €370, Texel at €300, Belclare at €400, Vendeen at €400 and a Suffolk €350. Our message to farmers and breeders is that this is a ram sale aimed at commercial farmers and reasonable prices with high Index rams for all budgets available. It was clear on sale day that where quality rams were presented with good stars, farmers were willing to bid. See some images from the day below.
You can vie the catalogue for the sale here