August 2020

COVID 19 has had massive impact on the global and local economies as we all now know. Interestingly reports from the NSA show a substantial increase in demand for sheep meat (presumable primarily lamb), through both local butchers but particularly encouragingly through supermarkets, as people often for the first time add lamb to the weekly shop. This is clearly having an impact on the market. Store lambs often at £85.00 is impressive. Breeding sheep in the very early sales are indicating substantial increases on the last few years. Not surprisingly buyers are trying to source “Off Farm” both for COVID reasons but also because it enables the buyer to assess whether those animals are “the only good ones” or whether they are typical of all the sheep on the farm. Each year appears to see the buying season start earlier and earlier. For us, his year started in early June.

By the end of July we have about 40 grass fed shearling ewes left for sale. They are very nice and correct animals. Come and have a look. Encouragingly barring a small block going to a farm that was looking to put a Beltex onto them, all went to buyers seeking to look for new breeding stock by additionally being able to select by their EBVs. We were able to offer Top 10% EBV’s as well as Top Quartile and below. Each band priced accordingly. I am very pleased with the experiment and will repeat it next year, but will also hopefully offer small blocks of Top 5% shearlings. We have the software via Farm IT from Border Software, to help potential breeders to select by a particular EBV rather than the overall Lleyn Index if so desired.

Shearling Rams are still available both for those looking for high EBV registered stock or very good commercial animals. Remember our shearling rams are all 100% grass fed. This means we regularly run 1:75 ewes and one occasion through necessity, 1:170. On that occasion over 90% lambed in the first cycle and only one was barren. My stock rams can easily do 4-5 cycles, with us letting them go for genetic diversity. Although the list on the Breeding Stock Available page is now depleted give me a call to discuss what I currently have left for sale this year. I also have 2 or 3 aged rams born 2017 – 2018 that I need to let go to ensure I can maintain genetic diversity across the flock. I have recently purchased 2 new rams from Hamish Goldies which I hope will compliment my existing gene pool.