Tullamore Farm has drafted another batch of lambs in each of the last two weeks.
There were 34 lambs drafted for sale on 6 October and a batch of 43 lambs drafted on 13 October 2022.
The lambs repeated the improved slaughter performance of those drafted at the end of September, where the kill-out lifted from an average of 42% to 45%.
As detailed in Table 1, the batch of lambs slaughtered on 6 October achieved an average kill-out of 46.3%.
This was boosted by the majority of lambs in the batch being ewe lambs, with the handful of ram lambs drafted being the best quality in the batch.
Farm manager Shaun Diver said there was another dozen ram lambs that were provisionally selected and that these were delayed drafting for a week due to booking limitations.
Many would not have killed close to the upper weight limits, so it was not seen as an issue to delay slaughtering of these.
The ration of U grading lambs to R grading lambs has improved slightly in recent weeks, which is not surprising given lambs are receiving concentrate supplementation and the fact that the last three drafts of lambs have been brought to a heavier average weight.
There was very little free meat on the load, reflected in the small variance between the cold weight and pay weight of the ewe lambs.
Lambs averaged 20.91kg pay weight, with lambs marketed through the Offaly Quality Lamb Producer Group currently paid to 21.5kg carcase weight.
R grading lambs receive a 30c/kg top-up on the base price, with U grading lambs 10c/kg higher.
The average sale value of lambs was €132.36/head and small variances in the performance between ewe and ram lambs is also captured in Table 1.
In contrast, the majority of lambs drafted on 13 October were ram lambs, as detailed in Table 2 below.
The kill-out of rams was more reflective of current performance in the group, with lambs selected at an average liveweight of 49.25kg and killing out at 22.02kg.
There was only a handful of lambs killing heavy, with these lambs killing well above average at 48% to 50% kill-out.
The average drafting weight in ewe lambs remains about 3kg lower than ram lambs, with Shaun finding that ram lambs exhibiting more crossbred characteristics from the Mule ewe need to be in the region of 48kg to 51kg, while progeny from Texel-cross ewes can generally be selected a couple of kilos lighter.
Ram lambs are currently receiving concentrate supplementation at a rate of over 750g daily, with ewe lambs receiving half this level.
Lambs also have access to good-quality grass and Shaun comments that the performance in ram lambs has really pushed on since feeding levels were increased to the current rate about three weeks ago.
The aim is to have the majority of the remaining 30 ram lambs drafted before the end of the month.