The next 10 days is the peak period of sales for breeding groups specialising in the production of replacement ewe hoggets and ewe lambs.

Many sales have upwards of 2,000 sheep entered.

These offer prospective customers a chance to source sheep which differ significantly in size, weight and type.

Donegal Mule Group

The sales this weekend kick off with the Donegal Mule Group, with the group’s first sale taking place on Friday 27 August at 6pm in Ballybofey and Stranorlar Mart.

The group is also heading to Carnew Mart in Co Wicklow for the third year in a row and is offering a consignment of Mule ewe hoggets and ewe lambs on Tuesday evening 14 September.

Borris Ewe Breeders Association

After a successful premier sale, the Borris Ewe Breeders Association will hold its second sale on Saturday 28 August, while a third sale incorporating higher numbers of Cheviot sheep and later-born ewe lambs will take place on 11 September.

Donegal Cheviot and Cheviot Cross Breeders

The Donegal Cheviot and Cheviot Cross Breeders group is a relatively new breeding group and is this year holding its third annual sale in Ballybofey and Stranorlar Mart, Co Donegal, on Friday 3 September.

The evening sale includes Suffolk-cross-Cheviot ewe hoggets and ewe lambs and also includes Cheviot sheep which have been bred pure and a selection which have been crossed to Scottish Blackface genetics.

Numbers have been building since the first sale and an entry in excess of 1,300 head is expected for this year’s sale.

Cooley Sheep Breeders Association

This year’s sheep sale hosted by the Cooley Sheep Breeders Association is a special affair given it is 20 years since farms in the area were decimated by foot and mouth.

The sheep sector on the peninsula is very much alive and kicking and this year the group will hold one of its largest ever sales, with 4,000 maternally bred ewe lambs and ewe hoggets on offer on Saturday 4 September.

There are several breeds of sheep on offer, including Mules, Scottish Blackface, Lleyn and Lleyn-cross, Suffolk-Cheviot-cross, Texel-cross and Hiltex among others.

While the sale takes place in a field on the outskirts of Carlingford, bidding will take place in association with Carnaross Mart via the LSL sales platform.

Tullow sheep sales

The South East Mule Breeders Group will hold a sale of primarily Mule ewe lambs and Mule ewe hoggets on Saturday 4 September.

The sale will include Mule sheep bred from Lanark-type Scottish Blackface sheep, Perth-type and also Swaledale ewes.

There is an expected entry of 800 ewe lambs and 400 ewe hoggets.

After two positive sale dates, the Tullow Sheep Breeders Association will hold its third and final sale of the season on Wednesday 8 September.

This sale will incorporate Cheviot sheep, with the group hoping to repeat the strong performance on 2020 with continued strong demand for well-bred Cheviot sheep.

Maam Cross Mule Group

The Maam Cross Mule Group is holding its annual lamb show and sale on Saturday 4 September.

There will also be a large selection of Mule lambs of different breed types to suit customers interests.

The sale takes place in Maam Cross Mart at 11am.

Mayo Mule and Greyface Group

The Mayo Mule and Greyface Group held its premier sale last week, with the trade largely in line with 2020 performance.

The group’s second sale, comprising 500 hoggets and 1,000 ewe lambs, will take place on Monday 6 September, while the final sale of the season, including 500 ewe lambs, takes place on Friday 24 September.

Sheep are all on the Heptavac-P system and the group can facilitate organising nationwide delivery.