The Cooley Sheep Breeders Association held the largest sale of ewes with lambs at foot on Saturday with 450 ewes offered in Carnaross Mart, Co Meath.
The sale recorded a fine clearance rate of 95%. Mart manager Padraig McElroy commented that the large offering helped to attract customers from far and near, with online bidders also particularly active.
Prices paid were strongly influenced by quality of the ewe and age and strength of her lamb(s), with a wide variation in prices.
Crossbred and lowland ewes ranged from €150 to €270 for twin-lamb lots, with a top of €270 paid for a nice-quality Cheviot ewe with two strong lambs at foot.
Crossbred and lowland ewes sold from €140 to €233 for single-lamb lots.
While Scottish Blackface ewes with single lambs sold in the main from €100 to €145 and twin lamb lots from €116 to €180.
Some of the prices at the lower end of the price range were for ewes showing the effects of a hard spring.
There were plenty of customers present for ewes with nice-quality lambs that will be culled at the end of this season, with a high percentage of good-quality outfits and younger ewes selling from €220 to €270 for twin-lamb lots. The next Cooley sheep breeders sale of store lambs takes place on 22 July 2023.