The Donegal Mule Group held its sixth annual breeding sale of ewe lambs and ewe hoggets on Friday evening in Ballybofey and Stranorlar Mart.

The trade can be best described as firm, with prices running largely in line with 2020 levels and with an 85% clearance recorded for an entry in the region of 1,800 head.

This batch of whiter-type Mule ewe lambs sold for €116.

Hoggets were first through the ring and while the average was broadly in line with 2020 levels, there was a greater spread.

A high percentage of hoggets sold from €160 to €180, with better-quality lots selling to €200 and a selection of top-quality well-grown and strong hoggets selling to a top of €265 for the first-prizewinning hoggets.

These nice-quality Mule ewe lambs sold for €128.

This was higher than the upper price level of €220 to €230 recorded in 2020.

Likewise, there was a wider spread at the other end of the price range. A small selection of lighter-boned and smaller-framed hoggets sold from €150 to €160, with one pen of light hoggets below this at a base of €145.

These heavier Mule ewe lambs with a larger frame sold for €134.

There was also a strong customer base for ewe lambs, with prices running closely in line with last year, which should be noted was €15 to €25 higher than previous years. In the region of 75% of lambs on offer sold within a price range of €110 to €125.

The majority of these were lighter April- and May-born lambs and while not weighed, they typically weighed between 25kg and 35kg.

This pen of ewe lambs with some light lambs in the batch sold for €112.

There was keen competition for stronger lambs and this pushed prices for heavier and top-quality lots to €135 to €160, with a top call of €178 for the first-prizewinners.

Similarly, a selection of lighter ewe lambs and plainer-quality types sold back to €90 to €100.

These Greyface-type hoggets sold for €165.

Mart manager Brian Crawford said: “There was a strong customer base active ringside and online, with buyers present for all types. The trade was solid with some great prices in particular for lighter lambs.”

This pen of 14 top-quality Mule ewe hoggets sold for €215.

Group member Kieran McGrath said the group has now turned its attention to preparing sheep for a sale in Carnew Mart on 14 September at 7pm.

In the region of 1,000 Mule lambs, 500 Mule hoggets and 500 mature (2s, 3s and 4s) Mule ewes will make the trip south for the sale.

Other lots

This batch of 10 Mule ewe hoggets sold for €185.

These black-headed Mule ewe hoggets sold for €185.

These whiter-faced Mule ewe hoggets sold for €173.

The first prizewinning pen of Mule ewe hoggets sold for €265.

These nice-quality Mule ewe lambs sold for €132.