On Tuesday evening 31 May, Aurivo Livestock Mart Ballymote, Co Sligo, held its weekly sheep sale, with over 400 lambs, almost 100 cast ewes and a small number of hoggets forward for sale.

Speaking to mart manager David Faughnan after the sale, he said that hogget numbers have almost completely dried up in the last fortnight, but that the number of lambs coming forward was building nicely.

Throughout the sale, it was evident that buyers were looking for well-fleshed lambs and were willing to compete for them.

Lambs of the same weight were commanding €12 to €15/head more where they were carrying that extra bit of flesh and buyers were confident that they would have a better kill-out percentage.

You could see lambs coming through there that were clearly getting a bit of creep feeding

David said: “You could see lambs coming through there that were clearly getting a bit of creep feeding, it was definitely a big help to them.

“I know meal is expensive this year, but even having fed €8 to €10/head would be more than paying for itself in terms of weight gain, but more so in the level of finish that those lambs had, they were handling very well and that is what buyers want.”

Level of finish

Lambs weighing 44kg to 46kg traded from €145 to €170/head, depending on their level of finish, while heavier lambs from 47kg to 50kg traded anywhere from €155 to a top price of €173/head.

Lambs weighing 39kg to 42kg were making from €135 to €146/head for the most part.

Cast ewes continue to be an excellent trade and David commented that the strong prices are encouraging farmers to move more numbers than normal for this time of the year.

Well-fleshed ewes weighing 90kg to 100kg were making from €170 to over €200/head, while lighter-framed ewes weighing 75kg to 85kg that were carrying flesh were trading from €135 to €160/head.

In pictures

This pen of nine lambs weighed 50kg and sold for €173.

This pair of 42kg lambs sold for €149.

This pen of 12 lambs weighed 46kg and sold for €170.

This 46kg lamb sold for €157.

This batch of 16 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €159.

This pen of eight Suffolk lambs weighed 42kg and sold for €146.

This pen of Suffolk cross lambs weighed 32kg and sold for €114.

These two ewes weighed 100kg and made €170.

These three Texel cross ewes weighed 82kg and sold for €142.

This 80kg ewe sold for €130.

This Suffolk ewe weighed 103kg and sold for €202.