The make-up of the Irish sheep sector, where over 40% of flocks record fewer than 50 sheep on their annual sheep census and over 65% of flocks record fewer than 100 sheep, gives rise to a significant number of farms opting to purchase their replacements.

While a high percentage of large flock owners breed their own replacements, there is still a significant number who like to source replacements with desired maternal attributes. This practice has taken place for generations, with breeding groups marketing Suffolk Cheviot and Mule sheep commonplace in the industry and lasting the test of time.