The Donegal Wicklow Cheviot Sheep Breeders group is holding its annual sale of Cheviot rams, ewe lambs and hoggets in Stranorlar Mart at 7pm on Wednesday 29 September.

This is the second sale since the group made the pioneering decision in 2020 to start performance recording animals with Sheep Ireland.

The introduction of performance recording means that rams on offer will be parentage recorded and sire verified, while the scrapie status will also be identified.

This creates the potential for customers from Northern Ireland or further afield to purchase ARR or Genotype 1 rams which are export eligible. Sheep will also possess Euro-Star genetic evaluations, something which is rare in hill sheep systems.

Confidence and accuracy

From a breeder's perspective parentage validation gives full confidence that ancestry information is accurate. An inbreeding analysis reaffirms that the correct breeding decisions have been made while the fact that the entire group is participating allows inbreeding trends to be assessed across the entire breed.

Innovative step

The innovative step by the group has been welcomed by Sheep Ireland, which is encouraging other hill sheep breeds to follow suit. There will be greater discussions on the whole area of genotyping and performance recording given that purchasing genotyped rams is a proposal under the Sheep Improvement Scheme targeted for inclusion in the next CAP.

The fact that those involved with the Donegal Wicklow Cheviot Sheep Breeders will be well versed in this regard can only be a positive for the future.

The show and viewing takes place from 2pm on Wednesday, with the sale taking place at 7pm. Bidding is ringside and via the LSL online sales portal.

For enquiries call Manus on 086-159 6739 or Michael on 087-677 1564.