The dispersal sale of over 550 in-lamb ewes held in Tullow Mart on Saturday last met a lively trade, with prices averaging at €180/head.

The sale was held on behalf of mart manager Eric Driver and included 250 Suffolk and Suffolk-cross ewes, 120 Mule ewes and 130 Texel or continental-cross ewes.

The ewes which are lambing from 8 March to Suffolk rams were carrying an average of 1.85 lambs and were offered for sale in uniform batches in terms of breed and type and mixed in age from hogget to full mouth ewes.

A few batches of hoggets were batched together and these sold from €190 to €220, while the top price at the sale of €272 was paid for a batch of four Mule hoggets.

Lively trade

The liveliest trade was for large-framed and stronger type ewes, with Eric commenting that the entry of sharp-headed Mule ewes probably generated the keenest competition.

In the region of 15 of the 60 batches on offer topped the €200/head mark, with another 20 batches selling from €180 to €195/head.

Smaller-framed ewes or batches including a higher percentage of older ewes and a lower average litter size sold from €150 to €175, while a handful of plainer-quality batches of ewes sold from €138 to €145/head.

Buyers on the day were a mixture of local producers and farmers travelling from as far north as the midlands. Eric wished buyers well and thanked them for their support.

General sale

The mart’s sheep sale on Tuesday also witnessed a sharp trade, with fleshed lambs in demand.

Heavier lambs weighing from 54kg to 54kg sold from €158 to €165 on average, with a selection of excellent-quality lots exceeding this range.

Demand for store lambs was also brisker on the week.

The general run of prices averaged around the €3/kg mark, and, again, select lots exceeded this price.

Top prices were paid for ewe lambs with breeding potential and well presented, evenly matched stores, with returns recorded as high as €3.20/kg to €3.40/kg.

The ewe trade was much sharper, with cull ewes selling to a top of €212 for 105kg. Significant numbers of heavy ewes sold around the €2/kg mark with store ewes selling from €1.50/kg to €1.80/kg.

An entry of large-framed in-lamb ewes sold to a top of €245 and averaged €180/head, while ewes with twin lambs at foot sold to €308 per unit.

In pictures

This batch of lighter ewes including six carrying twin lambs and four carrying a single lamb sold for €145 each.

These strong Suffolk ewes including six twin-bearing, one single-bearing and one triplet-bearing ewe sold for €190 each.

This batch of six Suffolk ewes including four carrying twin lambs, two a single lamb and one triplet-bearing ewe sold for €200.

This batch of good quality Suffolk ewes including nine twin-bearing ewes and one carrying a single lamb sold for €185 each.

These large-framed crossbred-type Suffolk-cross ewes including four twin-bearing ewes and two single-bearing ewes sold for €180 each.

These good-quality Suffolk ewes including five twin-bearing ewes and three single-bearing ewes sold for €170 each.

This batch of five whiter-faced and smaller-framed Mule ewes with two carrying twin lambs and three a single lamb sold for €155 each.

This batch of quality Suffolk ewes including six twin and three single-bearing ewes sold for €205.

These eight twin-bearing and two single-bearing medium-sized Suffolk ewes sold for €172 each.

This pen of eight Suffolk-cross ewes including five twin-bearing and three single-bearing ewes sold for €168 each.

This batch of nine lighter-framed ewes with five carrying a single lamb and four twins sold for €145 each.