Top Prize with Lambs

The volatility of lamb sale prices is very unstable. Prices often swing up and down, week on week. After all that hard work for weeks and months beforehand, a bad day at market can make a whole year of sheep farming not worthwhile. All is not helped when the costs of production continue to rise.

This year, fat lamb prices have been dismal with no swing upwards, and so the expectations were fairly muted coming into Hare Farm's biggest sale of the year: the annual ewe lamb sale at Ashford Market, Kent.

For several weeks now Stuart has been preparing for this day. With the help of Meg, Tiggy and Tess taking on some of the strain, Stuart and his dogs have been sorting through the lambs to encourage consistency, moving them from one pasture to the next, treating any issues, preventing others (eg fly strike). It's been a matter of tweeking and staying on top of the flock, not letting their health or growth slip. Getting the lambs in tip-top condition for thier run through the sales ring in front of prospective buyers has been vital to get right, especially in such a sluggish market when the buyers have the power to be picky. 

Ashford market ewe lamb sale 2015

Over 3000 ewe lambs were in last Friday's sale programme, 400 were ours. Average prices for the sale were down on last year, and our own average was slightly down on last year, but not as much as the market average. A welcome boost was also to win First Prize for the best pen of lambs overall. This top pen averaged £92 each, a marked difference to any other pen on the day. 

First prize at Ashford market ewe lamb sale

The buyers of our lambs were mainly Kent sheep farmers, some of which have been buying ours year after year. Our lambs at Ashford market

We also replenish our own breeding flock each year, and have kept 50 of our favourite home-bred ewe lambs back at Hare Farm. Stuart and Annie will also be making their annual pilgrimage to Lazonby market, Cumbria later this month to buy 200 or so North Country mule lambs. Having top quality breeding stock is key to producing first prize lambs. 


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