CCM Skipton Easter ewes and lambs highlight produces highest entry of year to date
The 812 breeding sheep penned for sale at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday was the largest weekly turnout of the year to date – It was also the annual Easter ewes and lambs show - with young outfits for farming and including in flocks in extremely good demand, assisted by a great trade for cull and feeding ewes and the first signs of Spring in the air.
Several annual consignments of shearlings and young ewes were well bid for, with £300-plus prices regularly seen for Continental outfits of twins, peaking at £345 for Texel shearlings with twins from Peter and Alison Simpson, of Dacre, who sold further pens at £340 twice, £330 – these for the third prize pen of five ewes with lambs - £325 and £320.
Texel 2-shear twins from Andrew Throup, of Middle Marchup Farm, Silsden, sold to £340 twice and £330, among the former the first prize pen of five ewes with lambs, By Whiteley, Arkendale, tups, out of North of England Mules and with Beltex-x lambs at foot, they were claimed by Chris Buckley, of Meltham, Huddersfield.
The pairs show class fell to first-time father and daughter exhibitors, Joe and Andrea Simpson, of Rookery House Farm, Aldbrough St John, Richmond, with a pure Beltex brace – one a shearling, the other an older ewe - with single Beltex-x-Texel lambs at foot. They made £300 per outfit when joining GT Carr, of Barnoldswick.
Green-fingered Mr Simpson, who runs Joe’s Gardening Services, maintains a small flock of 30 ewes and followers and also has the Micklow pedigree Zwartble flock, which was also represented when selling ewes with twin lambs to £200 and ewes with singles to £150.
Outside the show, co-judged by Stokesley husband and wife, Richard and Hayley Wood, B&C Robinson, of Green Hammerton, sold Continental shearlings and singles to £340, while Cheviots with twins sold to £270 from Stephen Entwhistle, of Darwen. Older ewes with twins for farming out could make £180-£220 depending on quality, singles £130-£160, a few younger ewes with singles selling either side of £200.
The solid bank holiday entry of 3,335 sheep also included 90 Spring lambs, 2,802 hoggs and 443 cast ewes and rams. New season lambs were a similar trade on the week, the best end making over 400p/kg to a top of 422p/kg, or £169 per head. The overall Spring lamb average was £144.36 or 337.1p/kg (SQQ 347p).
It was another busy day in the hogg market, the bank holiday making very little impression on the total entry, with buyers generally keen for sheep, notably the light, standard and the smaller end of medium weights. Heavier and overweight lambs were a good trade for the smarter end for retail or quality wholesale use, though rougher skinned lambs still found the going tougher. Prime hoggs sold to an overall average of £126.46 per head, or 259.5p/kg (SQQ 276p).
While there was less weight among the cull ewes, trade was strong across all classes, Texel selling to £217.50 from Easingwold regulars Ken and Hazel Gamble, with a section average of £121.49, while cast rams averaged £145.54, topping at £239.50 for a Texel from C Smith & Sons, of Sutton-in-Craven.