3,000 sheep sold at Dal­mally auc­tion

The Oban Times - - Farming -

UNITED Auc­tions held its sec­ond Septem­ber sale of all classes of lambs and sheep at Dal­mally Auc­tion Mart on Satur­day, Septem­ber 19. An in­creased en­try of over 3,000 head again sold at very sat­is­fac­tory lev­els and to a good fol­low­ing of buy­ers. The over­all av­er­age for the lambs was £37.39 whilst the cor­re­spond­ing sale last year av­er­aged £38.16. Prin­ci­pal lots and prices Top prices per head Lambs Suf­folk cross: £59.00 – Let­ter­shuna : £59.00 – Ard­chat­tan HF. Texel cross: £60.00 – Ard­chat­tanHF : £55.00 – Ach­nacreemore : £52.00 – Balu­achrach. Che­viot cross: £49.00 –3 Mor­ven Cres­cent, Locha­line : £48.00 – Barn­dromin Farm. Cross: £46.50 – Alaval : £45.00 – Bal­na­hard, Colon­say : £44.00 – Home­field Croft, Colon­say. Mule: £49.50 – Ard­chat­tan HF : £47.50 – Balu­achrach : £46.00 – Kilo­ran Farm­ers, Colon­say. Che­viot Mule: £45.00 – Bar­guil­lean Farm. Black­face: £49.50 – Tul­lochcan : £46.50 – Achn­aba : £45.50 – Lit­tle­port : £43.50 – Scalla­saig, Colon­say : £43.00 – Tul­lochcan : £42.50 – Pit­cas­tle Es­tate : £42.50 – Lit­tle­port : £41.50 – Stronchullin : £41.50 – Cas­tles Es­tate : £41.00 – Tay­val­lich Es­tates : £40.50 – Bal­na­hard, Colon­say : £40.00 – Kilo­ran Farm­ers. Cast ewes Texel cross: £57.00 – Bar­guil­leanFarm : £55.00 – Duallin. Suf­folk cross: £50.00 – Let­ter­shuna. Cross: £44.00 – Gle­naros, Mull : £44.00 – 15 Ardmhor, Barra : £44.00 – Bar­guil­lean. Black­face: £42.00 – In­nis­che­roch. Rams Black­face £340, £320, £300(3) – Cas­tles Es­tate. Top prices per kilo Lambs Suf­folk cross: 163p –3 Mor­ven Cres­cent, Locha­line : 157p – Drimnin Es­tate : 156p – Cous­ton Farm : 156p – Ard­sheal Farm : 153p – Drimnin Es­tate : 153p – 3 Mor­ven Cres­cent : 152p – Balu­achrach : 150p – Let­ter­shuna : 150p – Drimnin Es­tate. Texel cross: 167p – Bar­guil­lean Farm : 163p – Birch­field : 162p – Bal­na­hard, Colon­say : 162p – Ach­nacreemore : 160p – Glen­machrie : 158p – Ach­nacreemore : 155p – Bar­guil­lean Farm : 153p – Ard­sheal Farm : 152p – Birch­field : 150p – 7 White­gates. Che­viot cross: 171p –3 Mor­ven Cres­cent : 163p – Lochdochart : 158p – 15 Ardmhor, Barra : 157p – 1 Davaar : 153p – 15 Ardmhor, Barra : 153p – Barn­dromin Farm : 152p – Du­nach Es­tate : 150p – Barn­dromin Farm. Cross: 157p – Home­field Croft, Colon­say : 151p – Cous­ton Farm : 150p – Bal­na­hard, Colon­say. Mule : 142p – Balu­achrach. Che­viot mule: 149p – Bar­guil­lean Farm. Black­face: 173p – Lit­tle­port Farm : 160p – Glen­machrie : 151p – High Baler­nock : 150p – Scalla­saig, Colon­say : 150p – Bal­liemeanoch : 149p – Kilo­ran Farm­ers, Colon­say : 148p – Tul­lochcan : 147p – Rhe­more : 146p – Blarghour Farm : 146p – Achn­aba : 143p –Stroneskar : 143p – Auch Es­tates : 143p – Lit­tle­port : 143p – Stroneskar : 142p – Keila­tor : 141p – Drimnin Es­tate : 140p – Ar­dachy : 140p – Home­field Croft : 140p – High Baler­nock : 140p – Lag­gan Part­ner­ship : 140p – Tul­lochcan : 140p - Kil­lun­dine Es­tate. Sum­mer is just about gone now and we are pre­par­ing for the next phase in the live­stock cal­en­dar. We have weaned all our lambs and are in the process of se­lect­ing those which will be kept for breed­ing. The ewe lambs will be sent to farms near Air­drie and Buckie at the end of the month, where they will spend the win­ter. The male lambs which are not re­quired for breed­ing will be sorted be­fore we put them into the shed for fin­ish­ing over au­tumn and early win­ter. We try to get these lambs into the shed as soon as pos­si­ble in or­der to keep the grass that re­mains in good con­di­tion, clean for the ewes through Oc­to­ber. This helps get them ready for mat­ing in Novem­ber.

The calves have also just been weaned and have spent a few days in the new cat­tle shed at Kirk­ton. This is to get them used to be­ing away from their moth­ers. They will soon be sent away to be win­tered down at SRUC’s Oa­tridge cam­pus, the same as last year.

The heifers we re­tained from last year’s calves were not put to the bull ear­lier this year as it was felt that only two out of five were big enough when the bull went out at the start of May. As it tran­spires they have grown well over the sum­mer and prob­a­bly would have been OK to be mated. But, as of­ten hap­pens in farm­ing, hind­sight is a won­der­ful thing! We have also re­cently sold our bull as he was com­ing back into his own stock. He has gone to an es­tate near Oban where we hope he will be as suc­cess­ful as he has been at Kirk­ton.

We have also just had a farm­ing and in­dus­try Live­stock han­dling, health and wel­fare open day on the farms. The event was cen­tred around the new sheep han­dling fa­cil­i­ties at Auchter­tyre and the new cat­tle han­dling and shed fa­cil­i­ties at Kirk­ton.

This day was de­signed to al­low lo­cal farm­ers to hear more about our new cat­tle stock cube and the au­to­mated weigh crate, drafter and dou­ble con­veyor sys­tem that we have in­stalled in the sheep fank.

These new fa­cil­i­ties have markedly im­proved the ease and safety with which we can han­dle the live­stock on the farms. Col­leagues from SAC Con­sult­ing and SRUC Re­search were also on hand to high­light how these im­prove­ments pro­vide more scope for reg­u­lar and de­tailed assess­ments of the health and wel­fare of sheep flocks and cat­tle herds.

We are also say­ing good-bye to our French stu­dent who just spent three months with us on a place­ment. Thibaut Salanon, who is orig­i­nally from Lyon, is study­ing for an agri­cul­tural mas­ters de­gree in Toulouse, in the South of France, and the place­ment was part of his stud­ies. He has spent the sum­mer help­ing us on the farms and with some of the re­search projects we are car­ry­ing out. He was in­volved most par­tic­u­larly with the work of our PhD stu­dent, Ping Zhou, who is look­ing at the ef­fect of harsh en­vi­ron­ments on breed­ing ewes. To help Ping, Thibaut spent most of the sum­mer on the hill, look­ing at ewes’ graz­ing be­hav­iour. De­spite the cold Scot­tish sum­mer (a far cry from his na­tive France!) and the mid­gies, we hope Thibaut has en­joyed his stay with us, and we wish him good luck for the rest of his stud­ies.

Fi­nally, we are run­ning the sec­ond in a se­ries of free half day work­shops look­ing at con­trol­ling rushes with­out chem­i­cals on 30th Oc­to­ber. These work­shops are be­ing or­gan­ised in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Soil As­so­ci­a­tion Scot­land. The Oc­to­ber one fol­lows on from a very suc­cess­ful meet­ing in June which ex­plored a num­ber of avail­able op­tions for non- chem­i­cal rush con­trol on the farms. This sec­ond meet­ing will look at the ef­fects of top­ping and lim­ing which have been car­ried out over the sum­mer. You do not need to have been at the first meet­ing to at­tend this meet­ing. How­ever, places are lim­ited, so to book your place please con­tact Jane Ding­wall at jd­ing­wall@soilas­so­ci­a­tion.org.

Ewen Camp­bell with the new sheep han­dling sys­tem in ac­tion

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