Dowra Mart in Co Cavan recorded a standout trade for lambs and hoggets in its weekly sheep sale on Friday last.

Lambs hit a top price of €250 for a batch of 20 Charollais-cross lambs weighing 50kg.

The sale was not a flash in the pan, with top-quality lambs weighing 48kg to 52.5kg selling from €235 to €247, while well-fleshed lambs weighing 44kg to 46kg sold anywhere from €215 to €230, with lesser-quality lots selling back to €200 to €210/head.

Demand was boosted by the presence of buyers sourcing lambs for live export.

Mart manager Terry McGovern is advising farmers with fleshed ram lambs to batch them on weight and type to capitalise on demand from live export buyers.

The hogget trade was also sharper on the day by upwards of €5/head. Factory agents failed to source required numbers, with the sale slightly smaller with an entry of 1,100 sheep sold.

Farmer buyers were also more active for ewe hoggets suitable for breeding, with hoggets topping out at €241 for a pen of speckle-faced crossbred ewe hoggets.

Heavy hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg sold in the main from €215 to €224, with lighter and plainer-quality well-fleshed lots weighing 48kg to 50kg at €200/head.

There is still plenty of demand for store hoggets, with lots weighing 40kg to 43kg selling from €170 for crossbred hoggets lacking flesh to upwards of €190 for hoggets suitable for slaughtering immediately.

The number of ewes with lambs at foot is declining seasonally. Ewes averaging a lamb and a half to two lambs at foot sold from €270 to €320, with keen appetite for young ewes, while the best single-lamb lots sold from €200 to €270.


The dry cow trade was the highlight of Saturday’s general cattle sale in Dowra, with a 855kg Charolais cow topping the sale at €2,700 (€3.16/kg).

Factory agents drove the trade, with any heavy cow with flesh being snapped up by wholesaler and factory agents.

Light weanlings were also a great trade. A number of heifer weanlings in the 250kg to 270kg weight range crossed €1,000/head, with heifer weanlings in the 300kg to 400kg weight bracket also hitting some big prices.

Top call was €1,380 paid for a 375kg Charolais heifer.

Live exporters drove the bull weanling trade, with a 360kg Belgian Blue weanling hitting €1,440. Heavier bulls were also sought after with a 440kg Belgian Blue sold for €1,610, along with a 535kg Limousin-cross selling for €2,120.

In pictures

This Belgian Blue heifer weanling weighed 335kg and sold for €1260 (€3.76/kg)

This Charolais bull weighed 845kg and sold for €2580 (€3.05/kg)

This Limousin cross bullock weighed 705kg and sold for €2110 (€2.99/kg)

This Simmental bull weanling weighed 365kg and sold for €1340 (€3.67/kg)

This Charolais cross bullock weighed 720kg and sold for €2320 (€3.22/kg)

This Limousin bullock weighed 710kg and sold for €2060 (€2.90/kg)

This Charolais bullock weighed 525kg and sold for €1540 (€2.93/kg)

This Limousin corss store heifer weighed 470kg and sold for €1500 (€3.19/kg)

This batch of 11 well-fleshed lambs weighing 48kg sold for €246 each (€5.13/kg).

This batch of 18 Cheviot ewe hoggets weighing 43kg sold for €176 each (€4.09/kg).

Averaging 46kg this batch of 10 lambs sold for €219 each (€4.76/kg).

Weighing an average of 49kg, these Charollais-cross lambs sold for €227 (€4.63/kg).

This batch of 23 top-quality, well-fleshed lambs weighing 44kg sold for €219 (€4.98/kg).

This batch of 10 speckle-faced ewe hogget weighing 56.5kg topped the hogget trade at €241 (€4.27/kg).

This batch of six lambs weighing 45kg sold for €207 (€4.60/kg).