2013-08-27   facebooktwitterrss
First Large Scale Sale of Belclare Sheep

A ground breaking ‘export status’ auction of Belclare sheep will be held in Ballymena Livestock Mart on Tuesday 10th September. The first large scale sale of this profitable breed anywhere in the UK on behalf of noted Kilkeel stockman Reggie Annett.

The Belclare, developed since the 1980s by researchers based at Belclare, Co Galway the breed plays a pivotal part in boosting lamb numbers and margins on hundreds of sheep farms across the Irish Republic.

A Belclare stock ram on the Kilkeel farm of Reggie Annett, who has almost a 100 examples of the 'bonus breed'

A Belclare stock ram on the Kilkeel farm of Reggie Annett, who has almost a 100 examples of the 'bonus breed'

Reggie Annett has almost a 100 Belclare sheep entered for the Ballymena sale, including 40 sucked hogget ewes, 40 eye catching ewe lambs and at least 10 ram lambs.

“For several years we have sold Belclares privately to farmers across Northern Ireland, both hill and lowland flock owners,” explained Reggie. “But now we have the numbers to justify a specialist export sale in Ballymena.

“The Belclare does the job it was designer bred to do, increase the number of lambs born into a flock. Aside from being very prolific it also has the traits needed to reduce labour and mortality.

“Easy lambed and docile to work with the Belclare for us has been a real step forward. Hardly surprising as it blends only the best traits from a number of breeds to give a sheep ‘fit for purpose’ and that purpose is simply to give more lambs and more profit.

“We sell finished lambs to the meat plant through Strangford Down Lamb Group and the influence of Belclare breeding on our commercial flock has been remarkable. Not only are more lambs sold per 100 ewes, but without any fall off in grades, in fact grading is now even more consistent.”

Continuing Reggie revealed that Belclare users in Co Down very successfully cross them with a wide range of breeds from Scottish Blackface to the Texel and Suffolk. For example, hill sheep farmer Francis Houston of Killowen near Rostrevor was delighted with having extra lambs, less work and more margin!
Last year Reggie sold 40 Belclare rams privately and this spring his Belclare sucked hoggets had a 176% lambing percentage and the milk to handle triplets

“As research at Hillsborough and Galway shows Belclares can increase your income by ensuring more kilos of lamb per ewe are produced. The key profit indicator.
“Thus this Ballymena sale is a unique opportunity to buy sound sheep that cross with upland and lowland breeds to give your bottom line a bonus.”

For sale details contact Reggie Annett tel; (028) 4176 2579 or Ballymena Mart (028) 2563 3470.

Belclare sheep

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