Breeders and buyers alike looking forward to keynote 2022 North of England Mule sales season
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
The annual North of England Mule Sheep Association’s (NEMSA) autumn show and sale season at northern auction marts are a highlight of the sales calendar for both breeders and multiple end users nationwide who make their annual pilgrimage to replenish their flocks when sourcing yearly consignments, notably crops of quality ewe lambs.
NEMSA’s national chairman, Cumbrian sheep farmer Chris Harrison, comments: “As usual, our members are busy preparing their charges to ensure that they again arrive at the sales in top-notch condition and we are once again looking forward to welcoming both regular and new buyers from all parts of the country.
“Many return year on year, well aware that the North of England Mule remains a valuable commodity from the outset. She is so versitile and can fit most systems.The Mule gimmer shearling will easily rear two lambs and add that essential youth into the flock and with the first cross Suffolk and Texel ewe currently proving a popular sheep across the country the NE Mule on the maternal side remains an essential part of the breeding.
“Recent trials have shown that the NE Mule has proven to be 10% better on average in terms of quality than other breeds and with the fat lamb being the end product for any sheep system those bred from the NE Mule certainly don’t disappoint, their fast growth being ideally suited to both the live and dead weight markets.
“In fact, those self-same trials have determined that lambs off the NE Mule ewe have a 14% better growth rate, which equates to lambs finishing 15 days earlier than those off other lowland ewes.
“Key reasons, perhaps, why the North of England Mule - famed for her hardiness, thriftiness, longevity, prolificacy, mothering attributes and milkiness - not only remains Britain’s most prolific sheep breed in terms of numbers, but also the country’s most popular commercial sheep for crossing purposes. She continues to demonstrate time and time again why she is the best in her field.”
Mule ewe and shearling sales are already underway, with the high profile gimmer lamb sales season launching with the traditional pipeopener at Hexham on Thursday, September 1, and running right through to the end of October at auction marts across the breed’s traditional North of England heartlands.
Other marts across the region staging Mule gimmer lambs sales are Skipton, Kirkby Stephen, Kendal, Hawes, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle, Leyburn, Tow Law (at Hexham) and St John’s Chapel – at these all lambs forward will be the bonafide property of members of the Association – along with Bentham, Longtown, Lancaster, Wigton, Carlisle, Pateley Bridge, Cockermouth, Lazonby and Penrith, where non-Association lambs are also eligible.
Potential purchasers are reminded that all member ewe lambs will bear the Association tag, the Association’s logo M and the individual member’s flock number.