We are delighted to be able to welcome our customers on farm again this year for our annual ‘Great from Grass’ breeding sheep sale on Friday 27th August. There’s a great selection of 180 rams and 400 gimmers available.
We will have NZ Suffolks, Texels, Sufftex, Beltex and a larger than usual selection of Aberfield rams as we have decided to sell our entire crop at home this year rather than sending some south to the Stirling sale.
In terms of females we will have 400 Aberfield, Texel and NZ Suffolk cross females available, produced in our commercial flock. These would be a great addition to any breeding flock or ideal as a starter flock.
Last year just wasn’t the same without you all here, we really enjoy the social occasion so bringing that back is key to this year’s sale. The refreshments and food have been ordered and our sponsors are really looking forward to actually speaking to people face to face. (through a mask of course, current Covid-19 regulations will apply)
We won’t however be bringing the sales ring back, last year we found online selling through Yourbid suited us and our buyers better. It was certainly less stress on us and the sheep and also gave those bidding from distance a chance to get involved without spending the day in the car.
It’s testament to our sheep that people have the confidence to buy them without seeing them in the flesh and for those of you that can’t make the viewing day on Friday 20th August or sale day please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Fearn Godfather by the gentle giant Dakota of Upsall, was used briefly before we sold him as a two year old for 10,000gns in Stirling 2015.
In hindsight maybe we shouldn’t have sold him, we did swither at the time but bills need paid and off he went, when Coldrochie decided to sell we went to view him pre-sale and thought that buying him back was worth considering.
We bought him back at their dispersal and are delighted with his progeny, they are very easy fleshing stylish cattle which are easily calved and quick to their feet, he is a trait leader for 5 individual traits and is amongst the highest bulls in the breed on all three indexes.
His 2019 crop of calves, 7 bulls averaged £7,693 whilst, 6 heifers averaged £3,400, they sold to new homes all over the UK and Ireland.
To view his full pedigree and up to date EBVs click here.
Semen is available from Fearn Godfather at £40 per straw, with a minimum order of 3 straws. For more information or to order semen please email email@example.com
Other semen available for sale include:
Fearn Elmer priced at £30 per straw, to view his pedigree click here.
Podehole Fenman priced at £25 per straw, to view his pedigree click here.
Lambing is certainly looming large at Fearn, our stud (those we breed our rams from) ewes are due on April 1st and with our crossbred ewes hot on their heels on 18th April its going to be a busy month.
Our team which is a mixture of full time staff members, family and seasonal staff are ready and looking forward to the challenge of lambing both inside and out at Fearn and Scotsburn where we contract farm for R W Durham and partners.
Over the past few years our system has evolved from one which relied heavily on bought in concentrate feeding to one which has grass and forage at its main driver. We still use some hard feed for those ewes lambed inside but that’s now part of a ration mixed in our tub feeder which basically mixes various ingredients including silage, wheat dark grains and home grown oats and barley.
We also use a little liquid feed for triplets and quads and we find that our ewes are more settled they don’t have to rush to feed twice a day as they used to and eat little and often to satisfy their appetites.
In an ideal world we would lamb everything outside at grass but being able to take higher value ewes and those carrying multiples inside makes sense, predators and a bitter east wind can make lambing a real challenge at Fearn.
Over the past twenty years we have taken steps to improve shelter around the farm and we now have a network of hedges providing much needed shelter and wildlife corridors for a wide variety of species some of which we see on a regular basis on our daily rounds.
For anyone passing the farm on a regular basis at lambing time they will see the numbers of new born lambs increasing on a daily basis and often these lambs are fresh which means just born.
Sometimes we get concerned phone calls from members of the general public that our sheep are lambing in the field, this is quite natural, our team tour the fields regularly during daylight hours and assist where necessary.
Ideally ewes will get on with things themselves and lambs will get up and suckle quickly without assistance, watching this happen gives us immense satisfaction its one of the highlights of our job during the spring.
Over 300 online bids were placed during an on-farm breeding cattle sale, hosted by Fearn Farm, Ross-Shire on Friday 22nd January 2021.
The sale which included beef shorthorn bulls, in calf heifers and maiden heifers reared by the Scott family, was the first 100% cattle sale in Scotland using the innovative Yourbid system. Developed by a farming family in New Zealand to run livestock sales during the Covid-19 lockdown, the transparent bidding model allows all lots to be visible simultaneously, helping establish relative market values.
Nine two-year-old beef shorthorn bulls sold to a top of £9600 for Fearn NC 500 selling to Gill and Co, Brucefield, Portmahomack with his half-brother Nonu just behind him at £9400 to Harry Strawson, Hexgreave Estate, Nottinghamshire, whilst another, Nevis sold at £7600 to Antrim Estates, Glenarm, Northern Ireland.
All three of these bulls were by the £20,000 Fearn Godfather whose females and semen were also in demand selling to a top of £5100 for Fearn Isobel to George Shanks, Northern Ireland and £4050 to Eric Evans, Wales, whilst semen hit £55 per straw on four occasions for lots of 5.
Fearn Elmer also made his mark in the sale with sons selling to £6300 for Fearn North Star to the Green family, Corskie whilst an unregistered bull made £5300 again to Gill and Co Brucefield.
Three-year-old bulls sold to £4400 for the favourite Fearn Mey who heads north to Mackintosh, Glengolly in Caithness.
For John Scott, who has been organising on-farm ram sales since 2012 with his wife Fiona, the Yourbid system has allowed them to continue selling their stock whilst adhering to lockdown regulations.
“This format is a fantastic solution for the challenging times we live in at the moment and offers a long-term alternative method to selling livestock with many benefits.
“We have dreamt of having our own cattle sale now for some time and although we had envisaged it being more of a social occasion, the day worked well and we have been able to sell cattle all over the UK and Ireland in a clear and transparent manner.”
The sale included Luing bulls and heifers which, on this occasion, did not sell but according to John, it was just not the right time.
“The Shorthorns exceeded our expectations, and we are delighted to see our genetics travel across the UK. Unfortunately, it was too early in the season for the Luing animals, however, one of the benefits of these sales is we can be confident in our high health status as the animals have not left the farm.”
For anyone wishing to enquire about the Luing stock, please contact John on 07770 863506.
Giles Henry of Oakwood Mill, Selkirk shares why he purchased a Luing bull from us in May 2019
Giles upland organic farm of 210 ha in the Ettrick Valley has a pedigree Luing herd, calving on the 1st April on wards with heifers calved at 2 years of age. With a 6 week bulling period he requires stock that has high fertility, calve without intervention and flesh easily. Capacity to forage well is also key to produce progeny that thrive on a forage based system.
Giles looks for a Luing bull with “good breed characteristics, good depth so has gut capacity, hill bred, and good locomotion”. The animal also needs to have “good temperament and feet, and not been pushed on”. Animals from a “Hi health status” is also key criteria when selecting stock for Giles.
Giles informs us why he chose to purchase from us, “bred to traditional Luing type” and if he has lived up to his expectations. “He has been everything that we expected, easily worked with. He is one of these types that you hardly ever see working. No faffing about he just gets on with the job. His calves popped out with no difficulties, strong types, up and straight in to suck”. This year Sutherland warlord “had a batch of 32 bulling heifers and 1st calvers, all in-calf in a 6 week bulling period”.
Thank you for sharing your customer story with us Giles, we really do love to see and hear how our customers get on with their chosen breeding stock. Head to our bidding site https://www.yourbid.org/the-luing-and-the-short-of-it to view our Luing bulls and heifers we have available for sale.