On Friday 25th August, the Scott family of Fearn Farm hosted their twelfth on farm ‘Great From Grass’ Production sale, through the Yourbid Online Auction System, giving customers every opportunity to purchase the stock they had their eye on.
Performance-recorded rams on offer included Texel, Texel X, Beltex, Suftex, Beltex, Sufbel, NZ Suffolk and Aberfield. A selection of Texel X and Aberfield X gimmers made up the rest of the sale.
With 95 rams sold at an average of £815, Fearn excelled last year’s average of £807. 18 gimmers averaged £177, again topping last year’s average of £176.
Top price this year was taken by two Aberfield tups and Texel, all going for £1650, one to Alan Neilson of East Brackenridge Farm, and the other headed for Moffatts of Wooplaw Farm. The texel tup is headed for Innovis, to be included in their breeding program. On the gimmer front, prices reached £190, with 10 Aberfield X headed for Watts of Swordale Farm, and another 12 Aberfield X headed for Wooplaw.
Most of Fearns highest priced Texels will be heading for farms across the nation, to be used as stock tups, which is great for the team to see, as the farms genetics will be used all over.
The lamb wood-fired pizzas went down a treat last year, so Fearn Farm made sure that Quintin from The Storehouse made a return this year – once again proving a hit! On the day, the team were collecting for ‘Farmstrong Scotland’ – a wellbeing initiative, inspired by Farmstrong New Zealand. A charity close to the heart of John Scott, their aim is to “help you live well to farm well”, which was launched in Scotland this Summer. All cash collections as well as the average price of a gimmer and ram were donated by Fearn Farm to the new charity.
Bids culminated in the last hour proving very intense bidding before the dust settled at 4PM. Buyers found the system easy to use, with bids being placed from customers in attendance, and those from afar. Yourbid is continuing to grow as the team at Fearn develop the platform year-on-year to make it as user-friendly as possible. Fearn welcome (and encourage!) farms and rural businesses to get in touch if this progressive auction and bidding system is something of interest.
It was great to see repeat buyers back in force – as well as new customers sourcing stock that have been reared on the ethos “forage bred, performance lead”. The philosophy of breeding stock that are ‘Great From Grass’ ensures that animals don’t sink, but instead remain strong when they arrive at their new homes.
Not all our rams found their new homes. Therefore if you missed the sale, please get in touch with the team. With a handful of Aberfield, Suffolks and crosses available, there will be something for every flock!
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.
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.
Our Great from Grass catalogue is now ready to view! Click on the above link to download your copy!
Over the past few years we have been delighted with the way our sale of home grown grass fed sheep in the north of Scotland has evolved, along with your help we have managed to achieve our original goals and the sale has evolved nicely.
This year due to covid-19 we are having to run our normal sale format slightly differently. We are holding an online helmsman auction, with viewing days available prior to the sale concluding on Friday 28th August 2020.
More information on how the sale will run is in our catalogue. If you have any questions or difficulties with the sale format please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Our viewing dates are as follows with booking essential due to Coronavirus restrictions. We would also encourage you to attend in minimal numbers especially on the final viewing day.
Saturday 22nd August – 10am – 3pm
Monday 24th August – 10am – 3pm
Wednesday 26th August – 10am – 3pm
Friday 28th August – 10am – 2pm
Booking is essential for any of these dates and please provide the following information if you have not done already to us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01862 832522, so that we can adhere to track and trace.
Contact Name, address, contact number and time slot you wish to view.
If you cannot make any of the above dates please get in touch to discuss your requirements, we also have all lots filmed prior to the sale this year, and will be running a live stream on the day too.