On Friday we took 13 of our ewe lambs to the Rare Breeds Sale at York. We wished we hadn't. To start with Denise spent most of Friday in bed with a nasty cold and had to drag herself out of bed to do the movement and transport licences.
Thankfully the ewes went into the trailer no problem and the journey to York was reasonably good until we got onto York's inner ring road. We then proceeded to sit in traffic for 20 minutes without moving!!!! We finally arrived at the auction mart an hour late, but thankfully we were able to unload the ewes and settle them in for the night. Worryingly there were a lot of empty pens.
Saturday fared not much better, the prices were worryingly low and thanks to our black and white yuglet who reached the heady price of £17 gns, the best price for an unregistered Shetland ewe, our cheque from the auction mart should not been too bad, but at least half of what we would have got last year. Worryingly it's the same story from all the other Rare Breed Sales that were held this weekend. We can only hope that things improve next year.
The only ewes left on our smallholding are the one's we will be breeding from, all 27 of them!!! So come April/May next year we could have between 27 - 54 lambs!!!!! So next year we will have to make some serious decisions on which of our ewes we keep as we will be concentrating on the Wiltshire Horns, ideally we would like to have 12 - 18 Wiltshire Horn ewes and 6 - 12 Shetlands and Corridale ewes. Mutton will defiantly be on the menu.
Next weekend the nephews, aka The Hobbit's, arrive for a couple of days and we should be able to go and pick up our remaining Wiltshire Horn ewe lamb from Rosedale.
Hopefully more cheerfully news next week