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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Over 150 ‘functional & fit for purpose’ entries for 6th annual Big Boy Ram Sale

The 6th annual Big Boy Ram Sale takes place at 6 pm on Friday, August 4th, 2023, in The Showgrounds, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon.

The sale features 152 rams, including 104 pedigree registered and 48 of the increasingly popular, selectively-bred F1 & BC1 crossbred rams, such as Chartex, Suftex and Charbex.

Breeds on offer include:

  • Suffolk;
  • Texel;
  • Charollais;
  • Beltex;
  • Belclare;
  • Suftex;
  • Sufchar;
  • Chartex;
  • Charbex;
  • Aber;
  • Sufclare.
Big Boy Ram Sale

Speaking to That’s Farming ahead of the sale, Stuart Dorran, said:

“The sale is directed towards the commercial market, with an emphasis on commercially desirable traits, with a few gems that will meet both top-end commercial or pedigree top-end desires.”

“Our pedigree offering is coming from leading young breeders in their respective breeds who are competing in the pedigree world, and show scene, but not neglecting the requirements and traits commercial farmers desire.”

“We are the only sale in Ireland where we offer F1 & BC1 crossbred (hybrid) rams with full-back pedigrees.”

“These rams are selectively bred to meet the ever-increasing demands of the sheep world, which is in line with the same booming popularity of crossbred and composite rams in the UK and New Zealand.”

“Abers, F1& BC1 Chartex, Charbex, Suftex etc. are bred to increase hybrid vigour and influence hard achieved traits such as longevity, fertility and vigour, all adding value to a farm over time.”

“The sale is about providing functional, fit-for-purpose rams,” he added.

Sheep market in 2023

Dorran outlined that the “turbulent” sheep market this year has put “extra pressure” on sheep farmers and perhaps will impact breeding sales in 2023.

But he is hopeful that the quality on offer on Friday will bring “forward-thinking sheep enthusiasts” to the sale.

He continued: “Obviously, the Sheep Improvement Scheme will have an artificial impact on the breeding ram market and may boost prices for eligible rams, but will also add extra stress to smaller commercial farmers with the need to find a ram to meet the narrow requirements.”

“Fortunately, 75% of our purebred rams will have figures to match their features and the SIS conditions,” he added.

Friday’s sale hopes to follow on from the successes of the last five sales, making The Big Boy Ram Sale a “well-known brand in sheep circles”.

Online bidding via LSL – Midland & Western Livestock Improvement Society – Register to bid by phoning the mart in advance.

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