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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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Diary: Adding a Roubex ram to the flock

In this week’s Farmer’s Diary, sheep farmer, Clodagh Hughes, discusses selling lambs, and acquiring a new Roubex ram.                                                                    

I have been ‘off the airwaves recently, folks but stay tuned to catch up on everything.

I cannot believe that breeding season 2022-23 is upon us.  But, this is how the farming seasons play out.

I have sold more lambs at the mart in the last few weeks and, although prices were down on earlier sales, I was happy with the prices I got.

A visit to my local mart on Monday saw me the most anxious I have been since my first ever mart over five years ago.

As you know, I operate a closed flock system on my wee farm, so, the ram I used over the last two breeding seasons had to go due to him being too closely related to my ewes.

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Mr Woody is still a fine ram with lots of potential and, I also had a son of his for sale.

He was not a full pedigree, but he turned out to be a fine young ram. I had an idea of their worth, but any mart is a bit of a gamble.

The breeding rams are the last to be put under the hammer, so; I had an anxious wait to see how my lads would perform!

Suffice it to say, I was very happy with the results, and I am getting to know the guys and gals at the mart and, they are getting to know me.

I mentioned before that I want to be seen to be producing quality, genuine stock.


I picked up a lovely new buck last Saturday from the same man I bought the last ram off. His name is Hugh O’Connor from Clonygrange in the County Meath, and he is well known amongst Ireland’s sheep breeding circles.

I also met his lovely granddaughter, Chloe, who is following in her grandfather’s footsteps with the successful showing of their quality home-bred sheep.

This new ram is a Roubex. His mother is a pedigree Rouge and his father, a pedigree Beltex, who I actually met two years ago at Hugh’s farm.

This may sound rather silly to anyone not involved with sheep or livestock but, we take it quite seriously.

It is always a bonus to see the parents of animals you buy, no matter what breed or species. This breed of ram is different from my last few rams.

He is stockier and broader all-round but, he is still an easy lamber and, the maternal and paternal qualities will come through in his progeny in my new lambs.

I am excited to be trying something different with my own breeding programme here and looking forward to seeing his offspring lambs that fall next year.

It is not all about the lads now, folks; my girls are in tip-top condition and almost ready for action.

I just need to administer a multivitamin oral drench, and carry out a general health check that goes something like; feet-teeth and teats.

Then, all I need to do is pick a day to introduce the rams, and tupping 2022 will have lift off.

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