Tuesday 6 October 2009

Store lambs

Shep had a query lately. What is a store lamb?

Well, it's not just store lambs, there are store sheep and store cattle. Generally anything that is sold STORE is basically NOT FAT.

Store sales are a weekly event and there are buyers who only buy store animals and finish them. In other words by whatever means they choose they get those animals fat and then sell them for slaughter.

Hill farms don't always have the ground to get their stock finished (fattened) many lambs come off their mothers fat and go away for slaughter as such but there are those which haven't got plenty of cover on their backs and they need a kinder bite. Fogs (as explained in a past blog)are useful for putting fettle on the sheep but it all depends on how many you have which need to be finished off as grass can soon disappear if there are many hungry mouths. Also the growing season is shorter on these higher, harder farms.

Those buying out of the store can often be arable men, needing something to eat the stubble but not wishing to have sheep full time, dairy men also buy in stores as their fields are 'redundant' in the winter months. Some have sheds and put the stock inside and fatten on cake, others may have troughs outdoors and also feed cake.

The store buyers are an important link, especially for hill farming. The store trade was poor last back end, however, the fat price lifted in February and those who had bought store lambs would see a good return, therefore they are prepared to pay more this year. As is always the case in farming, if trade is good then the money goes round.