Hampshire Downs beat the price drop

Gerard Coulter with his Hamp cross lambs
Gerard Coulter with his Hamp cross lambs

Father and son, Gerard and Colin Coulter keep 250 crossbred ewes and a few drop calves near Portaferry, Co.Down and also run a very successful building business.

Colin remarked: “We had previously used continental rams on mule ewes but found them slow to finish.

“A Hampshire Down ram was recommended to us a few years ago. We lamb approximately 70 ewes in January and the rest at the start of April. We found that the Hampshire lambs are easier to finish off grass compared to other breeds especially with our mule ewes.”

The Coulter’s sell their lambs through Linden foods with the majority being away by July. They are very happy with the grades with the bulk grading U or R.

Gerard commented: “We purchased our first Hampshire at the August show and sale at Ballymena two years ago. I was so impressed with the lambs he produced that we came back last year and bought another. All being well we will be back again this year to buy again.”

This year’s show and sale will be judged by Judith Galbraith from Cumbria. Judith works in the local area as a vet and in her spare time runs the Graylen Flock of Hampshire Downs along with her husband Graham, a local dairy farmer.

The Galbraith’s recently won the Hampshire Down National championship with a ram lamb at the Three counties show in Worcestershire. This ram lamb went on to sell for 1500 guineas at the premier sale in Shrewsbury last month.

The Hampshire Down sale starts at 7pm at Ballymena Livestock Market on Monday 5th August