ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 23RD OCTOBER 2017
As a shepherd, it is important for me to know the value of a sheep. This is tested when attending a sheep auction, when I will need to be decisive and disciplined in sticking to an assessment. The Romney Day at Ashford Market, held at the end of September, attracts farmers seeking to replenish their flocks with new young stock and young rams to replace the worn out old men at home. Ewe lambs vary in price from £60 to £110, sold in pens of 25, with several thousand at the sale. Though rams are sold singly, the price discrepancy is worse. The champion Romney ram made over £2500. Out of 200 sold, only eight or nine others got to £1000, the majority making about £400. I bought three, at an above average price, having inspected them carefully before the bidding. Once stood in our yards at home, having got over the excitement of the auction, I remained pleased with the purchase. The quality of the flock is paramount, so the choice of rams is fundamental. A pleasure, therefore, it must be, as well as a science.