We have been breeding Scotch Mules at High and Low Airyolland for 30 years. The Scotch Mules that we produce are primarily aimed to supply the Scottish market demands for a ewe suitable for prime lamb production.
Over the last twenty years or so we have used local shows and in more recent times the Royal Highland Show as a shop window for our mules. We have had first prize ewe lamb at the Royal Highland Show four times in the last ten years.
We sell our mules at the ewe lamb sale at Castle Douglas and there are also some available for sale on farm privately. The picture on the right shows us receiving the cup at the Castle Douglas sale in 2003 for the best pen of forty at the sale.
The majority of our Scotch Mules are bred by homebred Bluefaced Leicesters, with a bought in tup being introduced occasionally.
M.V Accredited Mules
We have now entered the whole farm into the M.V accreditation scheme which means that we now can sell M.V accredited Scotch Mules. This is very useful for people looking to buy recipients for Embryo transplants in Beltex and Texel flocks. The 2016 crop of mule ewe lambs have all been sold.
We are very pleased with how this year's Bluefaced Leicester tup lambs have bred. Here are some pictures of their progeny
We sold 200 Scotch Mule ewe lambs at Castle Douglas market on Monday 22nd August 2011. The top pen of 40 (pictured below) made £134 and the 200 lambs averaged £106.
Some of our Homebred Scotch Mules sold for £119 at this year's sale at Castle Douglas.
2008 was a great year for us. We had a great run with our show lambs which were all bred from homebred Bluefaced Leicester ram lambs.
A very stylish ewe lamb bred from Airyolland Z5 was first prize at the Highland and went on to lift the first prize at Stranraer and Dumfries Shows.
Our pen of three were also first prize at Stranraer and Dumfries Shows. They were sired by three different rams.
They were: left to right, Airyolland 2801 Z5, Airyolland 2801 Z 11 and Airyolland 2801 Z2.
Lambing 2013 proved to be very challenging with some of the worst weather conditions we have ever experienced hitting South West Scotland. The lambing had just started when the extreme conditions moved in.
We had to work very hard to get sheep out off, and keep them out off, the drifts such as the ones pictured on the right.
Then when the lambs started coming in earnest there was very little shelter for the ewes and they queued up to lamb in the same corners. The biting East wind meant that most new borns had to be brought inside to what little space we had in the sheds.
This ewe lamb on the right made a full recovery.
On the plus side the tups bred very well with E12, E13 and E15, amongst others, producing good quality lambs.
This year we took one pen of 40 lambs to Castle Douglas and sold the rest at home. This pen of lambs, off home bred tups, sold extremely well and made £98 to Mr J McTaggart, Castle Douglas. They were the 6th highest priced pen at the record breaking sale of 9089 Scotch Mule ewe lambs
Thankfully the weather of lambing 2014 was much kinder than the previous year and lambing went well.
We were delighted with the quality of the lambs as pictured.
This year we have kept a few to sell as M.V accredited Mule shearling ewes next year.