Youngers prepare to sell at Quoybrae


A number of farmers in Caithness rely heavily upon Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ Caithness Livestock Centre for selling their livestock through the auction ring every year.

The centre provides an efficient livestock marketing service for farmers in the county and has a reputation for selling quality cattle and sheep which attract regular buyers from the south.

Graeme Younger and his father Alexander from Hoy Farm, Castletown, near Thurso, have been selling store cattle and store lambs at Quoybrae since the centre opened in 1992.

Graeme said: “We have always had a very good service from ANM Group and I think it’s important that farmers support their local marts. Producers in Caithness are very fortunate to have an efficient service on their doorstep, without having to haul livestock further afield.

“Over the years we have built up a strong customer base and are thankful to the regular buyers which travel from Aberdeenshire and other areas in the south to buy store and breeding stock at Quoybrae.”

The Youngers run a 90-cow suckler herd of Simmental cross and Limousin cross cows which are bulled to the Charolais and calve throughout April and May.

Progeny is sold through the store ring at Quoybrae between two sales in July and September, and are sold at an average weight of 450kg to 500kg. In the past, they have peaked at £1300 head but in more recent years have levelled at £1160 or 225 per kg.

Calves are weaned from their mothers when the herd comes in for winter at the beginning of November and are fed baled silage, barley and a protein nut balance. They head outside for summer around mid-May and are sold straight off grass in July/September.

“Our calves have been sold at the same time of year for the past 30 years and it seems to just suit our system,” said Graeme. “Stuart Slesser does a great job of selling our stock and the Charolais cross stores always sell well, especially to the Aberdeenshire producers. It takes a bit of beating the Charolais – you get the weight and the price.”

Out with the beef enterprise at Hoy, the Youngers run a 130-ewe flock and grow 140 acres of spring barley and oats.

The Youngers have 50 April/May-born Charolais cross stots and heifers for sale at the annual show and sale at Quoybrae on Monday, July 15, while the remainder will be sold in September.