Caithness anniversary show & sale of store cattle to feature over 1,000 cattle

Posted: November 4, 2022

The Caithness anniversary show & sale of store cattle will take place on Monday, 5th September, attracting top quality lots from regular consignors.

A terrific show of 1,080 cattle will go under the hammer, with the pre-sale (sponsored by Caithness Livestock Breeders – CLB LTD and East Coast Viners Animal Nutrition) due to take place at 9am, followed by the sale at 10am.

Judging this year’s show is Alex Fraser, Attrochie, Ellon.

William Barnetson, and sons, James and Will, who farm 1325 acres, have been selling at the same sale for more than 20 years.

Last year, the family produced the overall champion and saw stots average £1381 at 596kg and heifers level £1309 at 568kg, with a top price of £1500 twice.

‘’We are lucky to have a local centre up here in Caithness so we try to support it as best we can,’’ said James.

‘’It’s great to see the south buyers come up and source Caithness cattle for their finishing enterprises. Nothing is ever too much hassle for the staff who are always very helpful.’’

The family grow 240 acres of cereals and run 215 suckler cows which calve throughout April, May & June, as well as 970 breeding ewes.

All feeding ewes and a select few prime lambs are sold at Quoybrae, as well as 12 to 14 Suffolks at the annual tup sale, topping at £1400 in the past.

Heifers are bulled to the Aberdeen-Angus and cows go to either the Angus, Charolais or Simmental.

‘’We use the Charolais and Simmental to produce easy fleshing store cattle for the ring as that’s the type the buyers seem to look for,’’ said James.

‘’The Simmental allows us to breed home-bred replacements as well.’’

The calves thrive entirely on milk until they are weaned in January, before cows are shifted onto slats and the calves receive silage, barley and a protein balancer. They then return to grass in May until sale day in September.