THE abundance of feed this year was evident in the condition of the rams offered at the Elders British Breeds Northam ram sale last week.
A high-quality, even line-up of 55 Poll Dorset and Suffolk rams were presented at the local showgrounds for the annual sale, which this year was supported by three regular vendors.
And of those 55 rams, buyers snapped up 43 under the hammer at an average of $869 which, although down $74 on last year, was still a healthy return.
The top price of the sale was once again secured by the Lawrence family's Canternatting Poll Dorset stud, which was celebrating its 40th year selling rams in Northam.
Their second penned ram, with scan results of 47mm EMD, 6mm fat and 111kg, was bought for $1250 by PR & LR McPherson & Son, Northam.
A regular buyer from the stud, Scott McPherson bought four rams at an average of $1088 to put over his 450 head flock of Merino and F1 Prime SAMM ewes.
He said the line-up from Canternatting was a good even spread and he had found it difficult to choose between the rams when he was looking for those with an average eye muscle of about 40mm and weight over 100kg, as they all met the criteria.
The Lawrence family offered 25 rams, of which they sold 24 at an average of $879, down $74 on last year when they sold 15 of 20 offered.
Stud co-principal Allan Lawrence said he and son Nathan thought it would be fitting to mark their 40th Northam ram sale with a bigger offering of rams, and it hadn't been difficult to choose them after being on green feed since May.
Also buying four rams from the stud were RW & AL Peacock, Northam, who paid an average of $800 and to a top of $950 for a 102kg ram with 47mm EMD and 7mm fat; and Warren Howlett, trading as W & A Howlett, Northam, who paid an average of $838 and to a top of $950 for a 110kg ram with a 45mm EMD and 5mm fat.
Mr Howlett said he had been running a self-replacing Merino ewe flock of about 900 head but was moving into more of a prime lamb flock and buying in ewes.
He looked for a good eye muscle and body weight in his rams, but said the Canternatting offering for the day had been very even.
"There weren't any bad ones, you could just about close your eyes and pick them," he said.
Primaries bought three rams for $700 each, while Rod Sheen, Jennacubbine, bought two rams at an average of $850, as did T & L O'Driscoll and Sons, Grass Valley, for $900 each, M & M O'Driscoll, Grass Valley, for $800 each and AR & DJ Watson for $1000 each.
PT Darragh, Northam, picked up the final ram from the stud for $1000.
The next stud to offer rams was Longdale Poll Dorset stud, Brookton, which sold nine of its 20 rams at an average of $889, down $134 on last year.
RW Hitchcock, Northam, paid the top price for the stud of $1050 for a 108kg ram with 100mm EMW, 43mm EMD and 7mm fat, which was one of three rams they bought at an average of $950.
BR & BT Smith, Wannamal, also purchased three rams at an average of $883, while RW Bodey, Wannamal, secured two rams for $800 each and Westcoast Livestock, Northampton bought one for $900.
The final stud to sell for the afternoon was Pamellen Suffolk stud, Clackline, which had a total clearance of the 10 rams offered at an average of $825, down $95 on last year.
Andrew Smith, trading as Richard Smith & Sons, Goomalling, paid the top price of $900 for a twin which at 113 days had weighed 41.5kg.
Mr Smith, who also bought the first Pamellen ram offered for $850, said the rams would be used over about 400 Merino ewes.
He has bought from the stud for about seven years, and said he was looking for long, stretchy rams.
BL & GL Hemley, Gnowangerup, was again the volume buyer from the stud with five rams for $800 each, while Rod Sheen, Jennacubbine, bought two rams for $850 each and George E Glass, Northam, paid $800 for one.