AFTER 51 years as registered pedigree Hereford producers, the Douglas family at Mains of Airies, Stranraer, has marked the occasion by hosting a major female production sale from its Ervie herd. All cows in the herd three years and older were catalogued, with all two-year-old yearlings and the calf crop retained for replacements. Pedigrees on many of the cows trace back to foundation females bought for the herd in 1969 and the early 1970s.
Due to the number of cows involved and taking the current restrictions due to the Covid epidemic into consideration, the family decided to offer the cows in two stages, both involving online promotion.
The first stage involved videoing each cow and cataloguing them on the Ervie website along with pedigree, EBV data and breeding information. Next, the sale was advertised for private treaty deals to be struck on September 21, with potential customers invited to view the cattle by appointment before then if they wished. This stage of the sale resulted in 67 cows being sold to four customers with accepted offers involving cows valued above £3,500.
For the concluding stage of their sale, the Douglas family used US-based internet auction and livestock video specialists “The Livestock Link” to host an internet auction, running between October 20-22, culminating in a “racehorse” finish at 7pm on 22nd. The online auction included the remaining 50 catalogued cows with five-year-old imported herd sire Ervie RL1 Achiever 151973N also up for grabs. By 7.15pm on 22nd, bidding had ceased and resulted in the sale of 31 cows and one bull.
Ervie RL1 Achiever 151973N made the lead price of £6,000, selling to Jim Logan and family, Pirntaton, Galashiels, along with a further two cows.
Top-priced cow in the sale was Ervie Model 162141, a four-year-old cow, selling at £3,000 along with one other cow to Kenny Lang for his Wellhead herd, Lanark.
Volume buyers over the two stages of the sale were Alan Anderson, Jedburgh, with 44 cows, Jim Logan, Galashiels with 18 cows, Mathew Barnett, Hereford, with 10 cows, repeat buyers Iain and Jennifer Wilkinson, Perth, with 10 cows, repeat buyers Ian and Rachel Christie, Aberdeenshire, with four cows. Local repeat buyers Sandy and Paula Hamilton secured two cows to add to their recently established herd at Glenluce,
Tom Elliot from Northampton bought two cows, Paul and Jean Griffiths, south Wales, bought two cows, Cath Kewely, Dumfries, bought one cow and bull buyer Erlend Wood bought two cows to establish his new Hereford herd in the Orkneys. Mark Moore from Northern Ireland bought one cow.
Speaking after the sale, herd boss John Douglas said it was rewarding to experience the enthusiasm the sale had generated from very commercially minded beef operators throughout the UK and he wished them every success with the Ervie Line One genetics they had purchased. In total, 98 pedigree Hereford cows averaged £2,023.46. One pedigree bull £6,000.