The ewe is under her greatest nutritional and metabolic stress in late pregnancy and in early lactation.
The average sale price was up on last year with $2422 for rams and $446 for ewes; total sales of $288,030 were recorded over the two days.
The highest price was reached on Wednesday with a Texel ram sold for $13,000 by Sam & Viki Holland of Culverden to DC & CM Graham of Hinton. Thursday's highest sale price was $6,800 for a Southdown ram sold by R & J Gill of Takaka to DG Somerville of Wyndham.
Stock agents commented that while total sales and clearance rates were lower than in previous years this was systematic of the general mood in New Zealand.
"It is hard to follow up on last year which was a good year for commercial ram sales. The drop in farmers requiring rams is resulting in a reduction in sales. Throughout New Zealand it is more difficult to sell commercial flock rams than it was a decade ago," says PGG Wrightson NZ livestock genetics manager Bruce Orr.
Sale comparisons over the past four years - 2013 2012 2011 2010
Total Sales $288,030 $345,750 $293,625 $380,200
Total Avg – Ram $2,422 $2,172 $1,781 $1,925
Total Avg – Ewe $446 $225 $577 $400