One of the strengths of the North Country Cheviot is that both male and female lambs are much in demand – ewe lambs for breeding, pure or crossed, and wether lambs for quality carcases.
The attraction of the NCC lamb for finishers is its almost unique ability to retain leanness and conformation at all weights. Thus it is suitable for both short and long-keep finishing systems and can provide a carcase of the highest quality for almost eight months of the year.
Lambs from low ground and marginal land can be sold off their dams at about sixteen weeks to kill at around 16 – 21kg or they can be carried forward as stores for mid-winter finish.
Hill North Country Cheviot Lambs are much in demand with finishers.
Buyers come from all over the country to the annual sales of lambs bred and reared on the hills of Northern Scotland. The consistency of conformation and the fact that they can be slaughtered at a wide range of weights without fear of becoming overfat is a major advantage over most other breeds. Year after year lambs of this type command a premium in the finished lamb market from before New Year until the advent of spring lamb, ensuring profits for purchasers at the autumn sales.
NCC cross lambs are also very popular in many parts of the country. As with the pure lambs, they are fast maturing and produce first rate carcases. The added length from the NCC gives a lamb of excellent conformation and finish, ideal for the prime market through to the spring. In addition the females make good quality breeding ewes.