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Lights out for 2017 sheep and goat sales

There was plenty of selection at the last sale of the season 
at Winnipeg Livestock Auction

More than 600 sheep and goats hit the ring Dec. 6 at the last sale of the year.

Quality showed strongly and there was excellent selection of animals suitable for herd replacement and increase, and even some very calm and gentle animals that would have been perfect for 4-H projects.

The bidding on ewes remained quite strong, with wool ewes dominating. However, there was some interest in hair ewes, possibly for herd building. The lower prices ranged from $1.09 to $1.13/lb., followed by another price range from $1.17 to $1.20/lb. A couple of exceptions brought $2.25 and $2.26/lb., for either wool and hair ewes. The condition of quality of the ewes was the major issues for the buyers.

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The selection of rams created interest from buyers. A 185-pound Dorper-cross ram could have been called Gentle Ben — a remarkably mild-tempered ram, which brought $185. A 160-pound Katahdin-cross ram demanded the arena master’s full attention, as he was determined to control the arena. A true fighter with good structure, this ram brought $1.08/lb. Two 165-pound Rideau-cross rams had impressive horns and were identical in appearance in formation. The audience was captured by these rams immediately, bidding $1.06/lb.

Heavyweight lambs had a price range from $1.69 to $1.77/lb. There appeared to be no price differences between wool and hair lambs.

Market lambs could not maintain the prices from the last sale. The wool lambs dominated this classification for this sale. The lower prices ranged from $1.64 to $1.80/lb. The higher price ranged from $1.75 to $1.78/lb. Lambs with above-average body formation and quality saw a price range from $1.91 to $1.95/lb. The bidding showed buyers’ choice.

The bidding on the feeder lambs was slightly higher. There appeared to be no price differences between wool and hair lambs. The price ranged from $1.86 to $1.94/lb. An exception was a group of nine 80-pound Dorper-cross lambs which brought $1.99/lb.

The lower-weight lambs maintained strong bidding. There appeared to be no price differences between wool and hair lambs at this sale. The price ranged from $1.75 to $1.90/lb. Another group of lambs created a price range from $1.98 to $2.10/lb. A group of 10 72-pound Rideau-cross lambs brought $2.15/lb.

The 60-plus-pound lambs saw slightly larger demand. The price ranged from $1.95 to $2.01/lb. Dorper-cross lambs had higher demand with a price range from $2.11 to $2.21/lb.

The 50-plus-pound lambs saw no set bidding pattern. This was truly based on interest or demand by the buyers. Three groups of 55-pound lambs brought $1.72/$1.81/$2.15/lb. Four 58-pound Dorset-cross lambs brought $2.21/lb.

The 40-plus-pound wool lambs received the full attention of the buyers. Eleven 45-pound Cheviot-cross lambs brought $2/lb. Seven 46-pound Dorper-cross lambs brought $1.625/lb.

The interest for the 30-plus-pound lambs has dropped quite quickly. The winter months could be the major issues.

The bidding on goats was quite subdued at this sale causing some wonder if the last sale had filled the holiday orders. A 95-pound Saanen-cross Toggenberg goat doe (dairy) required some development to create further attention. This goat doe brought $70.

The only goat buck was a 90-pound Pygmy-cross buck. A true feisty buck, as once he entered the arena, the arena master knew he had to be watched. This goat buck might have been 18 inches tall, but when he prepared for battle, he stood about 38 inches (standing on his hind legs). This Pygmy buck brought $70.

The goat kids have rebounded from the last sale. The body structure and quality were quite good. Six 70-pound Alpine-cross goat kids were uniform in structure and colouration, drawing immediate attention.

One 25-pound Pygmy goat kid would have been an excellent 4-H project or for a petting zoo situation.

The Ontario Stockyard Report had the new-crop lambs in full demand. The lower-weight lambs were negatively affected by the new-crop lambs. These special Christmas and holiday lambs have more regulated feeding issues, causing higher bidding based upon more production requirements.

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