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Sheep & Goat Sales – for Mar. 19, 2009

The festive celebration of Easter is approaching, causing a speculation of high demand for young lambs and goats in the near future. Thus, the bidding was higher, compared to the last Winnipeg auction sale.

Easter for many is April 12; the Orthodox celebrate it on April 19. In Greece, the Orthodox enjoy a festive meal after fasting before Easter. Easter Sunday is the festive day, with a traditional roast lamb. At Russian Orthodox celebrations, traditional foods are also served. An ancient Russian fable tells that an Easter egg, given from the heart, will never spoil.

WINNIPEG SHEEP

The Winnipeg auction on March 5 produced goats and sheep, but not in large quantities. Lamb numbers were not plentiful, but provided a choice for bidding, and prices have increased. Lamb prices have shown this trait throughout the country, based on demand. There were no lightweight lambs at this sale – some at lower weights than feeder lambs, but not showing in the frame (see Table 1).

The group of Cheviot-X and Romney-X lambs, plus another group of Suffolk-X lambs in the 70-to 78-lb. range, generated the higher interest and higher bidding of the day, reaching $1.325 to $1.35/lb.

The weekly livestock review for March 6 reported that the market lambs (95-115 lbs.) in Ontario were receiving $1.68-$1.85/lb. Feeder lambs (61-80 lbs.) brought $2.86-$3.13/lb. in Ontario. Feeder lambs in Texas were at a stable price of US$1.99/lb.

A group of Suffolk-X rams, 278 lbs. each, impressed the audience in the stands; each brought $180.70 (65 cents/ lb.). A Cheviot-X ram, 170 lbs., viewed as a possible good breeder, brought $102 (60 cents/lb.).

The ewes were the usual stable prices, with the exception of a group of Katahdin-X, each weighing 123 lbs., bringing $113.78 (92.5 cents/lb.).

WINNIPEG GOATS

A Boer-x buck– 85 pounds, fine muscled frame – brought $137.50 ($1.62/lb.). A group of Boer-X wethers, 61 pounds, yielded $93 ($1.53/lb.).

Demand for young goat kids (20-50 lbs.) is extremely important over the Easter season. A milk-fed kid with lightcoloured meat is traditionally used in the festive Easter meal. Pygmy goats may have been viewed as filling that demand, as they were well represented at this sale, entertaining the most interest and higher bidding. A pygmy-X doe, 50 lbs., yielded $65 ($1.30/lb.); two pygmy-X bucklings, 30 lbs., brought $45 ($1.50/lb.). Two pygmy-X does, 43 lbs., brought $71 ($1.65/lb.).

GRUNTHAL SHEEP AND GOATS

Weather conditions can sure dictate the performance of a sheep and goat sale – and whether large quantities will be delivered to it. When the radio constantly forecasts major blizzard conditions and strong blowing winds, that’s a factor for a farmer deciding not to venture out on country roads. However, on March 10, the Grunthal auction did occur.

The selection of sheep and goats was very low. The market

Table 1. Winnipeg ewe and lamb sales, March 5, 2009.

Ewes

Lambs

Weights (lbs.)

N/A

110 95-110 80-94

80 lambs yielded around the $1.20/lb. mark. Large sheep and ewes were reaching the 40-cent-per-pound mark, keeping the prices stable.

The goat market was in a similar pattern, as the selection was even more limited. A very mature goat, 125 pounds, brought $55. Two young kids representing the typical Easter goat size entered the arena at 45 and 40 lbs., fetching $57.50 ($1.28/lb.) and $52.50 ($1.31/ lb.) respectively.

Special thanks to Randy for our conversation and for faxing some information from Grunthal.

Price ranges

$52.50-$113.78

N/A

$1.26-$1.29/lb. N/A

$1.325-$1.35/lb.

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