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Bids fail to reach peak seen at earlier auction

The action blew hot and cold at the most recent sheep and goat sale at Winnipeg Livestock Auction

Bidding was slow and low, then faster and higher, then slower and lower again.

Initially the Aug. 16 Winnipeg Livestock Auction sheep and goat sale looked like a dud, with a slow bidding start. But by mid-sale things had picked up and prices approached (but failed to surpass) the strong feeder and lightweight lamb bidding reported just a couple of days earlier from another location. Then by the end of the sale, things dropped off again.

A total of 1,019 sheep and goats were delivered for this event.

The sheep sale kicked off with a herd dispersal of ewes that showed strong bidding, with younger ewes sparking most of the excitement. They ultimately garnered the seller $1.41/lb. Other groups saw prices ranging from $1.10-$1.24/lb. There was no evidence of a price difference between wool and hair ewes at this sale. The ewe selection was strictly buyers’ choice, with some seeking only sheared animals and others most interested in woolly ewes. Price averages ranged from $1.09 to $1.23/lb., but many individual animals were sold at prices significantly higher than the average. High-quality ewes were ranging from $1.31 to $1.37/lb.

The selection was good for rams, but not reaching the buyers’ choice level, which made for some exciting bidding. The price ranged from $1.15 to $1.39/lb.

A 125-pound Suffolk-cross ram represented the heavyweight classification, bringing $227.50 or $1.82/lb.

Market lambs turned in a performance that changed little from the last sale, with selection plentiful for all buyers. Wool and hair lambs drew similar prices, ranging from $2.11 to $2.20/lb.

The demand for feeder lambs created some extremely strong bidding and as was the case throughout the sale, quality animals drew the most attention. Average prices ranged from $2.20 to $2.35/lb. The lambs that did not reach this value still saw a price range from $2.08 to $2.17/lb.

There was a slight drop in the bidding for lightweight lambs of 70-plus pounds. There was no price differences between wool and hair lambs. Prices ranged from $2.17 to $2.28/lb. An exception was a group of nine 74-pound Clun Forest lambs that brought $2.23/lb.

The 60-plus lambs continued this price pattern, ranging from $2.11 to $2.28/lb. There was a group of 66-pound lambs that brought $2.32/lb.

The 50-plus-pound lambs had extreme price differences between groups of lambs entering the arena, rather than variety of lambs. Two groups of 50- and 56-pound lambs brought $1.70/lb. A group of 59-pound Dorper-cross lambs brought $2.27/lb.

Three 42-pound Katahdin-cross lambs brought $71.40 or $1.70/lb. Nine 39-pound Savvy-cross lambs brought $75.27 or $1.93/lb. Three 25-pound Savvy-cross lambs brought $33.75 or $1.35/lb.

The goat sale saw three dairy breeds come under the gavel in the goat doe class. These animals were young and therefore able to compete with the meat does. When buyers were considering meat does they were keeping a careful eye on quality and age. One unexpected pattern in the bidding was seen when buyers were presented with a dairy family unit consisting of a La Mancha goat doe with a kid. For some reason this unit saw little buyer interest at this sale.

As the goat bucks entered the arena, some high-spirited animals were in evidence. A 195-pound Boer-cross buck challenged the ringmaster throughout his appearance, prompting a careful watch on his behaviour. He ultimately brought a price of $320, or $1.64/lb.

The muscle tone and development of a 185-pound Boer-cross goat buck, drew major interest by the buyers, also bringing $320 or $1.73/lb. The arena became the show place for a massive 205-pound Boer-cross goat buck. Once he entered, he displayed his form and structure, bringing the seller $375 or $1.83/lb.

This sale also saw a continuation of strong interest and bidding for goat kids, spurred on by the constant quality of the animals offered over the past several sales. Prices ranged from $2 to $2.82/lb.

The Ontario Stockyard Report has shown, in the past couple of weeks, a major difference in the demand for certain weights in the various classifications. A couple of weeks ago the buyers were interested in average-weight lambs. This week the market’s attention shifted to heavyweight lambs. For the first time cull goats were included in this report and saw strong bidding. Generally buyers are making sure they have adequate supply for upcoming holidays.

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