Easter bidding arrived with a vengeance at the March 21 sheep and goat sale at Winnipeg Livestock Auction.
Supply jumped to 430 animals with greatly improved quality noted and the sale was a fast-paced event.
During the sheep sale the ewes saw a bidding pattern that was subdued, reflecting the approach of summer.
Prices ranged from $0.75 to $0.92/lb. Two groups of hair ewes had a price range from $1.02 to $1.11/lb. The top bid was for two 175-pound sheared Suffolk-cross ewes at $1.29/lb.
Ram selection was greater than recent past sales. Price ranged from $1.12 to $1.25/lb. The very heavy rams did not reach this price range. Buyers appeared to be more interested in possible future herd purposes. Quality was apparent.
There was a large selection of heavyweight lambs at this sale. The immediate demand could have fuelled the trend due to Easter season. There appeared to be no price differences between wool and hair lambs. The price ranged from $1.55 to $1.66/lb. for the weights ranging from 111- to 135-pound lambs. A group of 13 113-pound Rideau-cross lambs brought $1.88 per lb. Two 130-pound grain-fed Cheviot-cross lambs attracted the buyers and brought $1.81/lb.
Only three 103-pound Suffolk-cross lambs represented the market class at this sale, bringing $187.76 or $1.92/lb.
Feeder lambs were in high availability and of good quality, supplying all buyer demand. Price ranged from $1.75 to $1.94/lb. A group of 20 94-pound Cheviot-cross lambs brought $2.14/lb. A couple of single lamb sales brought $2.24 and $2.25/lb.
The 70-plus-pound lightweight lambs continued this strong bidding. Some lambs showed better quality, causing higher bidding. The price ranged from $2.01 to $2.23/lb. Similar to feeder lambs, a group of six 78-pound Cheviot-cross lambs brought $2.34/lb. Two 60-pound lambs brought $2.38/lb. Thirteen 58-pound Katahdin-cross lambs brought $2.18/lb.
The bidding on the new-crop lambs followed the Eastern Canada market over the past few weeks. The heavier new-crop lambs were similar or slightly less than the same weight lambs. As a general rule new-crop lambs would always demand the top bids from the buyers. Heavy new-crop lambs saw less interest.
Turning to goats, a group of Boer-cross doelings from a reliable producer sparked some excited bidding from buyers interested in herd building.
Young goat doelings generally saw higher price bidding than the past several sales. Dairy goats were represented mainly by Alpine-cross does and doelings. One 113-pound La Mancha-cross doeling brought $1.04/lb.
The selection of the goat bucks was limited, but so was buyer bidding. A 95-pound Alpine-cross goat buck brought $1.37/lb. A 140-pound Boer-cross goat buck brought $1.54/lb. A 60-pound Pygmy-cross goat buck brought $1.54/lb. A 75-pound Pygmy-cross goat buck brought $1.40/lb.
Goat kids were in good supply and selection, but there was only limited interest from buyers. Bidding did not reach the same heights as the rest of the sale, a pattern seen over the last several sales. Dairy breeds were represented by Alpine-cross goat kids. There was a 66-pound La Mancha-cross goat kid that brought $1.74/lb. The 71-pound Pygmy goats showed quality and good energy in the group of four. Their appearance into the arena drew the audience’s attention.
The Ontario Stockyard Report showed the supply of new-crop lambs was not overly large but the buyers showed little or limited interest. The prices for new-crop lambs were low. Sheep, heavy lambs and goats were sold at normal prices.