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East for Christmas

The Dec. 5 sheep and goat sale was the last one that could service the Christmas market in Eastern Canada

Dec. 5 saw Winnipeg Livestock Auction hosting the last sale to reach the eastern market before the Christmas season hits. The distance and travel time required place the next sale outside the window to service this seasonal spike in demand. That meant outside buyers were more active than local buyers, who will likely dominate the next sale.

In the sheep sale, the ewes sparked the most interest, with multiple uses likely. Some will be held into the future for spring lambing, others will supply the tight eastern markets. Unexpectedly some ewes saw higher bids than some lambs at this sale, with prices ranging from $1.16 to $1.27/lb., with the exception of one group of four 141-pound Cheviot-crosses that brought $1.32/lb.

It was more of a buyers’ discretions situation for the rams. A 175-pound Dorper-cross ram fetched $166.25 ($0.85/lb.) and a 230-pound Suffolk-cross ram brought $246.10 (or $1.07/lb.). A group of five 113-pound purebred Katahdin-cross rams sparked interest and bidding, earning $148.03 ($1.31/lb.).

The heavyweight lambs maintained this trend of strong bidding, with immediate use on the minds of the buyers. Average prices ranged from $1.21 to $1.30/lb. However, a group of six exposed 113-pound Suffolk-cross lambs with obvious signs of quality bested this, with a purchase price of $1.60/lb.

There was no evident difference in price between wool and hair market lambs at this sale. All saw much less bidding interest than at the last sale, with most of the interest coming from eastern buyers. Average prices ranged from $1.33 to $1.40/lb.

The feeder lambs were able to reach a slightly higher price average, from $1.45 to $1.58/lb. There were a couple of wool lamb exceptions, where the buyers reached $1.73 and $1.89/lb. The novelty lambs, such as Baby Doll lambs, were not of high interest for the buyers, reaching just $1.475/lb.

The lightweight lambs had a strong push by the buyers, reaching a price range from $1.90 to $2.02/lb. The hair lambs could not reach the stronger bidding for the wool lambs. Seven 70-pound Rideau-cross lambs brought $2.08/lb.

The 60-plus lambs showed no price differences between the wool and hair lambs. The weight class brought slightly higher bidding. The average price ranged from $2.01 to $2.06/lb. An exception was two 68-pound Katahdin-cross lambs that brought $2.15/lb.

The 50-plus lambs kept this bidding range, from $2.01 to $2.07/lb. The 21 57-pound wool lambs, appearing to be grain fed, could not reach this average, bringing $1.98/lb.

The 40-plus lambs had no pattern on the bidding. Each group of lambs had its own individual attraction.

In the goat sale does sparked the most interest, likely for future herd-building purposes as the breeding season is imminent. Alpine and La Mancha-cross does represented the dairy class.

There was a food selection of goat bucks for the buyers, and interest here was also likely for herd building. There were Alpine-cross bucks and La Mancha-cross bucks in the dairy class. A 195-pound Boer-cross buck entered the arena, demanding and taking over the arena space. This buck was a real challenger and the ringmaster was quite aware of this. Then a 245-pound chocolate brown Boer-cross buck entered the arena with a polar opposite personality on display. He expressed his full magnificent structure and calm behaviour, and was likely purchased for further breeding purposes.

The buyers had a selection of goat kids in various weights for their purposes. However, the price bidding was much lower than has been through the year, similar to the last auction.

The Ontario Stockyard Report indicated that the bidding held no surprises. The buyers were just prepared to purchase at a basic price. The heavy lambs were hit quite hard, much lower in prices.

photo: File

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