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Sheep & Goat Market Report – for Dec. 18, 2008

Promising December sales

The end of November, 2008 held many surprises on the variety of lamb prices, throughout the country, as well as the differences in the Manitoba market. The results can be determined based upon the number of sales per month or minimizing the number of sales. The producer has to be aware of the sale(s) in the area; thus determining the weight condition of the lamb or a goat, by the rate of growth versus the timing of the next sale with consideration of the feed cost. Each and every producer has to be a magician, to produce the best animal at auction time.

The Weekly Livestock Market Review for November 28, 2008; reported the Ontario market lambs 95 to 115 pounds, selling at a range $1.49 to $1.52/lb. The Alberta market lambs, 95 to 115 pounds, sold at $1.15 to $1.08/ lb. While the feeder lambs 61 to 80 pounds were reaching surprising prices, $2.34 to $3.38/lb. in Ontario.

The American goat market was strong for the low-weight kids, in Sioux Falls, S. D. The kids 46 to 48 pounds, brought $2.35 to $2.26/lb. The 55-pound kid, brought $1.96/ lb. The 61-pound goat, sold for $1.23/lb. The heavier bucks, 126-pound animal, brought $0.44/lb.

The first sale in December is always viewed as producing above-average prices for the producer. However, the Winnipeg auction of Dec. 4, 2008 provided some of the expectations and hopes, but lacked the extreme dollar per pound similar to the Easter season. The heavyweight lambs, 110 to 140 pounds, brought $0.91 to $1.13/lb.


60 70 pounds ranging $1.05 -$1.10 averaging $1.12 per pound

70 80 pounds no lambs arrived in this weight class

80 90 pounds no lambs arrived in this weight class

90 109 pounds ranging $0.95 -$1.10 averaging $1.03 per pound

100 pounds ranging $0.71 -$1.13 averaging $0.92 per pound

The lightweight lambs (less than 60 pounds) averaged at $1.10 per pound. This category was the only lamb weight that provided a major increase of dollar per pound. Nov. 6, 2008 reported $0.67 per pound and the Nov. 20, 2008 reported $0.52 per pound. This December auction indicated a large per cent increase, but lacking the general Easter season prices.

The demand for rams was high, reaching a range $0.70 to $0.82 per pound. A 205-pound Suffolk x ram did not reach the full extent of the other rams, brought only $0.38 per pound. Although, even a well-mannered Katahdin x ram, gave $0.76 per pound.

The lighter-weight ewes 110 to 170 pounds, ranged $0.30 to $0.41/lb., averaging $0.39 per lb. An exception of Dorper x ewes 165 pounds, brought $0.79 per lb. The heavier ewes 170 to 216 pounds, ranged $0.25 to $0.432 per lb., averaging $0.38 per lb. There was a group of Suffolk x and Cheviot x ewes, 228 pounds brought $0.51 per lb.

The goat categories were well represented by numerous animals for each. The various lighter bucks, 65 to 93 pounds, ranged $1.39 to $1.24 per lb. and the heavier-weight bucks, 100 to 165 pounds ranged $1.05 to $1.12 per lb. Overall, the bucks brought $1.08 per lb. The Angora breed did not reach the dollar value, as other breeds, brought $0.71 per lb.

The market illustrated major interest in the wethers, averaging $1.26 per lb. The Boer x goats kept the high bids, as the other breeds were slightly less. The 34-to 65-pound bucklings ranged $1.20 to $1.27 per lb.; although, a couple weight class groups were below and caused a lower average $1.18 per lb.

The doelings were demanding a higher dollar value and received the respect that was demanded. The Boer x doelings were strong and quite muscled. The does were more judged on the age, as well as the individual structure; for future breeding purposes. Thus this class was divided into two groups, the first is to increase a herd, ranging $0.87 to $1.06 per lb. and the other for the meat market; ranging $0.58 to $0.77 per lb.

The lack of pygmy goats present was noticeable and deeply missed!

The bidders at the Grunthal auction on Dec. 9, 2008 had a choice of ewes, 145 to 190 pounds, ranging $0.34 to $0.36 per lb. However, the lightweights brought a lower price per pound, ranging $0.22 to $0.27 per lb.

The audience was entertained on two occasions, when a Katahdin x ram strutted into the arena; their presence demanded attention, a real true show from each well-developed ram. The 135-lb. ram produced $0.30/lb. and the final bid for the 170-lb. ram was $0.40/lb.

The lightweight lambs were impressive and the price indicated similar response to the 90-to 109-pound lambs. The 70-to 72-pound lambs, ranged $1.15 to $1.18/lb. while the 90-to 96-pound lambs were $1.10 to $1.18/lb. The heavier lambs fluctuated through the auction, although, not one breed stood higher in standing. These lambs ranged 110 to 128 lbs., providing $1.03 to $0.84/lb.

Each goat category was well represented and the constant flow of the bids, was keeping the auctioneer too busy. A true bidding war, good for the producers too as the holiday season prices appear to be lower. The only Boer x 180-pound buck had a solid frame, sold for $1.17 per lb. ($210). Nannies and doelings had dropped in price, possibly a concern of winter carryover. The does 115 to 185 pounds, ranged $0.50 to $0.51/lb., while the 68-pound doelings brought $0.81/lb.

The 50-pound Boer x bucklings were of some interest for the holiday market, reaching $1.20 per lb. Only the 74-pound wethers gained a higher value of $1.28 per lb.

The pygmy bucks were in high demand, as the bidding came from all directions in the arena. Producers requiring new breeding stock took the majority of the bidding. The pygmy 40-to 60-pound bucks, provided a range $1.13 to $0.83 per lb., with one exception of a 50-pound pygmy buck brought $1.80 per lb. The only pygmy doeling in the sale, weighted 40 pounds, gave $1.38 per lb. Once again, there was high interest in the pygmy goats.

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