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Signs of life for summer sheep, goat sales

Rain in the forecast and pre-holiday bidding added up to a positive backdrop for the latest sheep and goat sale

Strong bidding fuelled by an approaching holiday season and rain clouds on the horizon promising improved hay production set a positive tone May 15, at Winnipeg Livestock Auction, where 180 sheep and goats were delivered.

In the sheep sale, the selection of ewes gave the buyers wide choice for future purposes. The higher-price quality ewes were viewed for herd improvement or the start of a herd. Many of the ewes will be prepared for the coming holiday. There appeared to be no price differences between the wool and hair ewes at this sale. The higher prices ranged from $1.11 to $1.22/lb. The lower prices ranged from $0.85 to $1.06/lb. An exception was a 120-pound Rideau-cross ewe that brought $1.625/lb.

A good choice of rams were available for all buyers. The heavier rams brought slightly lower bidding, the price range from $0.93 to $1.02/lb. The lighter rams brought a price range from $1.18 to $1.22/lb. An exception was a 150-pound Dorset-cross ram that brought $1.49/lb. Many of the rams indicated some showmanship entering the arena and with the arena master.

The feeder lamb class competed as strongly as the new-crop lambs in bidding. A group of 84-pound Katahdin-cross and Dorper-cross lambs brought $206.64 ($2.46/lb.). A group of 84-pound Cheviot-cross lambs (new crop) brought $201.60 ($2.44/lb.). The holiday season could be responsible for this result.

The lightweight lambs maintained similar bidding as the feeder lambs when quality was shown. But the young lambs (low weight) could not hold this bidding and fattening these lambs would take some time, meaning they would not be ready for the holiday.

Twenty 70-pound Katahdin-cross and Dorper-cross lambs brought $2.47/lb. Twenty-five 71-pound wool lambs brought $2.44/lb.

Five 66-pound wool lambs brought $2.42/lb. A 65-pound Dorper-cross lamb brought $2.60/lb.

A 55-pound Katahdin-cross lamb brought $1.55/lb. Seven 43-pound Katahdin-cross lambs brought $1.80/lb. Six 33-pound Katahdin-cross and Dorper-cross lambs brought $1/lb.

The presence of the new-crop lambs entering the arena drew significant attention from the buyers. The quality and similar lamb condition gave each group a standard for bidding. New-crop lambs have not yet been delivered or shown very often at this year’s sales.

In the goat sale, spotted Alpine doe-crosses still had some attraction from the buyers. The Boer goat doe-crosses created strong bidding as a group.

The interest and demand for Pygmy-cross goats have begun for hobby farms. The Pygmy goats are the summer grass mowers. A purchase of the Pygmy buck-cross could be used for producing those cute little kids. The purchase of the Alpine-cross goat was a wether for the holiday season.

The goat kid class, as usual, is supplied with limited numbers — only two goat kids for this sale. It would be or could be expected that these goat kids were purchased as investments for the fall sales.

The Ontario Stockyard report indicated lower bidding from the buyers on new-crop and heavy lambs. Bidding on the sheep and goats just reached market level and remained constant — no major demand caused from any holiday influence.

photo: File

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