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Summer sale season for sheep has arrived

Buyers and sellers are thinking of the coming weeks of bounty

The arrival of summer also heralds the arrival of a positive attitude for both sheep buyers and sellers, with 290 animals delivered for sale June 6.

The future holds weeks of green pasture and animal development and conditioning.

During the sheep sale buyers were looking into the future and seeing the importance of quality ewes for increasing and maintaining herds. Under these circumstances the bidding for ewes has remained strong. There appeared to be no price differences between wool and hair ewes at this sale. Heavy wool ewes did not reach the average bidding prices. Heavier ewes had a price range from $1 to $1.17/lb. The lighter ewes had a price range from $1.23 to $1.37/lb. Once the ewe yearlings entered the arena, the buyers gave them full attention. These five 97-pound yearlings earned $1.70/lb.

No rams were delivered.

The heavyweight lambs were of major interest for the buyers. A group of four 121-pound Suffolk-cross lambs brought $2.11/lb. Another group of 13 118-pound Suffolk-cross lambs brought $2.16/lb.

No market lambs were delivered.

Feeder lambs maintained strong interest as well. Hair lambs dominated this class of lambs for the sale. The price ranged from $1.90 to $2.10/lb. A 90-pound Dorper-cross lamb brought $2.21/lb. Eight 81-pound Rideau-cross lambs brought $2.29/lb.

The 70- to 75-pound lamb class brought strong bidding by all buyers, for various purposes. The price ranged from $2.36 to $2.48/lb. Dorper-cross lambs dominated this class. Ten 66-pound Dorper-cross lambs brought $2.31/lb. Five 48-pound Dorper-cross lambs brought $2.15 per lb.

New-crop lambs appeared to be well developed and maintained, displaying obvious quality and driving buyer interest. Many of the groups indicated some Clun Forest traits. The bidding was fairly similar to the holiday season prices.

The prices are remaining fairly strong for all goat does at the last few sales. The supply of goat kids can be quite variable at different months of the year. Buyers are aware to keep goats for herd improvements. The interest in the family unit (doe with a kid or two) has increased through the years. This combination can be an excellent learning experience for the younger individual or making a 4-H project. The dairy doe with a kid was the best item at this sale. The buyer should be and possibly needs to be aware that extra care in raising this family unit could be necessary.

The younger goat bucks were and are generally at a high demand. The many purposes of these Boer-cross bucks make for an exciting bidding performance between the buyers. Quality of the goat-cross dairy bucks is very important.

The supply of goat kids was much higher than the past few sales. Buyers were taking advantage of this situation, keeping the bidding prices strong. The La Mancha goat breed was a major contributor for the dairy class, only followed by Alpine-cross goat does in the dairy class. Even the lightweight goat kids were creating strong bidding, as in the past few sales lower-weight goat kids were of less interest.

Pygmy-cross goats were able to keep within the price average of the various classes.

The Ontario Stockyard Report showed that lambs could barely maintain the average price at the last sale. Top-quality sheep and lambs had the benefits of the buyers. Goats, as usual, met the standard bidding.

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