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Sheep & Goat Market Report – for Oct. 16, 2008

The lamb selection at Winnipeg Oct. 2 was highly diverse with something for every bidder at the auction. Whether bidders were looking for a couple of lambs for the holiday period or for much larger numbers, the room was ready for a full afternoon with nearly 800 animals to be sold.

Heavier lambs (over 100 lbs.) brought a lower price than those of market weight (70-80 lbs.). Heavier lambs averaged at $1.04 per lb.: an extremely heavy Rideau cross at 165 lbs. brought 78 cents a pound. Four groups of grain-fed lambs, averaging in the mid-90s range for weight, sold at a constant price range of $1.16 per lb. Those lambs coming off the pasture went for slightly less, averaging $1.11 per lb. for 80-to 100-lb. lambs.

Feedlot lambs were being selected in the 60-to 70-lb. range, for late-fall finishing carcasses, while the holiday market lambs were in the 70-to 80-lb. range. The range of bids on the lambs (less than 60 lbs.), varied widely, from 50 cents to $1.21 per pound, thus averaging 71 cents per pound. This trend seemed mainly due to the individualist-type bidder, requiring a single lamb.

U. S. lamb prices were affected by the stock market “dropping.” The lower Canadian dollar could assist in improving Canadian sales, but then, who has a crystal ball?

Barbado-cross rams drew some interest from the auction crowd. Even the lighter-weight barbado-cross rams equalled the price of a heavier Cheviot-cross ram, with all being of fine frame and structure. The Suffolk-cross and Rideau-cross ewes (140 lbs.) led the way in price bidding compared to the Cheviotcross and Katahdin-cross ewes.

The Angora and the pygmy goats didn’t exactly create an exciting bidding fury. They couldn’t compete with the larger goat breeds to bring the higher prices. Angoras averaged around 57 cents/ lb., while the pygmy goats brought an average of 99 cents/lb.

When a well-developed, muscle-framed Boer-cross buck entered the arena, a fury of bidding started. A nice Boer-cross buck (180 lbs.) brought $242.50 ($1.35/ lb.). There was competition between producers and the meat industry for all the billies, thus keeping the prices over the dollar per pound. Another Boer-cross buck (150 lbs.) brought $230 ($1.53/ lb). The billys (50-75 lbs.), whether Boer-cross or Alpinecross, ranged from $1.21 to $1.42 per pound. The nannies remained a bit lower than the $1/lb. price range, while kids averaged in the $1/lb. range.

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