WolfeMomma

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
478
Reaction score
1,192
Points
213
Location
Maine
What do you all typically sell your meat lambs for?
I have had a lot of inquiries about the couple that I have for sale, and when I tell them the price, they run away.
Trying to figure out if people in my area are cheap, or I am asking way to much.
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,142
Reaction score
5,399
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
We sell our butcher lambs(8-12 weeks old) for $150.

As far as the "going price" that varies hugely based on where you look and who you are dealing with. Lambs in my area are priced $75-350, depending where you look and breed. Little mutt sheep bred in betty's back yard on the side are $75-100. Purebred meat breeds bred by ex-4hers are $350. Lambs bred by actual lamb farmers in large numbers, are usually $150-200.

Current auction price is $1-1.75/lb live weight.

I have found FB is usually higher priced then say craigslist as well in my area. We are sort of split some people dont give a toot about the raising others want non-gmo non-soy pasture raised non-medicated, etc. Atm i have a listing up for chickens $4/lb completely processed and in 2mil thick heat shrink bags, not a single inquiry. It's fine though we will have a lot of chicken which im happy about.

What would they bring at auction? At $250, how much meat will they get? Add processing on top of that, what does that come to per pound? When it's all said and done, how does that compare to grocery store price for beef? You have to be competitive in pricing. If $150 is the going rate, then maybe you should price yours at $175. How many lambs do you have to sell for meat? Where have you advertised? In my area, people are interested in the animal's welfare, what it ate, how it was raised, etc. In many areas, price is the determining factor. A happy, sleek, well fed and cared for animal means nothing if pork chops are on sale that week for $1.29 a pound.
Very true!! We had people lined up for butcher pigs, then the local place started running pork for $1.19/lb for a special 3 week sale and 2 of the 3 backed out. I dont blame them even ribs and pork loin were $1.29/lb, and family pack chops were $1.36/lb but BOGO.
 

purplequeenvt

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
1,973
Reaction score
1,883
Points
283
Location
Rineyville, KY
Unless there is some glaring flaw in the animal, my sheep are priced at what I feel I can get as purebred registered breeding stock. If someone wants to eat my sheep, they may do so, but I'm not going to discount an otherwise good breeding animal just to sell for meat.

My registered Border Leicester lambs are priced at $250-300. Non-breeding quality rams are wethered if possible and are usually priced at $150-200.

I couldn't get away with marketing a meat lamb for $300 here when there are a hundred $75 junk lambs to my 1 nice lamb.
 

WolfeMomma

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
478
Reaction score
1,192
Points
213
Location
Maine
What are you asking for them? Live or slaughtered? So far, I have marketed mine as slaughtered at $10 per pound, 10 pound minimum. What a PITA. I ran an ad recently on a local FB page and made 3 sales. Later I contacted them for purchase of live lambs, we had a slaughter date and would take them to be processed, buyer to pick up meat and pay for processing. One bought a lamb at $175, I had sold 3 larger lambs for $200 live weight. That worked for me a whole lot better. The same lady that bought the lamb for $175, bought 2 Cornish Cross chickens, dressed, for $6 per pound and later ordered 4 more that I'll have by the end of September. There is an auction nearby where they sell goats and sheep by the head. We took 4 culls there and I was satisfied with what we got for them. I think moving forward I will try to market live lambs taken to slaughter or just take them to auction.
Live, I have been asking 250, and am willing to negotiate. If they offered 200 I would take it. They want them for 150. and at that much I'll just put it in my own freezer .
 

WolfeMomma

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
478
Reaction score
1,192
Points
213
Location
Maine
I have to agree with you on that. If lambs go for $300, why are idiots trying to beat you down on price to $150.
exactly what I wondered. I mean i know I dont have an established customer base, and Im kind of new to the business. But I have good solid lambs that are large and healthy. The stuff that is going for 150$ they are under weight and look sick and boney. Why should I let my good quality go for lower. If i cant sell him I will put him in my freezer .
 

harmonyhillsfarm

Just born
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
5
Points
3
I sell lambs by the hanging weight @ $5/lb including butchering. They average 50# and I pay $50 for processing which gives me $200 for the lamb. I live in an area where lamb meat is not really sought after, but I did sell 6 (which is all I had available) earlier this year.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,130
Reaction score
5,593
Points
393
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
ere is some important information missing from your inquiry, that I would like to know.

What weight are the lambs you are selling?
How old are your lambs at that weight?
What breed(s) are you raising?
Do you weigh your lambs routinely or guess at their weight based on age?
Do you have a livestock auction in the area?
Are there many lamb producers in your area?
Is there a demand for lamb meat in your area? Are there any ethnic buyers?


This is kind of long, but it may help you in selling your lambs. I had to revamp my sales program this year, and other BYH members helped to point me in the right direction. When selling lambs, you must take into account the area of the country where you live, the breed and size of your sheep, how often they lamb, the rate of growth, customer ethnicity, and number of other lamb producers in your area. Certain areas of the country have more lamb eaters/ producers than others. Many areas that are traditional beef country don’t have a lot of call for lamb since sheep farmers were not welcomed for centuries. Consequently, lamb is not popular as a meat there except in certain ethnic communities.
  1. What is the weight at which you are market your sheep? You need to find out the most desirable weight for a sale in your area. Instead of simply raising your lambs to 100 lbs.+ and then advertising for buyers, advertise for the buyers first and custom raise the lamb to their wants. Some people want a lamb above 120 lb. for standard market cuts. Others may want a BBQ size lamb around 50-60 lbs. Still others have other requirements. Do you have ethnic buyers? Do you have buyers for certain holidays – Easter, Passover, Cinquo de Mayo, 4th of July, Memorial Day. Etc. Suit your lambs to the buyer requirements in your area and plan your breedings for sales at those times.
  2. The breed of sheep does play a large part in your ability to sell lambs at a certain weight and certain times of the year. Large breeds, like Suffolks and Hampshires, etc., (which we raised for many years) don’t make a suitably finished carcass before 6-7 months of age. They are growing their large skeletal development earlier, meat is put on later. They are cyclical breeders and only produce lambs in the spring unless hormonally induced to lamb at other times. If most of the lamb growers in your area have lambs only in the spring months, you will have a lot of lambs on the market at the same time. Following the market rule of supply and demand, more lambs available prices will be lower. Can you breed for different times when there are fewer lambs on the market? If the demand in your area is for larger carcass size, then stick with the larger, fast growing breeds. If the demand in your area is for small lambs, then you should breed the smaller breeds. If the demand is for BBQ size stay away from the very fast growing breeds since they will get too big too fast for your buyers.
  3. Rate of growth is everything when trying to raise a finished lamb on pasture. The shorter the time you keep the lamb before selling, the more profitable it is for your bottom line. The longer you hold the lamb, the more it costs you in feed or pasture to get him to selling weight. Don’t think that because your lambs are pasture grown that they eat for free. Pasture costs money and time to keep in good shape. If you carry too many sheep on your pasture without rotation, you end up with weedy or bare pasture the sheep will not be able to utilize. In a drought year overgrazing may result in no forage at all the following season. Supplying hay and supplements can be costly if not figured into the costs of running your operation. Proper pasture stocking numbers and rotation are imperative in a pasture operation. Do you have to creep feed in order to reach your target weight?
  4. Consider customer ethnicity. This is where our American lamb market is beginning to take off. Traditionally Hispanics were the only ones who bought lambs and kids at the auctions. Jewish people bought Kosher lamb for holidays. Demand was low and auction prices were low 20 years ago. Now, however, other ethnic people have emigrated in large numbers to the US. These new ethnicities include Armenians, Muslim and non-Muslim middle easterners, and Africans. People from Mediterranean countries also eat lamb. They have joined the Hispanics in buying lamb in our area. However, they do not want a finished 100-120 lb. lamb. They want a much smaller lamb ranging between 40 lb. to 65 lbs. Traditionally that is the size they are used to cooking and that is what they want. You can’t convince them that a larger lamb will still be tender. If you have a market for smaller lambs, then the smaller breeds might be what you want to specialize in. Those smaller breeds will produce a 50 lb. lamb at 3-4 months. 3-4 months is better for the ewe when removing lambs from a heavy milker. BBQ size lambs are desirable to Muslims who buy live lambs and butcher Halal themselves for their specialty shops. Like Kosher, Halal is a ritual type of slaughter where the slaughterer prays over the animal while killing it. Halal meat shops will pay up to $150 for a 40 lb. lamb live with tail and testicles. Horns on a goat kid are preferred. They do not usually want ewe lambs.
  5. If you have a livestock auction within a 2 hour driving radius, I suggest you call them, and find out what size lambs are selling at the auction for what prices. Ask what the most popular size is and what the prices are on all sizes. Do this for a couple weeks since a sudden push in buying may be due to a specific holiday. Compare the size of lambs that are popular with the prices they are bringing. It is possible that you may be raising your lambs to a less popular size than will bring the most favorable sale price.
IMPORTANT! You mentioned 4-H and FFA lambs being exorbitantly priced. 4-H and FFA lamb prices can’t be considered in these equations when figuring selling prices for your lambs. Those are specialty lambs selling in a closed Youth Auction. They are purchased from breeders who breed club lambs. They breed the style and type of lamb desired in the show ring. These lambs are tall, long, leggy, and large. They are designed to be flashy in the ring. These are not standard commercial lambs. These show lambs cost a lot of money. The youth exhibitors advertise and shop for their Fair auction buyers, and at many fairs family members and donors will give an “add-on” of money to the purchase price as a tax deduction. Fair Youth Auction prices are often ridiculously high since businesses will often buy the animal for the publicity. The price they pay is tax deductible.. With the Covid closure of so many Fairs and livestock shows, you are seeing a glut in the market of finished 4-H and FFA lambs, hogs, and steers, since many of the children had already purchased their show animals months ago. They paid a high price hoping to make a lot at the auction when they sold. Now they need to get back at least the purchase price of their lamb and the feed they have put into it. Many of the FFA kids have borrowed from the FFA Sponsorship program or the school AG Booster Club to buy the lamb. In heavily livestock or farming communities, agricultural banks often loan the kids money for the purchase of their animal. That money has to be repaid somehow. The price at auction would have paid off that loan and put some money in their pocket. Now they have to sell their animals for enough to repay the loans. Their prices do not reflect normal prices paid to the producers.

I don’t want to offend you, but you mentioned buying breeding rams for $300 and expecting to sell your market ram lambs for the same prices. When I buy a breeding ram, I buy one that is better than what I already have seeking to improve my flock. I don’t expect to sell my ram or wether meat lambs for what I pay for a good breeding sire. It sounds like you are trying to charge the same price for a meat lamb as you would pay for a better sire ram. You might want to reprice your ram lambs, and wether them before selling. Just a thought. When we take our lambs in to our butcher I always have him grade my carcasses. This lets me know if I am feeding right - too much fat, or not enough fat can change a carcass grade. It is essential to know so you can properly advertise the quality of your lambs.

You mentioned lambs in your area selling for $300. Are the lambs that are selling for $300 in your area better lambs? Larger? Meatier? Are they a different breed that is more popular in your area? If you are having trouble selling your lambs for the same price as the competition, you might want to go look at the competition to see if you are coming up short anywhere. On the other hand, those people selling lambs for $300 may not have any buyers either.

I know it's long, but I hope it helps you.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
6,079
Reaction score
6,378
Points
503
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
I have to agree with you on that. If lambs go for $300, why are idiots trying to beat you down on price to $150.
A new, unknown seller at a lower price, they're hoping they can wiggle it down further.
Also, people are generally cheapskates. We're all guilty of wanting something for less.



I sold yearlings for a little less than the going price per pound earlier this spring, $200 each. I sell not registered rams for 250, but I knew the buyer and trusted she'd eat them & not scam & resell for more or breed & sell. There are lots of people who do that. I have wool/novelty breed, so I need to worry about the market flooding with junk animals. I'd certainly prefer to drop off at the butcher, though.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,416
Reaction score
48,143
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
What are you asking for them? Live or slaughtered? So far, I have marketed mine as slaughtered at $10 per pound, 10 pound minimum. What a PITA. I ran an ad recently on a local FB page and made 3 sales. Later I contacted them for purchase of live lambs, we had a slaughter date and would take them to be processed, buyer to pick up meat and pay for processing. One bought a lamb at $175, I had sold 3 larger lambs for $200 live weight. That worked for me a whole lot better. The same lady that bought the lamb for $175, bought 2 Cornish Cross chickens, dressed, for $6 per pound and later ordered 4 more that I'll have by the end of September. There is an auction nearby where they sell goats and sheep by the head. We took 4 culls there and I was satisfied with what we got for them. I think moving forward I will try to market live lambs taken to slaughter or just take them to auction.
 

Latest posts

Top