problems in US sheep

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Postby Bill Fosher » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:18 am

Kathy and others who have consigned rams to sales,

Can you usually set a reserve price? I realize that this has some implications on biosecurity, but there setting that aside, is it possible to bring a ram home short of bidding on it yourself?
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Postby K Bar K Farm » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:35 am

Bill Fosher wrote:Kathy and others who have consigned rams to sales,

Can you usually set a reserve price? I realize that this has some implications on biosecurity, but there setting that aside, is it possible to bring a ram home short of bidding on it yourself?


My only experience has been with the PA Ram Test. There is a reserve price of $250 on rams set by the technical committee (I'd like to see it higher, but am still fighting that battle). I could set a higher reserve price if I so chose (or, on a slightly less ethical note, bid on my own animal and 'win' it), and have it 'no-sale' if reserve isn't met. Then I could hypothetically take it home. In the early years for our flock, I had the occasional ram who 'no-saled' and I sent them to auction (they usually run a truck from the ram test to auction after the sale, which is convenient to me as I don't have to deal with the rams at all), as taking them home was not an option for me.

Also, with the Ram Test, I have the option of taking home (or selling elsewhere) any rams that didn't make the sale (the sale committee makes a cut each year, so some decent rams may not make the sale just because the rankings were so close).

But, I don't do that, primarily due to biosecurity. Fortunately, the PA Ram Test sells the rams just after the test ends, so I don't have to deal with the rams or where to put them after the sale. The WI ram test, for example, sends the rams home after the test, and they are brought back later for a sale. That wouldn't be an option for me.

While ram sales have generally been good (prices were good this year, which surprised me with the economy and sluggishness of some other sales), ewe sales have been low. Last year I consigned 2 ewes (first and probably last time I'll do that). The minimum bid was $150, which is what mine sold for (that price was typicaly of the whole ewe sale with only a very few exceptions). After commission, etc. I took home $135 each on them. I can get that much for them as a hot house/slaughter lamb, with no future breeding guarantees attached. At those prices, there's no incentive to me to haul them to the sale (even though it's very close to me), violate any health guarantee I may have on them, and risk having them 'no-sale'. I had already told the sales mgr. that if they no-saled, they were to go on the auction truck, as it wasn't worth my taking them home after being exposed to so many other sheep.

Kathy
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Postby woolpuller » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:42 am

People have to do their homework. They musty know what their flock is weak in. Also I have to date not seen a perfect animal as there is always one fault.
high performance, high health, high biosecurity, a truly closed Suffolk Flock
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Postby Darroll Grant » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:03 am

Generally the consignor can floor his sheep at whatever price he desires. I saw a ram PO at $1200 this year. A friend who raises and sells beef bulls on the ranch sets a price based on quality and production info. If the animal does not sell at that price by the end of the sale season, he gets a one way ticket to slaughter. He knows his customer base and needs and sends very few on the truck.
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rams

Postby Duane » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:48 pm

I know the breeder that sold the top polypay ram. After the sale buyers told him they thought his "best ram"should have brought twice what it did! Sold for mid to upper 1000's. Compared to the top one he bought for at last years sale 3,400? 2/3's interest. The top end of the market was down.
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Postby Lana Rowley » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:49 pm

I just got home from my first lesson on NSIP and EPD's. We bought a Targhee ram from a nearby shepherd who is one of the top Targhee producers pre NSIP, and reputation as well. I must say i was blow away by this women's knowledge of her breed, and sheep in general. Always anxious to learn from other shepherds i picked her brain, and she was generous with her knowledge, which i always appreciate.

These are range raised Targhee.

Lana
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Postby Island Shepherd » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:05 pm

Lana,

Rhonda wants to buy a Targhee fleece from you. Poor thing only has several hundred to choose from, but I want some fine wool says she. :roll: If available send price and details by private message or e-mail. If not please keep in mind for next year.

Thanks,

Dave
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Postby Lana Rowley » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:25 pm

Dave,here is the bad boy the kids named "nine". Tell Rhonda with all the work to get Jock here, i will just send you the fleece. I admit to knowing nada about a good fleece, but i have Corriedale/spinning friends who can guide me.

I can tell you it was tough to not just go with the best looking ram, and instead look at maternal/growth and wool traits, buy i am learning, and this boy was a stand out :)


Image
Image
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Postby Lana Rowley » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:34 pm

This a yearling ram lamb
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Postby lovetree » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:10 pm

People have to do their homework. They musty know what their flock is weak in. Also I have to date not seen a perfect animal as there is always one fault



About 10 years ago a bunch of Wesh sheep farmers came to tour my farm....one of them sized up my flock this way, he said:
"Mary, you have some very nice and outstanding sheep...
and you have some very ooooogly ones too!" :o

Most of those "ooogly sheep" were some of our best producers :lol:
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
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Postby lovetree » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:11 pm

ooops! That was supposed to be Welsh sheep farmers!
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
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Postby jpa » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:18 am

Lana Rowley wrote:This a yearling ram lamb


Lana,

I know you said that he was a range lamb, but just curious to know if he was suplemented with grain? Congrats on buying him by both his looks and epd's. The epd's should greatly improve the odds that he will do good for you. With or without grain he looks good to me. I assume he will be used on the new ewe lambs you bought?

Jason
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Postby K Bar K Farm » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:42 am

Hi Lana,

What a handsome fellow, and nice to hear has solid production records behind him as well!

In my former life in MT, I worked with a lot of Targhees and many top Targhee breeders, and was fond of the breed. We considered bringing Targhees east when we moved back to PA, but decided to go with a breed that was more adapted to our climate and lamb markets.

I hope he exceeds your expectations!

Kathy
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Postby Lana Rowley » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:18 am

Thanks guys i think he is a bit ugly compared to a nice Cheviot :) BUt beauty is as beauty does!

Jason, he has not been given grain, these are run all on dry ground, and feed hay in winter. Yes i bought him for the new girls.

Kathy, this boys sire is a MT ram with very impressive epd's.

I must say it is taking some getting used to looking at these sheep, but i think they may be just what we need for our system. I have now spoken at length to 2 large range Targhee breeders. This ram was with a group of 10, and she had all of their EDU records, it was tough to tell them apart they were so even.

Lana
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Postby K Bar K Farm » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:33 am

Comparing a Targhee to a Cheviot??? Oh my, what opposites! 8)

Wait until you get into the fleeces off those Targhees- very nice.

Kathy
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