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Author Topic: When to send Ram Lambs to Market  (Read 4759 times)

dyedinthewool

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« on: October 23, 2011, 08:54:10 pm »
Having bought a Lamb/ewe weigher i couldn't wait to see how heavy my lambs were.

My twin boys weighed in at 56kg - born in April this year.  They did have short feed -filched from their mums bowl when they were small - other than that it's just been grass.  Though they have a Superlyx lick for the last month.
They are well rounded  - not to good with condition scoring but couldn't feel backbone etc whereas the bought in lambs I can still feel bones.

My other home bred ram lamb weighed in at 35kg but he is a month younger and a lamb from a first time ewe.

The lambs I bought in about 6 weeks ago weighed around 32kg they had a poor start in life, except 'Harriet' who is destined for the freezer who weighed 39kg.

How heavy should they before sending to market.

Is there an 'age' that they should be before they can go.

AND when is the best time to send them - is there a bad time??
You are never to old to learn something new
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VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2011, 09:08:03 pm »
I  would say that 56kg is a bit on the large side for prime lamb, so I would get them to market asap, so long as they are well covered, and from what you say it sounds like they are.

Aim for 40kg liveweight and with the appropriate level of muscleing and you won't go far wrong.
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Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 10:23:35 pm »
We have ours killed and either keep the lamb or sell it to friends and neighbours. Our abattoir doesn't do private kills in November and butchers get busy in the run up to Christmas, so if you're going for private kills, better get a move on  :)

Ours were about the same weight as yours last year, I think. We didn't get a liveweight but they were 26kg deadweight and I think it's about 50% for lambs, live to dead.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 01:57:45 am »
In my part of the world, the best prices are paid for 'white' lambs of good conformation, a covering but not overfat (lean better than being a butterball), liveweight in the 40-42kg range.  They are aiming for a carcase of not more than 21kg, which is what the supermarkets want.  In your neck of the woods you have a lot of slaughterhouses processing for the supermarkets, so I would expect the pricing to be similarly skewed towards these well-muscled little lambs.

In terms of conformation and kill percentage (dead to liveweight ratio), a lot depends on breed and feeding.

A hill sheep is unlikely to be top conformation; a Texel, Beltex or Charollais should be.  (I don't have any experience of Suffolks, Hampshires, etc, so forgive me for not knowing what conformation etc would be expected of them.)

Texel crosses from hill sheep on a hill farm, reared on grass and no cake, could have a kill percentage as low as 44%; good Texel or Charollais lambs, fed a little cake and on good grass, should be well over 50%, maybe up to 60%.

On weighing at home, use the following guidance:
  • Take off 2kg for the grass and poo in their bellies and intestines
  • Take off 2kg for the journey and handling
  • Take off another 1kg for the abbatoir's scales never ever thinking your lambs weigh what you do
  • Aim to have a good Texel in the ring weighing 38-40kg as VSS says, or a lesser animal could be a little more, up to 42kg
  • Oh, and take off another kilo or two if they are wet and/or have heavy thick fleeces

So you can have them up to 45kg when you weigh them, full, at home, to be aiming for the best prices.

You can sell them heavier than this, it's just that you will certainly get less per kilo and often will get less per head, as there won't be so many buyers bidding for them.

There's no minimum age, they should go to market when they're ready.  Our first lambs get away at 3 months old (poor wee souls  :'(), most at about 4 months.

The best time to take them is when the price is highest and they are fit, not fat, and not too large.  Keep an eye on your local papers' market reports and watch the lamb averages to give you an idea of what prices are doing.  But be aware there is often a pendulum effect - a couple of weeks of good prices, and all the farmers will sweep up all the lambs they can possibly get away and send them off, resulting in a glut and the price falling just that very week everyone takes their lambs...  ::)

For planning for future years, prices are usually as good as they'll be while Ramadan is on, especiallly if it's early in the summer.

HTH
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 09:26:19 am »

For planning for future years, prices are usually as good as they'll be while Ramadan is on, especiallly if it's early in the summer.

HTH

Does this mean halal killing without stunning? I'd rather spare my sheep that fate.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2011, 12:02:58 pm »
yes it is the suppermarkets that that dictate the market     on size and price
with Ramadan that is only another buyer coming on the scene not all lambs end up there the only effect is pushing the price up
we killed our Hampshire tup lamb 78 kilos liveweight 38 kilos dead weight  and it tasted braw :farmer:

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 12:08:05 pm »
Robert,
What does 'braw' mean?
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 12:39:07 pm »
it could depend on the regional definition   the borders =a braw lad
or as i described it tasted braw                       but with my use it means very tasty   a memory that lasts with you long after the event in this case the dinner      there are other similes that could be used as well and other situations will just leave for your own interpretation ;) :farmer: ;D

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 11:03:08 pm »
Were the lambs castrated? If not, I'd suggest trying to get them sent on before they start thinking about sex - they'll put on frame but there wont be much more in the way of meat.

dyedinthewool

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 07:35:28 pm »
Well the deed is done... :'( :'(

The first i've ever sent to market - they were so trusting, loaded in the trailer no problem, 5 minutes and they were at the market.  Trotted into their pen and stood there like 'lambs' :sheep: :sheep:

Then they had to be weighed - so out of the pen and onto the scales with no hassel - weighed in at 50kg.

I popped back home to drop OH off so he could get on with some work  ;D   then I went back to the market to see how much they made - wanted to bring them home as they were just stood looking around greeting anyone who went into their pen to 'have a feel'.

They made £78.0 each -  average at the market was £65 - £71 with weights between 45 - 50kg  think one lot of 50 kg made £79.0.

Only 4 more to go in the next month.
 
You are never to old to learn something new

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 09:54:43 pm »
That's pretty good! I'd be well pleased with that result.  :thumbsup:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: When to send Ram Lambs to Market
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 11:14:44 pm »
They made £78.0 each -  average at the market was £65 - £71 with weights between 45 - 50kg  think one lot of 50 kg made £79.0.

Well done you!  :trophy:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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