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Author Topic: Lambs to market  (Read 6146 times)

Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
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Lambs to market
« on: July 01, 2012, 11:49:12 am »
Ive recently sold 6 lambs straight off their mum at market. They are LLeyn Tupped by a Hampshire,
at 15 weeks old they weighed an average of 40kg. and looked to me really well. One of the buyers remarked that although they where at weight they where "Lean" and didnt fetch the price i was expecting. Strangly enough this morning ive just sold some LLanwenog Ewes and a pure Llanwenog Tup the purchaser remarked that the Tup although in lovely condition was Lean.
My lambs are purely grass fed and recieve no cake im wondering now how to get a covering of fat ?  Any ideas ??

tizaala

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Dolau, Llandrindod Wells,Powys
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 12:21:24 pm »
Just grass fed should be lovely lamb, as long as they make the 40 kg dont bother , the average housewife wants lean meat, you could try some surestock finisher bu dont waste your money.

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
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Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 12:33:02 pm »
a lot of people are finding it tough getting lambs fat this year with wet grass and cold winds... so things may well be better for you next year
Ian

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 12:51:15 pm »
that will be buyers for you  to fat lower price  to lean lower price   the suppermarkets dictate this magical 40-44 kilo liveweight there is nothing wrong with a heavier carcase other than it wont fit on the trays the suppermarkets have as standard issue      some butchers that buy at market will prefer a heavier carcase
that is a good weight for cross lambs just on grass :farmer:

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 01:17:22 pm »
Get someone to show you how to grade your lambs.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 01:25:50 pm »
Technically, 'lean' means without a covering of fat, yes.  But the buyers may have meant that the lambs were healthy enough but hadn't enough meat covering their skeleton, and that's a different thing. 

If you can get yourself to a show where Eblex have a stand, go and have a play with their models and get their staff to take you through how to grade your lambs.

A given lamb will have an optimum conformation it can attain, as a result of its breeding.  Whether or not that lamb attains that optimum conformation depends on nurture.  Grass only will mean it may never make as much muscle as it could, and that could make 50p/kilo deadweight difference, or around £10 on a 40kg liveweight lamb.  Keeping it longer on grass may improve it - but then it may become oversize.   The best prices per kilo are always for 38-40kgs, and at over 45kgs liveweight you may get less per head for a larger lamb than a smaller, bizarre as it seems.  Feeding concentrate will usually put muscle on a well-bred lamb, but too much cake, and/or cake for too long and the animal lays down fat.  Too much fat will be penalised harder than not enough muscle.

If you are happy enough with the prices you are getting for them at 40kgs off grass, I'd keep on doing that.  :)
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

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 02:30:58 pm »
Chasing the 'magical' R3L or whatever may well end up costing you more in concentrates or whatever. Look at your margins as opposed to chasing the highest price at market is my advice.

Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
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Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 04:56:31 pm »
I think youre missing the point somewhat Steve........no-one is chasing a magical anything.....its producing a quality lamb that is important....when they look well    and look well covered   to have it remarked that they be somewhat lean is a bit baffling   the top market price isn't important.....a good lamb is :eyelashes:

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 05:01:44 pm »
What I mean is - a finished, grass fed lamb is good quality and is likely to have cost you a darn sight less to produce than some of the fatter lambs in your mart.


I readily accept that the kind of lambs I produce never make top money and are a bit lean for some, but I'm happy with my margin.


So, I guess what I'm saying is 'too lean for who'? Because its probably working out well for you, it sounds.


Basically I'm echoing the sentiment of the last line of Sallys post.

Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
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Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2012, 05:41:22 pm »
 :thumbsup:     we are happy with the lambs    and the price  we  were just a bit baffled at the comment from the buyer......tho would also add that this particular market is very difficult   i was chatting to several folk there with larger pens to sell who all caked their lambs   so would say am more than happy with what we've achieved    :thumbsup:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2012, 06:05:19 pm »
PF, we get the top grades and prices for a significant proportion of our commercial lambs.  There's years and years of careful breeding, many many tonnes of cake, and a whole host of other costs and work go into achieving that.

If you can get grass-reared lambs sold for a good price at a regular livestock auction, you are doing a great job  :thumbsup:  But your lambs would not compare to those of a producer like ourselves - and neither would your costs.

My advice remains to be happy with what you are doing.  If you want to start getting accolades from your local farming fraternity, then I hope you have a couple of decades available (if not a couple of generations!) to work on it. ;)
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

Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
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    • Pasture Poultry
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Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 07:47:51 pm »
Thank you so very much for the considered responses.....we  were flummoxed by the comment  tho are happy with what we got and what we are doing....there is much to be said  for the buyer and the day...tho same buyer has always bought our lambs   and there were lots there.....suffice to say we'll be happy to carry on as we are   and hope to improve as we tread this route....for our own satisfaction :thumbsup:
 

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2012, 07:57:44 pm »
It possibly helps me that I couldn't give a monkeys about pleasing either other farmers or the buyers. I know that my feed bill is practically zero and my cost of production is nearly 60 quid (INCLUDING my time at £10/hour) so anything I get above that is a bonus.


And besides, wool shedders are like the marmite of the sheep world anyway so I'm used to people not liking what I do.....

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 10:21:33 pm »
I asked my OH about this as he is the one who goes to market. He says our lambs are usually 35kg.  We get a good price for them especially as they don't get any concentrates. Other farmers have asked him cynically if he is happy with the price he gets, but soon change their tune when they here about the low costs of rearing. In Wales the buyers like small well meated lamb.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Lambs to market
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 10:51:51 pm »
pasture farm i for one are over the moon you have got good quality lean lambs from a Hampshire tup. As a society we have been working for years to change the attitude that Hampshires produce over fat lambs.
They do run to fat as any breed will if fed over amounts of concentrate and i always think a small marbling of fat through the meat gives a lot of flavour .
Our hamps go to market at 40-45kg and we have noticed recently the buyers are liking the slightly heavier lambs,over 45 kg, this is different from last year when they favoured a lower weight lamb if only slightly under.
we don't have a problem selling though we've used the same market for years
Well done you for getting a good price

 

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