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Author Topic: How much should I pay for Lambs  (Read 15848 times)

RichardC

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Mark Somerset
  • Pear Tree Farm
How much should I pay for Lambs
« on: March 09, 2008, 07:38:11 am »
I want to start keeping sheep. I've got about 2 acres of Somerset that, until now, I've keep short by topping it every couple of weeks in the summer. I'm not really concerned with it being a commercial success, in fact the sheep are much more likely to become long term pets as my wife has this thing about not being able to eat anything that she's named.

My problem is that all of the local farmers that I spoken to about buying sheep speak a different language to me when describing prices and livestock. No matter how much I tell them that I haven't a clue what their talking about, they continue to describe animals as "double lifers" and tell me how much per Kilogram they'll cost. I've even taken to reading the local market reports but they may as well be in Dutch.

Should I be paying lots (£50?) little (£10) or can you get "Friday afternoon" sheep that don't work very well but just need a good home?

I'd really appreciate some help or a translator.
Thanks
Voss Electric Fence

sallyw

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 08:18:19 pm »
I have been quoted £40 for Ryeland lambs, not sure if that helps.
I am as new to this as you are.

Sal

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 08:36:22 pm »
Depends what you want them for - pedigrees will cost more than non-pedigree, ewews more tha, wethers, but if it's just grass cutters you want, you will pay less. Do you want to rear baby lambs then keep them or do you want to buy older lambs? At this time of year, you'll be able to get orphan lambs for next to nothing, but you'll have the work of bottle feeding and the risks of loss are higher.

I paid £100 a head for pedigree Ryeland ewe lambs back in September.

Rosey

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Lincolnshire UK
    • UKNaturepics.com
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 08:22:03 am »
Hi Richard

Cost is only one factor to consider, If you are new to sheep keeping like me. Things to think about are how easy are they to handle, if you wish to breed them, disease resistance and how friendly a breed are. The shetlands are small but always seem a bit skittish.  I opted for Ryelands are they tend to stay put more, are very pretty, a little more footrot resistant, very friendly and easy to handle, mine are registered 2 year old ewes in lamb and cost £50 at Christmas.  Some went at the local market for £80 last week. Do you want ewes or wethers?  whethers are often cheaper for pets.

I got a book entitled "practical Sheep Keeping" for my birthday which is quite useful and I have spent a year helping my farmer friend through the season to learn about vaccination, lambing etc and for me most important was record keeping, because DEFRA are less than helpful when ringing for advice.


Personally my decision was made as I wanted a breed that was small, friendly and easy to handle easy to clip and clip hooves and a pretty breed which were from a regsitered breeder who I can call back if I need to.  The Ryelands are also very funny and mine have very strong personalities and mix well with the ponies.

Hope that helps.

RichardC

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Mark Somerset
  • Pear Tree Farm
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 08:32:10 am »
Thanks to everyone who's replied. As a new boy to sheep it's good to know that there's lots of advice out there. I've been invited to our local market by a long time sheeper who's going to give me an incite into the whole buying lamb thing and a running translation on what their talking about.
I'm planning to buy "Couples" (see I'm really into this now, I actually know what a couple is!!) and I plan to grow the lambs for either market or table toward the end of the summer and then I have to make a decision about either keeping the Ewes over the winter and breeding them for next Spring or selling them and having the winter off and doing the whole thing again next year. This decision will be entirely dependant on how I get on. I'll try to keep you posted.
Thanks again for all the help.

sallyw

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 07:31:15 pm »
Richard

It sounds like you and I are in the same place on this. Keep us up to date with your progress as I certainly shall love to hear how you get on and will learn a lot too. I am ordeing my ten Ryelands tonight.....fencing over the Easter hols  ;D

Sal

RichardC

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Mark Somerset
  • Pear Tree Farm
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2008, 07:34:42 am »
Sal,

I'll keep you informed. Good luck with the fencing, you can use the fence erection as an excuse for eating extra Easter Eggs, you'll need the eggstra energy. :D

I'm off to the market to start the next stage of my sheepy education!

Richard

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 11:29:53 am »
Hello Richard

Ram booked in cull rams for 2nd April market!! However probably a Saturday market would be best for seeing how it all works, and looking at the prices of ewes and lambs ..........how you fixed on Saturday morning? Anyone else who would like a jargon busting lesson at Sedgemoor livestock centre please ask!!! :)
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

RichardC

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Mark Somerset
  • Pear Tree Farm
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 11:36:41 am »
I'd love to. Shall I give you a call and we can arrange to meet there.

Richard

swavgav

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: How much should I pay for Lambs
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2008, 04:47:14 pm »
Hey, i got two ewe lambs from the farmer i lambed for he sold them to me for £20 each and i had to give them up eventually!

Gav

 

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