NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Selling at market / in the ring  (Read 4856 times)

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Selling at market / in the ring
« on: December 18, 2014, 12:08:12 pm »
Hey all,

Has anyone any pointers at selling at market - I intend to sell heb x suffolk lambs next year, but most abattoirs dont want to know deadweight as they have enough pick of commercial types and don’t want to take a punt on something that they are not familiar with.

I know the lambs would look good in the ring, and was wondering if anyone has any experience of selling a rare breed x lamb at market - How they sold compared to others etc is key really. Some folk have said the thought of heb in the lamb would put some buyers off leading to a slack trade / bidding..... Others say if they look good the buyers will buy.

Also as a side Im still thinking on crossing ryeland x heb - would they sell? They would produce a good sized butchers lamb, but again, Im wary of the way folk may perceive them, especially if the next pen is a load of regular texel x mules that the buyers know and love.

Ta!
Voss Electric Fence

Badger Nadgers

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Derbyshire/North Staffs
  • Teeswater & Hebridean
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 12:22:35 pm »
You might sell them in February where there's a lull in supply between the old stock and the new stock so to speak, but I'd have thought direct sales would be be a better return on time.

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 12:24:37 pm »
Direct sales are not really a go-er for me as I will be producing 60-80 lambs - also as their not purebred the market is not huge - Previously sold mule x direct to the hook so its what I know and takes least time.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 12:37:00 pm »
Have you spoken to your local mart?  Their fieldsperson should be able to come out and assess your lambs and  recommend how to sell them, with their knowledge of local requirements.  Recommended by our local fieldsperson, we used to sell a lot of our Swaledale fat lambs into collections of light lambs for the export market.  We delivered the lambs to the collection centre and got paid on a deadweight basis.  They usually wanted batches of around 20, but sometimes would take 10s. 

And if the fieldsperson has graded them, they'd do better in the ring too.  If s/he is impressed with them, they should make sure the buyers know that, and if not, or as well, you can always have it given out by the auctioneer whatever the fieldsperson said.
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

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 01:35:32 pm »
cheers for that - ive rung my local mart and they seem to think sticking in a lot of 10 to see - They dont see many rare breed and rare x's and when they do it can go either way -

Apparently its not for lack of confidence in the grades and quality - Was told a suff x heb should sell well as it will conform well (I know from experience they are U3l and r3l mostly - but the worry buyers have is killing out percentage - rarebreeds can bring it down into the mid 40's which they dont like... they prefer 50%+ so hmmm

Really want someone whos done it to see how it went - will put 10 in next year to see anyway though "!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 01:43:49 pm »
Do they look like Suffolks, or do they look like natives?  Sadly, that will affect their price in the ring, whatever their conformation.
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

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 02:12:25 pm »
I've never tried selling anything in a ring before, but hope to in the future! I think that there are certain regulations to follow whilst showing them.
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 03:02:52 pm »


Also as a side Im still thinking on crossing ryeland x heb - would they sell? They would produce a good sized butchers lamb, but again, Im wary of the way folk may perceive them, especially if the next pen is a load of regular texel x mules that the buyers know and love.

Ta!

I would stick to Suffolk if you want to sell live, my ryeland cross shetland lambs never came to much, they didnt grow well and didnt look good either, sold some in February the one year and they graded O3l, the charollais cross shetland were in a different league, I would stick to suffolk if you want to sell them :)

Selling in a ring isnt too hard, work out your costs and put the reserve to how much you want to make per lamb above your costs, if they dont reach the reserve then you can always choose to bring home or let them go at a lower price

If you want a higher KO% then use a continental breed such as beltex, texel, charmoise or charollais which also would make the lambs very popular  :thumbsup:

Goodluck!

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 03:18:49 pm »
As said, work out your costs, and what they need to go for in order for you to make your profit, and remember to factor in how much the Mart robs from your pay cheque. Then stick a reserve on them, don't get caught up and let them go for peanuts, you will regret it.

If they look like suffolks, and not hebs then to be honest, i'd just label them as suffolk x and wouldn't mention what it's crossed with.

R.E Ryland x hebs, I couldn't bother. Lets be honest, if you are going to be breeding sheep to sell live weight in the mart, then it's got naff all to do with what you want to produce, its about what folk want to buy. You have to know your market and produce the right saleable lambs.

Out of interest, why hebs as a maternal choice?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 03:32:50 pm »
Someone we know took a batch of Heb crosses which were black and another which were white - if some of the Hebs are black dominant (about 20% in the national flock) then the crosses will be black, but most Heb crosses are white.  They found that the otherwise identical lambs sold according to colour.  The whites fetched a higher price.  I agree that you should just call them Suffolk crosses (not that I've sold in the meat sales)
www.scothebs.co.uk

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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 04:05:55 pm »
It is expected that the breed will be given by the breed of the tup, so if it's Heb mums and a Suffolk tup, then it is completely in order to call them Suffolk X.  (But not the other way about.)

Our marts don't ask us what breeds they are, they just put up what the lambs look like - and they're usually right. 
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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2014, 04:36:07 pm »
I sell my Southdown X Badger Face as Southdown X stores and the prices are similar to Suffolk X and Charollais X.  I make sure they're similar size, trim their feet, crutch if necessary and make sure they go into market dry, but then I do that for everything.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2014, 05:21:37 pm »
Around here price is always the same in order

Best prices are white lambs with no wooly heads or legs (beltex, texel etc)

then black faced lambs with no wooly heads and legs (suffolk)

then white lambs with black or white faces and  heads and legs (southdown, hampshire down)

then black or coloured lambs

The wooly heads and legs really put buyers off in my local markets, lambs need to be clean and tidy wool wise with a white face and good width to it

I have ten lambs that I will sell as stores after christmas, they are out of shetland ewes and sired by a charollais cross hampshire down, they are scraggy things that decided not to grow and to top it off most have wooly heads and faces  >:( so they will be going with no reserve as I just need rid of them

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2014, 06:19:19 pm »
Thanks people - this has been so verry very helpful;

The reason for using heb as the ewe is a) they eat bugger all........ I can carry 30% more head per acre with them.... or put another way - same headage rate but less brought in feed, and less risk of me running out of grass so I am at a lower risk of having to spend lots of money. Oh and I like them :)

The suffolk x's ive seen always look like a slightly smaller (think 38-40kg not 45kg) suffolk lamb..... only ever seen one black suffolk - Ive I get any black ones they can go to the freezer or may even try them as breeding girls.

The mart said they'd go in as Suffolk X' so thats a goiod thing.

I think I will try it.... see how it goes.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling at market / in the ring
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2014, 11:19:01 pm »
You might be very pleasantly surprised - the market likes lighter lambs these days, so if you have Suffolk types that finish under the magic 42kgs, you just might do really well.  :fc:

Do report back, please, on how you do! 
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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