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Author Topic: Cull ewes  (Read 7053 times)

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Cull ewes
« on: June 16, 2015, 11:36:29 pm »
I was wondering, market reports allways give a price per head for cull ewes - Does this mean they are sold per head, and not per KG as with prime lamb? Ive only ever sent a dozen culls off and all direct to slaughter but want to try this years few in the ring - but from what I can make out, sold by the head its purely on looks and breed with little taken into account on weight (in which case no point keeping them on to gain condition) - Am I right?

verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 08:59:16 am »
What breed / type are you thinking of sending in ? . Have a look at the price trackers for cull ewes over on The farming Forum as its as up to date as it can be and will clear up these commercial type questions .

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 09:51:43 am »
Yes, cull ewes are sold by head.  The buyers do, of course, take into account the condition of the animals in the ring when bidding.  A fit (ready to slaughter) young ewe will fetch more than a broken-down old harridan of similar breeding with her ribs showing.  However, some thin ewes may fetch more than some fit ewes, as the buyers will know exactly which type of ewe can be fattened profitably ;)

(Some slaughter markets have 'red market' days, when all animals must go direct to slaughter.  However, at most primestock marts there is no such limitation and a significant proportion of the animals sold will in fact be taken somewhere to be fattened up some more - this goes for some lambs as well as thinner ewes and tups.)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

jward

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Stockton-on-Tees
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 03:56:19 pm »
My local mart (Darlington) is a red market day on the prime stock sale day.  I just assumed everything was sold by the kilo on that day, but looking at the reports the prices are given per head for cull ewes.

It'll depend on what sort you're sending in, but last weeks report here says, "Leaner ewes very much sought after, while fleshier types slightly easier."

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 08:34:28 pm »
now theirs a thought - its all confusing then - Thinking a mix of a couple of hebs, and a few (undecided) mules - all past their best but with good wieght on - if it was per kg I would keep on till sept when they've gained weight but if its per head, why bother, the grass is worth more as a grass wedge for winter.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 09:21:12 pm »
While cull ewes are not sold after weighing , the buyers know roughly what weight each ewe is based on breed , size and condition  and will know the price per kilo they will get   ,  each buyer will buy a different type to supply a  specific customer ,    and yes leaner type sheep can make good money for the ethnic market ( per kg but not in total price ) .     The market price quoted should be the average on the day but not always ,  and they only tell you the top prices which are enormous fat sheep , so only use as a rough guide .   After august when weaning happens numbers of cull ewes go up dramatically and prices then slip , normally the first  half of the year has the best prices

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 11:01:02 pm »
now theirs a thought - its all confusing then - Thinking a mix of a couple of hebs, and a few (undecided) mules - all past their best but with good wieght on - if it was per kg I would keep on till sept when they've gained weight but if its per head, why bother, the grass is worth more as a grass wedge for winter.

You talk as though you think 'per head' means every Mule fetches the same as every other Mule.

'per head' and 'per kilo' are just the units of the bidding.

Fat lambs are weighed and bidders bid per kilo.  So if there are 10 lambs in the ring, average weight 40kgs, and the bidder thinks they are worth 80 each, they'll bid up to 2/kg = 80/head.  The pen will therefore cost 10 x 40 x 2 = 800.

Cull ewes are not weighed and bidders bid per head.  So if there are 10 ewes in the ring, reasonably fit Texel ewes that probably weigh about 80kgs, and the bidder thinks they are worth about 80 each, they'll bid up to 80.  The pen will therefore cost 8 x 80 = 800.


Sheep come into the ring, buyers assess the sheep - type, conformation, weight, age, fitness - and bid accordingly. 

If your sheep are thin Mules they will fetch less per head than another pen of Mules that are fitter. 

Any pen of Texel ewes is likely to fetch more than any pen of Mules - there's more meat on a Texel, and they have better conformation so less butchering per kilo.

The same is true of Mule vs Texel lambs - the latter will fetch more per kilo, as there will be a higher 'killout percentage' with the Texels, and better quality meat that takes less butchering.  So, following that pen of 10 Texel lambs that fetched 2/kilo, you might see a pen of 10 Mule wether lambs that average 40kgs fetch 1.70/kilo = 10 x 40 x 1.7 = 680.

A pen of Heb ewes will fetch very little, I'm afraid.

If you do take Hebs and Mules together, make sure they go into the ring as two pens - one of all Mules and one of all Hebs.  You should always aim to have sheep that are very similar together in a pen; if they are a mixed bag, you usually get a price per head that reflects the worse in the batch, not the better.  Most buyers won't want Hebs at any price, so there will be less who will bid on a pen that contains Hebs.  So even if the Mules were good Mules, you may get very little for a mixed pen.

If your sheep are in good condition now, and cull ewe prices are high, and you have other uses for the grass, then I'd send them in now.  If they're thin and you have grass to spare, then it may be worth feeding them up a bit and sending them in when they're fitter. 

The other consideration is seasonality.  It's crystal ball time, but Ramadan often causes increased sheep prices, particularly if it falls before mid-July, when there is less lamb available.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 01:15:12 am »
obviously I understand that poor skinny mules wont attract any money! just in the past Ive sold direct and been paid by the K/G so wasnt sure. If its by the head, obivously I understand that a fat cull will still fetch more.

As for my Hebs not making any money in the pen?

Last week local market some heb hoggs were getting 1.85/k/g which is more than the mules but less than texels,

a couple of weeks back another set of hebs and some jacobs got into the 1.70's so it appears their is good demand, mostly from butchers it seemed, and the market has reccomended I feed my lambs in in batches of 4-5 to ensure they find a buyer, and dont end up mopped up by halal folk after cheap-lighterweights.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 09:12:29 am »
That's great to hear that Hebs were getting such a good price.  Which mart would that be?
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 09:27:53 am »
I've seen them grading pens round here, so a pen could go to mixed bidders.

moony

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 01:32:42 pm »
I wish we could get 1.85/kg for hebs at market around here. The few times any go through they make next to nothing. We are going to get rid of a few culls over the next couple of weeks for Ramadan. Would have sent a big batch today that are looking really fit but I made a balls up with my withdrawal periods. 

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2015, 03:17:24 pm »
It's always horses for courses.  Our neighbour used to buy cull ewes and graze them on the headlands between harvest and sowing, or after haymaking.  He was bed-and-breakfasting them for a halal butcher in Birmingham.  I'm glad he's not doing that any more - he checked them every day but I kept an eye on them too and the main problem was pneumonia in Autumn.  He always collected them and took them back to the barn within half-an-hour after I'd phoned but I could've done without it - there were a couple of hundred at a time!

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2015, 12:46:59 am »
Sally - This was otley market -
The general consensus is a Heb hogg at 35KG + is perfect for the ethnic trade, but also a fair few butchers like it as they can sell it at a premium - so pay normal rate, but sell the meat for 30% more in shop as its rare.......

They seem to like them 10-16 months and 35kg + but not more than 40.

My understanding was if you sell them any older they get treated as rubbish - as no one really, bar the ethnic trade, want anything older than hogget.

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2015, 12:51:28 am »
http://www.wharfedale-farmers.co.uk/Market%20reports/Monday%2012th%20January%202015%20Fatstock%20Sale%20Report.pdf

Thats one report and their is anotherone somewhere from back in the year, Also at york a while back Some heb culls were sold to 50 which is good given they tend to the lean! Its worth actually ringing your local mart to get what they think - they will tell you how best to do it - honestly speaking you will struggle if their is not buyers around on the day!

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Cull ewes
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 10:49:29 am »
We've still got ours, they're running with everyone else, they ll be pulled out of flock come shearing, they're on good grass, full of summer, I can't think of a better way to go To Mart.

 

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