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sheep and goat market

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willow bottom

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Recently MS. State extentsion service held a small ruminant workshop and had a huge turnout. It seems producers across the south are interested in the hair sheep and goat market. What about in your area? I've personally thought about getting slowly into the hair sheep myself. I Just like the idea of diversifying with sheep and cattle.
 

Rafter S

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I was at the auction barn last weekend and saw a sign that they now start selling goats and sheep (I think it's mostly goats) 1-1/2 hour before the cattle. I'm pretty sure it used to be just one hour before, so I guess they're getting quite a few.
 

Bestoutwest

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You should see the line of vehicles dropping off at the sale barn here. They have sheep, goats, and pigs on (I believe) every other Saturday. I don't go, it's just chaos top-to-bottom. A lot of foreign nationals and their kids attend and buy a lot, A LOT, of goats.
 

callmefence

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Lots of big cattlemen going to hair sheep. I know of several with acreage in the 5 digits stretching netwire over their old barbwire fences.
Sheep and goats is still a honest market.
Operating outside the control of the big meat industry. So it remains profitable.
 

J&D Cattle

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It seems they are growing in popularity here in MO as well. My wife and son bought a few hair sheep last year. They sold a couple ram lambs the other day that weighed 55lbs and they averaged $2.57/lb.
 

ddd75

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i had 160-180 ewes before.. they were profitable. need managed right or they'll eat the pastures to nothing. need fed properly or they will waste everything. I fed the sheep first then the cows cleaned it up after they were done. i'm building a 60 ewe barn this year and getting back into them.
 

A.J.

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Lots of goats and sheep around here. I would go visit some folks that have some to see what infrastructure and health management you'd need for your area. You'll need a solid fence to keep them in and pasture to rotate them around to if you get very many to help reduce parasite issues.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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We diversified with Boers just over a decade ago. We focused on purebred, show quality breeding stock and stayed away from the show wether trends. We track performance, including ultra sound scanning of carcass traits, and have developed our own EPD system for them. They have proven to be highly profitable for us. Most of the bucklings and doelings are sold by 3 months old. We hold over a group of the select best born each year, and show them on a national level. Then, as yearlings, we will offer them for sale private treaty (of course, a few head are kept for replacements in our herd as well). The wethers are sold on contract for slaughter at about 3 months old (90 pounds give or take). At this point, most of them have only been weaned a couple of weeks. We figure about one 50 pound bag of grain into each wether before slaughter. We do pick out a few of the very best wethers to market for show prospects, and they will compete at regional and state fairs throughout the midwest. As with any stock, I think finding ones that work for your market, environement and management style is the key to making money on them.
 

sim.-ang.king

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Just remember, that when everyone is jumping on, it usealy means it's time to jump off.
Don't over pay for something just because it's what everyone else is doing.
 

mwj

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The market for sheep and goat meat in this country is very large. The ethnic population is large and growing every day. There are a lot of people that would consume goat and sheep every day if it was available. The big drawback is most are concentrated on the coast. NewHolland Pa. has a very large weekly sale, and have people that bring them long distances to sell. The market is far from being saturated.
 

Workinonit Farm

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Where I am, a few of the livestock markets/sale barns have been selling goats for quite a few years now. I'd have to say that in the last 15 to 20 years, the goat market has increased quite a bit! Goats have been bringing pretty good money, at the markets. Even the mini/dwarf goats have been bringing up to $150 or so, at the sale. Boer's bring even more.
 

ddd75

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sim.-ang.king":38no5a7s said:
Just remember, that when everyone is jumping on, it usealy means it's time to jump off.
Don't over pay for something just because it's what everyone else is doing.
they've been bringing good money since around 2012. Everyone was buying them like crazy.


I think why no one really gets into them is that its very hard. They waste a lot of hay, they die easily, they are sometimes bad mothers, etc..etc.. It takes a LOT of effort or a lot of LUCK to get a good herd. Fencing is a huge issue. Lots of things needed with them that most people wouldn't expect.

they also demand VERY high quality hay. Thats the main reason I'm getting back into them. I'm feeding dairy hay to beef cattle and feel i'm wasting the quality. I can buy cheaper hay to feed out to the cows and supplement them with ddg/corn and put my good hay into the sheep.. They grow like crazy on that good hay and won't have problems like if you fed them a high grain diet.

Thats another thing that really affects profitability. They won't grow very well unless you're feeding them well.
 

pricefarm

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Like others have said they are a lot harder work with them than cattle. I use to have 250 ewes. During lambing time it was 24/7. With a full time job and other things going on I just couldn't keep up. I did make more with sheep than cattle but if you count your labor then maybe I didn't. The thing is around here there is no source for a large number of quality ewes to buy. When I decided to sell out I had my whole flock sold with in two days. I think about getting back into hair sheep but really wanted have any idea where to buy good ewes everyone around here has about stopped raising them.
 

Ebenezer

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We pasture lamb, don't worm, and have selected for easy sheep to own. A lot of "sheep horrors" are man made. Do your homework on breeds and decide how hard you want to work. Our sheep are not much different than cow management. Predators are a bigger part of sheep than cows but can be handled.
 

ddd75

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Ebenezer":hdzur3k3 said:
We pasture lamb, don't worm, and have selected for easy sheep to own. A lot of "sheep horrors" are man made. Do your homework on breeds and decide how hard you want to work. Our sheep are not much different than cow management. Predators are a bigger part of sheep than cows but can be handled.


I did this as well, but its very hard to find good sheep to be able to do it. How many are you running? I'd be interested in 50 good katahdin ewes.
 

Ebenezer

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ddd75":18s8knjr said:
Ebenezer":18s8knjr said:
We pasture lamb, don't worm, and have selected for easy sheep to own. A lot of "sheep horrors" are man made. Do your homework on breeds and decide how hard you want to work. Our sheep are not much different than cow management. Predators are a bigger part of sheep than cows but can be handled.


I did this as well, but its very hard to find good sheep to be able to do it. How many are you running? I'd be interested in 50 good katahdin ewes.
We have St. Croix Hair sheep and run between 60 to 100 ewes. Will increase in the next few years. I sell a good many rams into commercial Kat flocks to try to make them what thy used to be or have been said to be. It takes buying decent sheep, records, culling and selecting. Same with decent cattle.
 

skyhightree1

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willow bottom":2g0gf7t5 said:
Recently MS. State extentsion service held a small ruminant workshop and had a huge turnout. It seems producers across the south are interested in the hair sheep and goat market. What about in your area? I've personally thought about getting slowly into the hair sheep myself. I Just like the idea of diversifying with sheep and cattle.

I sell a pretty good amount of both here locally. I allow folks to come pick out which one they want and they can take it home or slaughter on site many slaughter there and since many live in neighborhoods they all come there to buy and kill. I make way more off of that than I do cattle. The issues I have is trimming hooves and worms. I do not keep them year round but buy large quantities and sell everything by the winter. I have a good market for it here so its worth the extra work for me. I definitely come out ahead including the work going along with it.
 

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