Effects of shipping on carcass weights

A place to discuss where and how to market our products. Users can share experiences with value-added enterprises, ask for information on costs, and find out who's paying what for what kind of lambs.
NOTE: If you have a service or product to advertise, please see the Marketplace section below.
Justin-PA

Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Justin-PA » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:08 am

Probably seems like a silly question, but I am trying to put a sharp pencil to my lamb sales and want to better understand the effects of shrink that a lamb usually undergoes on its actual carcass weight.

For example, if I had a 100 lb lamb...

1) If I were to slaughter a lamb right on the farm (no shrink due to shipping) and lets assume it dressed at 50 lbs hot hanging weight.

0r

2) Instead shipped that lamb 300 miles and its weight shrunk 10% to 90 lbs. And if we then slaughter it, will the carcass also be 10% less? ie would it dress at 50% of LW and be 45 lbs? Or would the carcass still be 50 lbs, or something in between?

If anyone has any thoughts on this I'd appreciate it. I'm trying to compare selling lambs to a packer on a hanging weight basis vs selling them to an auction on live-weight basis.

Justin

cjhiemke
Old Hand
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:03 am
Location: Town of Pleasant Springs, WI

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby cjhiemke » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:41 am

Hi Justin,

Assuming your 100lb lamb wasn't dehydrated and it would dress a 50lb carcass on your farm, upon arrival after a 300lb haul it should still hang 50lbs.

Unless the lamb was REALLY full, you wouldn't see a 10% shrink; a 3-4% shrink would be more appropriate. Assuming that 3-4% shrink, your lamb should arrive after it's haul at 96.5 lb liveweight (100 -(100*3.5%)). This would result in a 51.8% dress (50/96.5) assuming 50% was your on-the-farm standard.

All that said, there will be a lot of caveats to dressing percentage that can vary between processors. I would recommend asking the packer what their standard lamb dressing percentage is after lambs are on an overnight stand. Using that information you can compare the two prices with the following equations:

packer value per lamb = live weight(*) * packer dressing percentage * hot carcass $/lb
or
auction value per lamb = live weight * "x" shrink * live weight $/lb
(*)assume an overnight stand, which would generally be live weight * appx 4% shrink
Cody Hiemke
Town of Pleasant Springs, WI
www.facebook.com/MapletonMyndShropshires

Justin-PA

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Justin-PA » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:14 am

Cody,

When I ship to New Holland (313 miles) I typically see 10% shrink. Lambs arrive Sunday night and stand with little feed and water, sometimes in very crowded pens, for at least 24 hours before sale. Lambs off of grass only can be even worse.

I am now working with a packer who is 97 miles away, all freeway so pretty easy drive for me. His hot hanging weight is with head on and internal organs (heart/liver/etc.) He has not committed to a typical dressing % other than "better than 50%". I think he gets a wide range of lambs in so dressing % is variable.

Thanks much for the information and equations. The other thing I am factoring in is shipping costs and commission, which in both cases are less/zero for the packer.

cjhiemke
Old Hand
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:03 am
Location: Town of Pleasant Springs, WI

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby cjhiemke » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:12 am

Yowsa. That high of a shrink surprises me, but that's also a long stand prior to sale. Do you think the lambs partake in the little bit of feed and water that's available?
Cody Hiemke
Town of Pleasant Springs, WI
www.facebook.com/MapletonMyndShropshires

Darroll Grant
Old Hand
Posts: 3074
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:58 am
Location: western Oregon
Contact:

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Darroll Grant » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:15 pm

A dozen years back I was involved in shipping 20 lambs from Oregon to a Ca. plant for some data collection. The lambs (right off grass) were hauled 40 miles to the loading point, individually weighed, held over night on hay and water and loaded for the 10 hour drive to the plant. They had access to water for the next day harvest. The average dressing percent was 54% with none lower than 52 based on a hot carcass weight head off and the only internal organ were the kidneys. The lambs averaged about 120 live in Oregon. One lamb dressed 59%. Payment was based on double the dressed weight. No pelt deducts.

Buyers at auctions or in the country take into consideration the amount of fill. They rarely error in favor of the producer and they also pencil in death loss, condemnation and trim loss due to bruising when buying. Payment for what hangs on the rail eliminates guesses plus the quality is evident. Superior quality may result in a higher price. If your sheep are average or better you normally net more from selling on the rail. You get paid for what you produced not what the buyer thinks is under the fuzzy skin.
Darroll Grant
western Oregon

Justin-PA

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Justin-PA » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:47 am

cjhiemke wrote:Yowsa. That high of a shrink surprises me, but that's also a long stand prior to sale. Do you think the lambs partake in the little bit of feed and water that's available?


Cody,
When I take a load of lambs myself, they get some hay and water when I drop them off. But most pens at NH don't have water and by Sunday night hay feeders are pretty short on hay. On a busy week all bets are off. Pens are too crowded for most to eat.

It's a world of difference if you take lambs on a slow week.

Justin-PA

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Justin-PA » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:49 am

Darroll Grant wrote:A dozen years back I was involved in shipping 20 lambs from Oregon to a Ca. plant for some data collection. The lambs (right off grass) were hauled 40 miles to the loading point, individually weighed, held over night on hay and water and loaded for the 10 hour drive to the plant. They had access to water for the next day harvest. The average dressing percent was 54% with none lower than 52 based on a hot carcass weight head off and the only internal organ were the kidneys. The lambs averaged about 120 live in Oregon. One lamb dressed 59%.


Darroll...what was the breed of these lambs?

Darroll Grant
Old Hand
Posts: 3074
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:58 am
Location: western Oregon
Contact:

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Darroll Grant » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:43 am

As an old hand Justin, I thought that you would have guessed--Dorper.
Darroll Grant

western Oregon

Darroll Grant
Old Hand
Posts: 3074
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:58 am
Location: western Oregon
Contact:

Re: Effects of shipping on carcass weights

Postby Darroll Grant » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:49 am

I wonder how much west Texas lambs shrink by the time they get to NH? The breeders have been happy with the prices (happy in comparison to local auction prices). Most of those lambs are never hayed on the ranch so a full hay bunk would be new.
Darroll Grant

western Oregon


Return to “Markets and marketing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests