Weekly USDA lamb report

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.
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Bill Fosher
Chief Shepherd
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Westmoreland, NH

Re: Weekly USDA lamb report

Postby Bill Fosher » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:05 pm

Interesting talk about market ready, and I agree that market readiness is as important as weight. Depending on the genetics, a sheep may be market ready at 80 pounds or 180. There was a picture of a reserve champion senior lamb -- appeared to be a Columbia but I'm not sure -- circulating on Facebook last week. The thing must have weighed 300 or close to it, and to my eye it was still not market ready. It had a nice cover of fat on the back, but the leg and loin muscles were not really filled out. Of course, it could have just been the photo I was looking at, or the way the sheep was clipped for the show, or the trucking could have melted some of his muscling or who knows what. But it got me wondering what weight would that sheep have to attain to be market ready, and who would want a 160, 175, or 200 pound carcass?
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH

Old Hand
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:30 am

Re: Weekly USDA lamb report

Postby BIGIRON59 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:37 pm

Those types of rams and what others have weighed in on the Sedalia Thread. And those type's of rams do end up out west making lambs that must be fed to high end weights. My neighbor feeds only "westerns". I would venture that his finished weights are getting higher every year. Some of his feeders com in at 100 and very big framed and thin. They are fed for 90 to 150 days..

I weighed the rest of my April Purchased feeders. I was pleasantly surprised that they gained as well as they did for the mud and rain.. The rest of that gruop will go out at an average of 143. The biggest were in the 155 range. Their were none in that gruop over 118 25 days ago. These sheep have performance and could be fed about 30 more days. I am just barely with enough cover. That is part of the problem, with large framed sheep. I think they could be productive, but they need to be fed hard from birth to get them market ready, with out excess weight. I know that my more moderate framed sheep will put just as much meat on the table and do it in a more user friendly package. And when these lambs are run out on grass for months, then brought to feed yard, they still need 75 to 90 pounds to get enough condition on them . They will never "finish" on grass.
Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

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