How much to pay for 4-H lambs? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 03/27/10, 09:45 AM
 
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How much to pay for 4-H lambs?

What is a reasonable price to pay for market lambs for 4-H? We think the prices we're seeing are a little high, but I'd like some input from sheep people. It's our first year doing 4-H & I'd hate to back out on my dd. Thanks for your help!

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Old 03/27/10, 09:49 AM
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The show sheep folks that I work for part-time sell those cute little lambs for lots of money.... Up to $5,000!!! Of course they win big time and that is why they cost so much. Sure makes it tough for homesteading folks to compete.

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  #3  
Old 03/27/10, 09:56 AM
 
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I know what you're saying! We just want to give our dd some experience working with animals & the chance to maybe earn a little when it's all done. We don't need to win, we just want to learn.

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Old 03/27/10, 10:05 AM
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Then pay what you can afford and explain to the seller your goal. Perhaps your dd will get a pretty decent lamb for a reasonable price.... hoping to get you hooked!

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  #5  
Old 03/27/10, 11:46 AM
 
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4H has become a pet peeve of mine. Parents spend an astromonical fee for a 4h critter, sometimes even stays with the breeder most of the time and the breeder does the training for show. At the sale they bring an unrealistic price, sometimes red ribbon will sell for more than the grand champion, if daddy is a big shot in the community and spends lots. What good lessons are being taught? If you want a reasonaBLE price do not go to someone selling 4h lambs, find a local shephard and explain what you want ask him to pick out a lamb that would work and pay him a premium (not a ransom) over market price. Then make your kid responsible for feeding, watering and grooming, teaching to lead. Good luck.

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  #6  
Old 03/27/10, 02:15 PM
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I'm selling my lambs - bottle lambs for $60-75. I think the fun went out of 4H about the same time as the prices hit the roof. It isn't a family farm thing any more. Am I aging myself?

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  #7  
Old 03/27/10, 03:19 PM
 
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I used to raise club lambs until the market bottomed out and no one had money for a project lamb anymore. I would sell mine anywhere from $300-$75 depending on their quality.

Having raised show lambs for a number of years I can tell you a few things. If you want to make money get the cheapest lamb you can that is structurally correct, however 60% of your lambs sell price at a fair is add-ons, donations from family and businesses added on to what you get at the auction. So how much money you make is up to your dd not necessarily where you place. Second I would get your kid a bottle baby lamb(a weaned one not one that's still on the bottle) they are so much easier to work with for a beginner will give your kid a positive experience, but can be harder to let go of at auction time because they are so sweet. A last piece of advice if you have a slope on your property build your lamb pen there and put the shade at one end and their food and water in another its the easiest way to build nice muscular lamb butts.

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  #8  
Old 03/27/10, 03:26 PM
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We paid around $40.00 for our lambs.

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  #9  
Old 03/27/10, 03:48 PM
 
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Thanks! I thought that $50-$75 seemed reasonable. All we've seen advertised is $125-$200. The nearest shepherd is never at the farm where the sheep are.

I don't have a slope to build my pen on, but dd is planning to walk the lambs around the property twice a day.

Unfortunately, since we've gotten ourselves into 4-H I have been hearing alot about the negatives and parents investing way too much & the kids not really doing the work. Kristen is pretty dedicated to working with her animals, we just need to find some that we can afford.

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  #10  
Old 03/27/10, 05:01 PM
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I don't sell club lambs, but I do sell feeder lambs at $85.00 each. In my area of Maine, $75-$85 is typical for a 3 month old lamb. So with that in mind, $150-200 for a nice club lamb does not seem out of line to me. That is assuming it is a nice club lamb and not just a run of the mill lamb....

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  #11  
Old 03/27/10, 07:58 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Medina,Oh
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I sell club lambs in northern oh. There 140.00 each first come first serve. Livestock market has been paying real well here for a while. Selling for any less after weaning I'd be losing money. PM me if your interested.

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  #12  
Old 03/28/10, 01:31 PM
Ira, Pinion Coyote Farm
 
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I sell my club lambs here in New Mexico for $100-175 depending on quality and Parents attitude!! (That is NOT a joke, bigger pains in the *ss, higher the price!). I also get a few youngsters that mom and dad are not really in the financial stage for initial pay out, but have just enough to finance the project. I take these on case by case basis and let the young ones take them on consignment, with written agreement. With the exception of one time, this worked out well and got me repeat business. I LOVE watching these kids learn and become hooked on livestock. They usually end up being the kids that are most responsible, and less trouble as far as teenagers go!! LOL Don't be afraid to call around, send emails, and NETWORK!!! A lot of the parents found me at our state fair BREEDING show, and came to the farm in the spring. Most have become friends and HELPERS when I need it (shearing, lambing, vacation, etc). These are the folks I will bend over backwards to help and love to see at the end of my driveway. One young lady will be helping show our breeding stock this year and is financing a ewe lamb, if we have one of show quality, to expand on her growing sheep project, as she will be moving into FFA this year.
Don't let those "stage parents" get to you. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE, IN EVERY CLASS OF LIVESTOCK!! They were there when I was in 4-H in the 80's and ALWAYS will be. You just have to learn to live with them as they WON'T GO AWAY!! These are the same parents I jack up the price on as well!! Just watch yourself and don't get sucked into their mindset, as can become the case easily! They are like a VIRUS!! I just do what I can to keep away from them!! GOOD LUCK AND WISHING YOU MANY YEARS OF ENJOYMENT!!

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  #13  
Old 03/28/10, 03:20 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: central Ohio
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Thank you all again. I guess I've had my terminology wrong & what I'm looking for is feeder lambs & not club lambs. I'm trying to network, but so far all I'm getting is a lot of "ya, I know people" or "I know people that used to . . . " and not a lot of actual people with sheep! It's nice to know that the prices we're seeing are pretty reasonable for good club lambs.

Ira, I wish we were closer. I have one of those daughters that would love to help out!

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  #14  
Old 03/28/10, 06:05 PM
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I get $125-150 for mine.
That's what they would be worth as meat lambs, and it doesn't cost me any more to let the grow since they only get pasture

Most of the lambs I sell could be registered, so they are potentially worth $250 if someone wants a registered breeder

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  #15  
Old 03/29/10, 09:20 AM
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If you are looking for "meat" lambs in 4H- then you ARE looking for club lambs. In our area, if it isn't a Suffolk or Hampshire cross, it automatically goes to the end of the line. There IS a difference in how they are judged.

If you are just looking for the experience of raising lambs for 4H (which I support), don't expect the lamb to place super high or make the sale. Emphasize the showmanship/handling part of it and education/knowledge that your child will gain from raising an animal. I agree with Shoupie- find someone with a former bottle baby- they are much easier to work with. As for the slope idea- if you don't have one, create one with concrete blocks and a raised feeder. The idea is to get them to stretch to reach things and develop the rear muscles.

DD bought club lambs her first 2 years in 4H, and did fine with them. But she has raised her own lambs now- they are Targhee crosses. They don't place well at fair or sell at the 4H auction, but every one of them is sold to a buyer after fair. She makes more $/lb on those than she did with the club lambs.

valcwby01- I totally agree with you! DD got very tired of dealing with the stage parents and their progeny. That's one reason she switched to raising her own- and now enters mainly wool breeds. She proved her point that HER lambs sell more readily and buyers come to HER- so it's a business, not a project...

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  #16  
Old 03/29/10, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce2288 View Post
4H has become a pet peeve of mine. Parents spend an astromonical fee for a 4h critter, sometimes even stays with the breeder most of the time and the breeder does the training for show. At the sale they bring an unrealistic price, sometimes red ribbon will sell for more than the grand champion, if daddy is a big shot in the community and spends lots. What good lessons are being taught? If you want a reasonaBLE price do not go to someone selling 4h lambs, find a local shephard and explain what you want ask him to pick out a lamb that would work and pay him a premium (not a ransom) over market price. Then make your kid responsible for feeding, watering and grooming, teaching to lead. Good luck.
I'm with you there Bruce! In my county, all species of animal showing has gotten out of hand. It doesn't matter if your kid wants to show sheep, goats, or cattle; parents have gotten it out of control. The steer jockeys have came in and are keeping the animals in a walk-in cooler for the kids and doing all the growing and grooming. The kid shows up at the show and says, "which one's mine?"..........Kinda makes it difficult for my kids to compete when I tell them, "if you want to show and animal YOU do the work!" I tell them quite often, "FFA doesn't stand for Fathers Feeding Animals!"
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  #17  
Old 03/29/10, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francismilker View Post
.... I tell them quite often, "FFA doesn't stand for Fathers Feeding Animals!"
That is funny!

Actually after dh & spent the weekend looking over her 4-H book, we're starting to think that this isn't the project for us. I think our money would be better invested in an animal that we'll keep year round. She'll learn just as much helping me with a milk cow & raising the calf each year. Right now we're looking at an awfully big investment in the next month just to get the sheep and feed and basic supplies that we would need.

I appreciate everyone's time and advice.
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  #18  
Old 03/29/10, 02:42 PM
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If we didn't already raise livestock, we couldn't afford for the kids to participate. I've always tried to have the kids show something that was born and raised on the place. We don't always win the blue ribbon, but the kids enjoy their project. They've also been raised eating their project when completed so there's no culture shock when we tell them Sir-Loin is for supper tonight. Although I realize not all kids are raised on a place where they have access to critters, I'm not sure how parents are affording paying thousands for a project plus the costs of having it raised elsewhere by professionals.

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  #19  
Old 03/29/10, 04:51 PM
 
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Thanks again. As disappointing as it is to back out of the 4-H project now, in the long run I think we'll be okay with it. We just had no real idea how expensive it would be. We are very much looking forward to eating our own Sir-Loin! And Pig and Pen and Henny and Penny.

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