lambs for Halal market

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by kabri, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    Hi all! We were just introduced to some Islamic men who have been searching for butcher lambs. We've never sold to someone who will do the butcher themselves and take everything away. They would have bought all the lambs we had, but had to be happy with 5 since we have other customers waiting. I did research on their custom and was pleasantly suprised at how strict their animal welfare laws are, including how the animal is butchered. Do any of you sell lamb for the Halal market?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We sell most of our lambs to the Halal abitoir. I agree Halal is the most humane method of slaughter, no fuss or stress, it's very quick. I've watched both and even if N American methods are supposedly superior it sure doesn't show. I like dealing with most of the Muslim buyers I get, but a few can get themselves tossed out pretty quickly. They usually buy with cash, spend more time arguing about the price than choosing a quality lamb. In fact they seem to prefer extra lean lamb. If it's white faced lean and male it's perfect.
     

  3. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    Ross, arguing about the price should be an enjoyable experience for both parties. :D :D You could do as they might do and serve tea and cakes to lubricate the negotiating process.
     
  4. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

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    I want to put an ad in our local newpaper aimed at this market. Could any of you suggest wording for the ad that would target this group?
    Thanks, Tim
     
  5. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Is it true that these buyers won't deal with women sellers? I don't have a problem with this because customs are customs but my dear husband wouldn't have a clue about dickering lamb values. He would end up giving the lambs away!
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You're going to find different levels of custom just like in any religious group. Typically if you are male you may ackowlege the buyers wife with a pleasant (short) hello or good afternoon; but, all dealings will be with the male. It's funny the women will be doing the buying and the price negotiations, but through the man present. And yes it helps if you're male dealing with the Muslims but my wife can and will deal with them too. They will deal with you if they must, but would feel they were offending your husband by doing so.
    Word an ad in the paper as if you're selling to anyone. If you can deliver to a Halal butcher then say so, but you could simply say something like Halal and Kosher buyers welcome. Just be sure they are welcome, as I said some of them can find their way kicked off my farm pretty quick, some are very demanding ,want to renegotiate every 5 minutes and would have you chasing down every lamb out of 2-300 to find just the best one. It isn't always the biggest remember. I like to think I'm a patient person but some of these guys can bring out the worst in a person. John we do use some things (like old laying hens, eggs or veggies) as negotiation material from time to time. They come to expect it!! It isn't nessecary from my point of veiw. I've got what they want and they'll deal on my terms. My biggest buyers get "treats" of excess garden produce or handmade soaps, and even beer and wine. Muslims come in all sorts of packages just like Christians!
     
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Well, this thread got me searching for potential Halal marketing in our area and I believe that I have succeeded. I called a Muslin market located about 2 hours away and they are interested. They are also going to contact people that are closer to me and let them know. I told the man that I was really looking to set up for next year since I have sold all but 4 of my male lambs this year and that those were already spoken for. He told me that they like 5 month old to 1 year old, perferably male, lambs that weigh between 80-120 pounds. They can be castrated. However, for some Holy Day, (can't remember what it is called,) they want intact male lambs. I hope that this will be a good market for me to tap into. Thanks, Kabri, for getting me to get my butt in gear on it. I have sold most of mine at livestock auctions and it will be nice to have another market available.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm sure I got this site from someone either on Countryside or here, but it is useful. The Islamic calendar runs a year differently to ours so their holidays move in relation to ours (and the seasons) Ramadon shifts about a week earlier every year. <A HREF="http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/" TARGET="ASDF">Interfaith Calendar</A> Another point, I find Muslim buyers always assume you have the "best" lambs somewhere else for your best buyers. It doesn't hurt to shift some taller lambs into a different pen (or a different barn if you have it) and occasionally let them pick from there........ for a premium!! :rolleyes: ($10-$15 extra) Only occasionally, keep it special! There are far worse things they can spend their cash on to feel special now isn't there? You could just put a paint mark on a few (white faced males maybe? ;) ) as "saved" instead of sorting them, and then reluctantly sell a few. (Yeah it's kind of a game with them, but they darn near insist that's how all sheep farms run!) Some want lambs run across a scale some don't care about weight but give the poor lamb darn near a complete physical. Do set the rules, if you have no time to sort through your lambs say so, if you need 10 lambs for another buyer sort em and save em ahead of time. They do buy the odd cull animal too, I never shoot for top dollar there, I have a limited market for them so they have an edge on me. Besides cheap culls is another of John's negotiating perks you can give. If you keep entire ram lambs special, charge for it. Personally I don't bother. What they want and what they'll buy aren't always the same. I'm hardly stuck with black faced females at the end of the year, and they aren't discounted. Final point (unless I think of some more) the middle east is aflicted with hoof and mouth, people can carry the disease on their feet (shoes) and in their throat. Ask if they have travelled recently (14 days isn't it?) and it wouldn't hurt to provide plastic boot covers. Most show up in street shoes anyhow.
     
  9. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    You are welcome Mawalla! Here was our experience:

    We found out about this market because these men were driving around the countryside and saw my good friend out in her pasture with her sheep. They stopped and asked if she had any to sell. She only had 2 ram lambs, they were happy to buy those. She told them she had friends who might have some available (me and DH!) and we would call them. They called her every day until DH was home from hunting long enough to meet with them. You are right, Ross, they spoke with DH much easier than me.

    They came out to butcher yesterday, the grandfather and father, and 2 young sons. The kids did not help much and were allowed to do as much as they could handle. 1 child was disrespectful with one of the dead lambs and both men repremanded him. I kept them busy with me, playing with the dogs and our pet turkeys. The lambs went very peacefully. The buyers asked me again if they could buy any more, but we've promised lamb to others and always keep at least one for us. The kids spoke "american" English and I enjoyed explaining about raising animals to them.

    A note to hair sheep owners. Our Halal buyers are from Iraq. They purchased 2 barbados ram lambs from my friend. While they did buy them, they insisted that the lambs were 1/2 goat because of the hair and horns, and I could not convince them otherwise. They prefer wool sheep because that is what they had back in their country.

    They were also very interested in our chickens, turkeys and pheasants. Since DH does all the bargining, I will suggest to him that he uses a roo or 2.

    All in all, we were very happy with how slaughter day went and wish we had more lamb this year to sell!