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How Much Sheep Cost?
How much do sheep cost UK? The average cost of a lamb in Britain is £100 but high-quality rams for breeding got for much more. They are shared among a consortium of breeders and used to artificially inseminate ewes on their farms.
How much is a sheep in Australia? Heavy lambs, 26 to 30kg, sold from $250 to $279 to average from 925c while over 30kg lambs sold from $270 to $336 to average around 860c. Mutton prices were firm despite the sheep yarding increasing by 4261 to 14,010. Prices were easier at Forbes, Dubbo, Bendigo and the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin.
How much does a herd of sheep cost? Now, on to getting a flock for you: where should you buy them and how much will it cost? Buy a starter flock of sheep from a breeder who is raising sheep the same way you want to raise your sheep. Expect to pay $300-400 per adult ewe.
Profitability can be challenging, but with productive sheep and close control of expenses, a profit is possible. Sheep produce income from the sale of meat, wool and milk. The highest-quality meat is produced from lambs, young sheep under one year of age. Most sheep are sheared once per year to produce wool.
Sheep farmers derive their income from the sales of lambs and wool and related products. Though it varies by state and farm, most income comes from the sale of lambs. Dairy sheep farmers have three sources of income: lambs, wool, and milk (or dairy products).
The average UK price for old-season lambs weighing 25.5-45.5kg jumped from 227p/kg last week to 243p/kg on Monday (10 February). This takes those weighing 41.5kg and above to more than £100 a head – about £14 a head more than at the start of the year.
The average liveweight price of lambs at auction in Wales has increased steadily since the start of 2021, and has gone up again this week by 13.1p. The current price has reached 260.6p/kg, over 50p higher than the same time last year. Cull ewe average prices also increased this week by £4.60 to average £77.80/head.
Lamb meat is more expensive than other meats because there is less total meat per animal butchered and the carcass yield is lower than most other meat animals. So, what’s with the price? It’s because of the lamb being smaller than a pig or a steer, but still having a high cost per pound live.
Texas is the largest sheep producing State, followed by California.
China has the largest sheep population of 187 million, followed by India and Australia, as presented in Table 6.
Income for sheep farmers can vary widely based fluctuating feed costs, varying weather conditions, and the price of meat or wool at the market. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary survey found that farm and ranch managers earned a median wage of $67,950 annually ($32.67 hourly) in 2018.
While this will vary, a younger (two-to-four-year-old) productive commercial (non-registered) ewe can usually be purchased for $200 to $250. Depending on their age, lambs can be bought for $75 to $150. Older ewes (five years and up) are usually less, but they will have fewer productive years left.
According to Paul Rodgers, director of producer services for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), the conventional approach of adding 20 to 100 ewes to a farm operation can be profitable. Other approaches require careful marketing and would be more difficult and risky.
You can reasonably expect to keep six to ten sheep on an acre of grass and as much as 100 sheep on 30 acres of pasture. If you want to keep more than an acre can sustain, you’ll have to look into purchasing additional land as you’ll likely need to rotate your flock to keep them fed.
Beef cattle are generally the most profitable and easiest livestock to raise for profit. Beef cattle simply require good pasture, supplemental hay during the winter, fresh water, vaccinations and plenty of room to roam. You can buy calves from dairy farms inexpensively to start raising beef cattle.
Admittedly, there are some difficulties to raising sheep: They’re not as easily fenced as cattle (but they’re a lot easier than goats), and although they tend to be less susceptible to diseases than other types of livestock are, they’re more susceptible to parasites. Sheep are also more vulnerable to predators.
Equity Electronic Auction held one sale averaging $135 per cwt. Slaughter lamb prices on a carcass basis in March averaged $297.77 per cwt., 4-percent lower monthly and 2-percent lower yearon- year. Weights for formula carcass trades were nearly 2-percent higher year-on-year to 162.15 lbs.
Ewe lambs vary in price from £60 to £110, sold in pens of 25, with several thousand at the sale. Though rams are sold singly, the price discrepancy is worse. The champion Romney ram made over £2500. Out of 200 sold, only eight or nine others got to £1000, the majority making about £400.
Tight supply, a tariff-free EU deal and limited imports mean lamb prices should stay high. This was on a throughput of just over 75,000 head, itself a 99% rise on the previous week, which also saw a substantial price increase.
Farmgate prices for prime sheep have been some of the highest on record since the beginning of 2021 and some 20 percent higher than a year ago. High prices are an indication of firm demand and weak supply, according to analysis by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Generally speaking, lamb is a more tender and delicately-flavoured meat. Mutton is a rich, slightly gamey cut with bold flavours which mellow and deepen when slow cooked. The cuts themselves tend to be larger and darker than lamb too.
From Far-Flung Pastures to UK Tables
Despite hailing from the other side of the world, New Zealand lamb is popular in the UK. Owing to factors such as higher yields, lower production costs, lower disease rates, and a favourable exchange rate, the imported meat has traditionally been cheaper than homegrown options.
Sheep production worldwide
In 2013, the five countries with the largest number of heads of sheep were mainland China (175 million), Australia (75.5 million), India (53.8 million), the former Sudan (52.5 million), and Iran (50.2 million). In 2018, Mongolia had 30.2 million sheep.
Wild sheep are most often found across the Middle East, Asia, Central Europe and North America, where they inhabit steep mountainous areas. The sheep found here can live on very cold, dry mountains as high up as 1,200m- and some breeds such as Urials can live even higher up.