Marketing Feeder Lambs

Government of Alberta
(Previously published online: Marketing feeder lambs)

Lambs can be marketed either as finished (ready for slaughter) or feeder lambs. The choice depends on the facilities a producer has for feeding out lambs and their willingness to regularly sort and market them as they reach the ideal weight and finish. If a producer plans to sell all of their lambs at one time, it may be better to sell them to a feedlot than to sell a mixed group of lambs for slaughter.

Feeder lambs require more growth and finish before they are a suitable size and weight for a particular slaughter market. Generally feeder lambs are divided into three definite live weight groups:

  • Under 60 lb. (long-term feeders)
  • 60-80 lb. (middle-term feeders)
  • 81-94 lb. (short-term feeders)

Lambs can, however, be sold as feeders at weights as high as 100 to 110 lbs., depending on the intended market.

Deciding to sell feeder lambs should be part of an overall management plan, rather than Continue reading

Small Ruminant Imports: Friend or Foe?

Dr. Reid Redden, Associate Professor and Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
(Reid’s Ram-blings: November 2021)

By now you know that I am a strong proponent of eating and promoting the consumption of lamb and goat meat. Bottom line, it is delicious, but the reasons to include lamb or goat in your meal rotation do not end there. It is nutritious and versatile in the ways it can be prepared. And as producers I believe it is important for us to be advocates of our own products.

When we cook and eat lamb and goat ourselves, we also become better advocates for it. I can’t count the number of times, I’ve heard “I only like lamb when Reid cooks it.” Over time, the fear of something different and we gain another advocate. Be Patient!

As a routine customer, I’m always inquiring about the origin of the product. Often, they are sourced from another country. Imported lamb is perceived by many consumers as Continue reading

A Global Perspective on Lamb Quality

In 2019, producers from across the nation and around the world met in Ft. Collins for the first ever Lamb Summit. The goal of this event was to identify how, and why, to improve both the market and eating values of American lamb. The presentations provided below are from the the perspective of lamb producers in Australia and the United Kingdom. I encourage you to take a listen to each, you may find that lamb producers around the world are facing the same rewards and challenges. As imported lamb continues to rival our current market, maybe we as an industry can adopt some of these skills used across the globe to improve the value of American lamb.

Dr. Phil Hadley – United Kingdom

Dr. David Pethick – Australia

The Meat of the Matter: Selling Retail Cuts Off-Farm

Haley Zynda, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Wayne County

There is a continuing trend among animal product consumers – they want sustainably and humanely raised meat, milk, and eggs. Generation Z is the driving force behind consumers wanting to know exactly where their food comes from and the values behind the farming operation. With this trend, many cattle, hog, and sheep producers are selling animals to customers and sending the purchased animals off for custom processing. Other producers may be choosing to sell retail cuts in a roadside shop or farmers markets. If selling lamb directly off the farm is something your operation is currently doing or has discussed as a future enterprise, turning a profit on sales should be somewhere in the back of your mind.

Pennsylvania State University Extension has published a Continue reading

2021 Small Ruminant Webinar Series: Lamb Market Update Spring 2021

In Webinar #3 of the 2021 OSU Small Ruminant Webinar Series, Tim Barnes – OSU Extension ANR Educator in Marion County, gives viewers an overview of the 2021 spring lamb market. 

Thank you all for joining us for the 2021 OSU Small Ruminant Webinar Series! If you have any comments on how we can improve or ideas for future webinars, please contact Brady Campbell at or Christine Gelley at

Marketing Lamb and Goat for Holidays

Melanie Barkley, Livestock Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
(previously published with Penn State Extension: July 2, 2012 – Updated Calendar for 2020 – 2024)

(Image Source: American Lamb Board)

The following is a listing of dates for various ethnic holidays with descriptions including the type of small ruminant required. For those interested in a complete yearly calendar outlining these specific holidays for 2020 – 2024, please find calendar list at the end of the article.

There are a number of ethnic holidays that sheep and goat producers may wish to target when marketing their animals. This creates an excellent opportunity for sheep and meat goat producers to plan their breeding seasons so that they can market their lambs or kids at the proper size for these holidays.

The United States currently has a population that varies greatly in their religious beliefs and in their ethnic backgrounds. According to data from the 2000 National Survey of Religious Identification and the 2000 American Religious Identity Survey, 76% identified themselves as Christian, 1.3% Jewish, and 0.5% Islamic. Data also showed that from 1990 to 2000, Islamic identification increased by 109%.

An important consideration when marketing lambs and goats for ethnic markets is Continue reading