Buying running lambs to sell as shearlings

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Selling the breeding ewes due to work commitments and lambing ewes not stacking up again construction wages but I need to keep the land working.
Whats the pros and cons of running ewe lambs and selling as shearlings, on average what, if any profits could I expect?
I can source white faced welsh mules, what should I be paying and what can I sell them for?
Any other tips or advice?
 

tepapa

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Wales
You'll be buying them in at a range from £70-100/head and hope to make £100-£130 come September.
Prices vary for breed, quality and the trade for the year.
Lamb trade was well up this year but it could all fall apart after January depending on Brexit.
You can keep variable costs down to just shearing and medicines, wormer, trace elements and fly spray with haulage + commission come selling time.
You need to be in the game a few years to get the top prices.
You'll get a few that don't thrive and don't match the rest which you can't sell with the rest. Be prepared to cull some in the spring when the trade is high or even kill the lot if the fat price is flying, you need to keep them in good condition if you plan to use this option or by the time you've fattened them it could be too late. If Hogg's are making £110/115 in the spring remember you may only get £125 for them 5 months later as shearlings.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Is there an opportunity to rear somebody else’s ewe lambs on contract? No capital tied up, just a management fee to look after someone else’s ewe lambs running through to shearlings.

It might be worth putting some feelers out locally, or on here? Far safer income than gambling on the dramatic swings in the female trade from year to year.
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Is there an opportunity to rear somebody else’s ewe lambs on contract? No capital tied up, just a management fee to look after someone else’s ewe lambs running through to shearlings.

It might be worth putting some feelers out locally, or on here? Far safer income than gambling on the dramatic swings in the female trade from year to year.
Not a bad idea...
What sort of money should I be charging for that?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Not a bad idea...
What sort of money should I be charging for that?
Whatever is mutually agreeable between both parties? I’d have thought a good starting point would be the difference between the average ewe lamb price and the average shearling price? Any extras like the work of vaccinating, worming, etc on top.
You won’t get rich at it, but you won’t have risk/capital invested either.
 

Agrivator

Member
Selling the breeding ewes due to work commitments and lambing ewes not stacking up again construction wages but I need to keep the land working.
Whats the pros and cons of running ewe lambs and selling as shearlings, on average what, if any profits could I expect?
I can source white faced welsh mules, what should I be paying and what can I sell them for?
Any other tips or advice?
You can't predict what you can sell them for. All you'll know for certain is how much you paid for the first lot of ewe lambs - your initial capital investment.

When you come to sell them, you have no choice but to take what you are offered. The ''output'' or ''margin'' is what you then have to pay for their replacements. So if you sell the shearlings at £130, and you pay £85 for their replacements, your margin is £45, adjusted for mortality. Remember, what you paid for the first batch of ewe-lambs is history, it's irrelevant.

It's called current accounting. It applies equally to fattening bought-in stores. Or to buying and selling tins of peas.
 
You'll generally get between £30 & £50 above purchase price, this year I don't think I'll get much more than £20 but I thought that when I was buying them. I have one or two farms I've been buying off for 4-6 years and wasn't prepared to drop them because of one year, it's the same as the store lamb job.
From what I've seen those white faced Welsh mules are not that easily sold as theaves compared to other breeds.
Have you considered store lambs, buy them in worm them hopefully watch them grow and move them on, don't even have to be fat if the store price has risen. This won't help you during peak growth in the summer though.
You could do the winter keep job for six months and then sell the standing grass for a cash crop in the spring.
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
You'll generally get between £30 & £50 above purchase price, this year I don't think I'll get much more than £20 but I thought that when I was buying them. I have one or two farms I've been buying off for 4-6 years and wasn't prepared to drop them because of one year, it's the same as the store lamb job.
From what I've seen those white faced Welsh mules are not that easily sold as theaves compared to other breeds.
Have you considered store lambs, buy them in worm them hopefully watch them grow and move them on, don't even have to be fat if the store price has risen. This won't help you during peak growth in the summer though.
You could do the winter keep job for six months and then sell the standing grass for a cash crop in the spring.
Interesting thanks.
Was a little concerned about the white faced mules myself but from what I've seen this year I don't think they've been so bad.
Been thinking about stores and grazing ewes also but as you say its the spring, summer abundance of grass i need to keep down, land isn't really suitable for cutting.
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Different thought...

Rent it out and let some other fool worry about it?

Agree it’s not the same as your own stock but it’s an idea
 

Dkb

Member
We used to do a good bit of this when I was in school before we increased the ewe flock size.

You’ll never really loose money. But you might only break even in a bad year. In a good year you’ll make a very nice profit compared to workload and the other years you’ll just kind of make enough to keep you at it for another year. Workload is minimal. Little bit of dosing and vaccinating on arrival the odd fluke dose over the winter and then a few lame ones every now and then.

It won’t work with bad ewe lambs as they’ll be bad shearlings. And it won’t work with the beat ewe lambs either as your competing against buyers that are are going to lamb them As ewe lambs and put them into their own flocks.

We always targeted the 40-44 kg lowland ewe lamb in September October. This would be area influenced of course.

They were good enough to thrive on and not as dear as the 50kg lambs. We always looked for ewe lambs that hadn’t gotten meal so you’ll have to go around handling them looking for the ones that aren’t mud fat.
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
Selling the breeding ewes due to work commitments and lambing ewes not stacking up again construction wages but I need to keep the land working.
Whats the pros and cons of running ewe lambs and selling as shearlings, on average what, if any profits could I expect?
I can source white faced welsh mules, what should I be paying and what can I sell them for?
Any other tips or advice?
Buy what’s selling, buy uphill and West, sell downhill and east. Shear them, bolus them, fluke drench them, Heptavac them, enzo and toxo them.
 

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