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$250.00 per dog-broke Ewe?????????


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Prices changing per the sales I was at yesterday. You can get good cull ewes (wool, woolX, dorper) healthy appearing, not lame, in decent weight) for about $80/head. THat's $40-$80 less than a month ago. White hair sheep were even cheaper.

 

They aren't dog broke, but that's easy enough to get arranged if you have a few open handlers within a few hours.

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When stockdog trainers ask us for Katahdin ewes or ewe lambs for training sheep, you can 90% bet they intend to breed them eventually, otherwise they would be getting wethers. They don't want to pay for good ewes or ewe lambs, and we don't want to sell them junk that will hurt our reputation. Do they ask for cull wool ewes for training? No, they don't.

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Peg,

Not everyone is that way. I've never bred my hair sheep that I use for training, though I could (hair sheep aren't really my thing anyway). And if I did breed them, it would either be for my own use (replacement dog working sheep) or strictly to sell off the farm (just the extras, wethers generally). I've also gotten culls that can't be bred (like the ewe I have with half an udder), but her value to me isn't as a breeder it's as a ewe who is suitable for starting a puppy. If I want breeding sheep then I will pay for breeding sheep, but if I'm just buying someone's dog-working sheep that also might be breedable, I don't necessarily consider those breeding sheep to be bought for breeding sheep prices (e.g., I paid a lot of money for my mule ewes and my karakul ewes, and also my BFL ram. Those are my breeding sheep. The hair sheep are kept for dog working only, and really only as puppy sheep, as I use the karakuls for dog training as well.) FWIW, culls who are culls because they have bad feet, or low worm resistance or anything similar are no bargain, and I don't want anyone's problems like that in my flock either. And if it's lame all the time or repeatedly has bottle jaw then it's not a sheep that suitable for working with dogs anyway. Like I said, I'll take a ewe with half an udder or no udder or is a bad mother or something else that doesn't affect her utility for dog training, but why would anyone want to buy someone else's problem sheep--in general--even if it's just for working dogs? If your cull ewes are culls because they repeatedly single or produce smaller than average lambs or whatever other reason you might cull for that isn't really health related, then I don't know why someone who wants dog-working sheep wouldn't take them. Those things wouldn't matter to me. (And if those are the type of sheep that you're worried about buyers breeding, then why not just sell them without papers? Someone breeding them later might make claims about where they come from, but if there's no registration papers for the animal, they've got nothing to back those claims.)

 

Maybe things are different in different parts of the country, but around here, I can find mixed hair breed sheep for the prices I mentioned above ($100-125). The people selling such sheep often also use them for working dogs and just sell off lambs each year to brokers or at auction or to folks who come by the farm looking for sheep to eat--or to break for dog training. These aren't registered breeding stock on Lambplan or anything like that, but they are decent ewes who produce decent lambs for the local market. I don't see how buying such sheep and possibly breeding them later could hurt anyone's reputation.

 

Then again, as I noted earlier, if I want registered breeding sheep that I might also incidentally work my dogs on, then I am willing to pay the price. Trust me, the first time someone's dog ran my high-dollar ram into the fence, all I could think about it what it would cost me to replace him. So generally my breeding sheep are worked rarely and only by dogs that are fully trained or trained well enough in my estimation that I don't have to worry about too much stress to (or worse, damage to) the sheep. Would I want to train a pup or give lessons on $250-500 sheep? Heck no. But do I still need healthy sheep for dog training? Yes. I think that answers the cull question.

 

J.

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Peg,

 

Yes, actually, people do ask for cull wool sheep for dog training, if you happen to have the Breed Du Jour. When the finals were in Pennsylvania and was to be run on Cheviot cross ewes and word got out that I had similar sheep, I got lots of calls.

 

Julie -- I meant exactly what I wrote!

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'K Bill, so don't come fitchin' to me when I look to buy sheep at a price I can afford :rolleyes:

 

Peg,

 

Yes, actually, people do ask for cull wool sheep for dog training, if you happen to have the Breed Du Jour. When the finals were in Pennsylvania and was to be run on Cheviot cross ewes and word got out that I had similar sheep, I got lots of calls.

 

Julie -- I meant exactly what I wrote!

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Peg,

 

Yes, actually, people do ask for cull wool sheep for dog training, if you happen to have the Breed Du Jour. When the finals were in Pennsylvania and was to be run on Cheviot cross ewes and word got out that I had similar sheep, I got lots of calls.

I hope you refused to sell to those awful people, on principle.

 

J.

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I'm with Mike and Bill on this one. When I take 90 day lambs (Dorpers) to the sale, I get up to $165 a head--some sell for $150, maybe as low as $145. When fellow dog-workiog folk ask to buy lambs and I tell them what I want for them, they have a fit. Why would I sell to them cheaper than I can take to the local sale? This is a business after all,

A

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I don't think anyone has suggested that people sell their sheep for less than they can get for them through other markets, have they (I'm not going back to read this entire thread, but I know I've never suggested it, and I don't think anyone else has either)? The point that has been made is that it doesn't make sense to pay a lot of money for a dog to work sheep on. Two different things, really.

 

Bill,

I hope you let your friends know how you really felt about them and their desire to buy your culls, on principle. :rolleyes:

 

J.

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I generally agree with what both Julies just said. However, I am also saying that people who want sheep for dog training may have to get used to paying higher prices for sheep, as cull prices in the slaughter market at at all-time highs and are not showing any signs of returning to the depressed levels where they have been for the last 10 to 15 years. Lamb prices are also higher, which encourages producers to retain ewes to produce more lambs, which continues upward pressure on cull prices.

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The point that has been made is that it doesn't make sense to pay a lot of money for a dog to work sheep on. Two different things, really.

J.

Oops, I just realized the above was a complete botch up. I'm guessing everyone knew I meant "for sheep to work a dog on" though the other possibility certainly could be entertaining!

 

Bill,

I certainly won't complain about higher prices for sheep, since it improves my potential profit from lamb sales as well. It probably means that I will rethink what I retain vs. what I sell when it comes to having sheep to work dogs though. But in this part of the country, although there are some upward pressures on price, there are also some downward pressures. People who had a good lamb crop and now little rain are looking at their pastures and thinking that selling off at a "fire sale" price might be a necessity, and so there are still bargains to be had. (I think this may just be a regional difference. We had a lot of rain this spring, but now appear to be in our summer low rain, early high heat cycle, which is so not good for retaining stock thanks to pastures burning to a crisp. That's probably not an issue folks in the northern regions have to deal with, at least not very often, for which I greatly envy you. I don't, however, envy 9 months of winter, lol.)

 

J.

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And, I agree with you Bill, and you Julie P :rolleyes: Prices vary based on market trends, and I would expect to pay more during an upswing- I actually think that's a good thing- that prices have gone up, so maybe more people can afford to keep sheep.

 

And, Julie P, you are right on the fodder issues, if there is very little grass, well, you just can't keep the #'s, and you may be inclined to see them go where there IS grass, and they could be used- perhaps even strike a deal where you can get a lamb or two out of the deal.

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You could probably find sheep at fire sale prices, although they wouldn't all be the same breed or same quality....

 

I'm seriously considering that it might be time to move north. I'm tired of excess heat and humidity, drought, lack of pasture, and all the parasites that plague us anyway....

 

J.

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Over the years, after having seen how some people let their dogs (collies and other breeds) beat up on sheep, I need to ask this question. What are the chances of me being shot down when I tell a sheep breeder that the reason I'm looking to buy their sheep is to work my dogs --- and graze down a pasture, but mostly for working my dogs.

 

In this area, I've seen people specifically with briards and shepherds that, if I had sheep to sell, it wouldn't be to them.

 

So just curious. Do I have a huge strike against me for the above-mentioned reasons?

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In this area, I've seen people specifically with briards and shepherds that, if I had sheep to sell, it wouldn't be to them.

 

So just curious. Do I have a huge strike against me for the above-mentioned reasons?

 

Dunno. I had a Briard person refuse to let me work her sheep because the sheep were supposedly "trained" and my dogs would ruin them. She said she didn't want them to learn to move off a dog. :rolleyes:

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Dunno. I had a Briard person refuse to let me work her sheep because the sheep were supposedly "trained" and my dogs would ruin them. She said she didn't want them to learn to move off a dog. :rolleyes:

What she was taking about, IMO was her dog being trained in "tending" versus "Herding" thats a big difference!

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Over the years, after having seen how some people let their dogs (collies and other breeds) beat up on sheep, I need to ask this question. What are the chances of me being shot down when I tell a sheep breeder that the reason I'm looking to buy their sheep is to work my dogs --- and graze down a pasture, but mostly for working my dogs.

 

In this area, I've seen people specifically with briards and shepherds that, if I had sheep to sell, it wouldn't be to them.

 

So just curious. Do I have a huge strike against me for the above-mentioned reasons?

 

 

You know, I have BC's, GSD's and an Aussie/Kelpie mix!

When I took a lesson from Michelle McGuire a couple of weeks ago my Aussie/Kelpie mix was more forceful with the woolies then my first time ever on sheep intact GSD out of Schutzhund lines! Go figure!

I have seen Rotties that were very gentle, I have seen BC"s that would that a sheeps head off! I think it all depends on the dog, the handler and the sheep!!

Leo, Hubbies 7 year old GSD gives kisses to ewes through the cattleepaneled fence, but have enough presence to move the flock very nicely

It very unfortunate that people think "Oh, its a Police dog - it will kill the sheep"

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What she was taking about, IMO was her dog being trained in "tending" versus "Herding" thats a big difference!

 

No, she told me the SHEEP were trained. She didn't want to ruin the training of her flock and make them useless for her Briard to work. She said if I worked my Border Collie on her sheep that they would be ruined. At the time I only had one dog I was working, and she was very good to her stock.

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You know, I have BC's, GSD's and an Aussie/Kelpie mix!

When I took a lesson from Michelle McGuire a couple of weeks ago my Aussie/Kelpie mix was more forceful with the woolies then my first time ever on sheep intact GSD out of Schutzhund lines! Go figure!

I have seen Rotties that were very gentle, I have seen BC"s that would that a sheeps head off! I think it all depends on the dog, the handler and the sheep!!

Leo, Hubbies 7 year old GSD gives kisses to ewes through the cattleepaneled fence, but have enough presence to move the flock very nicely

It very unfortunate that people think "Oh, its a Police dog - it will kill the sheep"

 

I'm generalizing. I've seen a handful of GSD's that I liked very much. In fact, I hope to have another GSD in the next year or two. I haven't seen any briards that I've liked, but have seen a couple of great rotties. And most of the cattle dogs I've seen were like land sharks. Re: briards -- I just don't care for them. The rest, I blame the owners more so than the dogs, no matter what the breed, for the train wrecks and mutilations I've witnessed.

 

But going back to my original question -- would wanting to buy sheep so that my dogs can be worked be something that would ring legitimate to sheep folk?

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