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Old 12-07-2009, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,973 posts, read 11,152,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
It is the truth. I get calls all the time for lamb. With the ethnic market what it is, the Middle Eastern people entering Lewiston who have lamb as a staple of their diet, it is true.
I was referring to this. I suppose we could say vegetables present their own set of problems and that's why people raise sheep.
Quote:
but livestock presents its own set of problems...and the reason why people grow veggies and not animals.
I have no doubt about the market for meat. I have one package of sausage left in the freezer and need to stock up again when a friend gets hers back. The sheep went to slaughter two weeks ago so it will be back soon.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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My sheep reproduce at 200% since the sheep typically have twins or triplets, meaning I can sell 100% of my lamb crop for profit, and keep 100% for replacement stock...assuming I get a 50/50 mix of ewe-lambs and ram-lambs.

Last week I turned down an opportunity to buy 87 sheep from a farmer downeast. In two months time I will have my hands full lambing with what I got saying nothing about adding 87 more to the flock. (LOL)

But I am making money on my sheep, not because I sell in volume, but because I get my feed for free. (The average sheep farmer's feed bill is 60% of his gross earnings). If I was to increase my size too much more too fast, it would cut into the excess feed the dairy farm now has and I would have to buy my winter feed. That would kill my profit margin.

That was why I posted that post on trying to pencil out land for farms over on the rural section of this forum. Before I get too much bigger I am going to have to obtain feed and pastures from land not currently being used by the dairy farm. In a county where only 10% of the land base is in fields, that is a tough fence to straddle.

If I knew I was going to expand to the point where I would reach the saturation point of lamb sales, I would never say a word online about lamb and the robust market, but it is one thing to be able to sell 1500 lambs, it is another to feed that many breeding stock ewes. There is plenty of room in the Maine lamb market for my neighbors to join me...but I say again, it is not an easy gig (as you know as you have sheep yourself).
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
I like lamb stew but no one else in the house will eat it. Sorry I can't help....I don't knit either.
That is the perfect reason to get into lamb. I will eat lamb, but prefer beef better. Still I am not in it to raise lamb for myself...I am into raising sheep to sell to others. A good farmer never eats his profits...jeeshhh!
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
I was referring to this. I suppose we could say vegetables present their own set of problems and that's why people raise sheep.


I have no doubt about the market for meat. I have one package of sausage left in the freezer and need to stock up again when a friend gets hers back. The sheep went to slaughter two weeks ago so it will be back soon.
Yeah I sent some sheep to slaughter a month ago so I expect the check any day. It usually comes 30-40 days after slaughter.

The Sheep Breeders Association is really working hard to get a steady supply of lamb to the marketplace. It is there, but with most breeds of sheep only able to lamb once per season, it means all the lambs come at the same time flooding the market.

I suspect some of us (myself included) in as much as we hate to change our breeds, will have to do just that if we really want to work as a sheep community and give a product as a cohesive entity in this state. The problem is, sheep farmers are as stubborn as the sheep we raise. We HATE change...but that is what is needed if we are to level out the lamb market.

We recognize this, and the Maine Sheep Breeders Association is working towards that, but we are not their yet. I hate the idea of slaughtering my entire flock and getting into those mutant, genetically deficient Katadin sheep, but ultimately that might be what I have to do. I love my woolies, but they only lamb once per year. :-(
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Maine
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A good farmer feeds the family first. Why work that hard to be someone else's profit?
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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That is not a farmer, that is a homesteader.

A smart Maine sheep farmer uses bulls to help protect his sheep from coyotes, slaughters them for himself when they get big enough and in that way, his beef cows are dual purpose. Of course it means alway raising calves so that the cycle is never broken.

Beef cows=protector of sheep and meat for family
Sheep=profit
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,973 posts, read 11,152,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
That is not a farmer, that is a homesteader.
Not even close. It's smart. When I disagreed with someone else recently my comments and his were deleted so I'm going to stop here before it happens again.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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That is fine. I understand and no hard feelings on my end.
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