When you are looking into buying some sheep to start your own flock, you might have the option to buy some ewe lambs. Are ewe lambs a good sheep to start with and how much do they cost?
Ewe lambs will cost between $300-400 each. Ewe lambs closer to breeding age, that have in demand genetics or that are located near a high priced sheep market will be selling for higher prices than recently weaned (younger) ewe lambs or ewe lambs in a low demand area.
Ewe lambs cost $300-400
Ewe lambs are going to cost you anywhere from $300-400. This is for a well grown lamb that is around 6 months old and is nice enough to be replacement stock quality.
How Much Will A Ewe Cost? gives you the scoop on what your options are ewe wise and what you can expect to pay.
Not all ewe lambs are of high enough quality to keep, but for any that are, plan on them costing you a bit more than a good market lamb price for your area.
Why more than market lamb price? That’s easy, these are higher level ewe lambs.
They are top of the flock, well grown and have good genetics which makes them more valuable than other ewe lambs that were sold for meat.
You’ll need to do a bit of research on market lamb prices for your area, because the replacement ewe lambs should be bringing more than the market lambs of that same breed are selling for in your area.
To base ewe lamb cost off of market lambs, I would plan to pay another $50-75 per head more than good market lamb price for your area to buy a replacement quality ewe lamb.
If you are interested in an unusual breed or a high demand breed, you will probably need to pay more. A less popular breed or a breed that has low demand for your area is likely to cost less.
|Situation:||Ewe lamb price will be:|
|sheep becoming more popular in your area||higher|
|you want a trendy breed of sheep||higher|
|sheep prices overall are high||higher|
|you want a common breed of sheep||average|
|sheep prices are falling in your area||lower|
Ewe lambs generally cost less than ewes
Ewe lambs will generally cost you less than ewes of the same breed and quality. This is because ewe lambs are something of a gamble, that means they are not worth the same as a proven performer.
Shepherds never know how well a ewe lamb will do her first year until she does it.
Of course, the shepherd will have a guess and the longer she have worked with these genetics the better her guess will be, but until she has proof, it’s still a guess.
This is the game of breeding stock and why breeding stock costs more than your run of the mill market lamb, the replacement quality ewe lamb is a cut above the average market lamb.
Think of it this way, if a 2-3 year old ewe sells for $400 I would plan to pay $300 or so for the ewe lamb.
What is unknown about ewe lambs?
The biggest unknown about ewe lambs is how well they will take care of lambs as first time moms.
Some ewe lambs are excellent moms right away, other ewe lambs are not so great the first time and do better the second round. Still others are a complete failure, which is not overly common but possible.
So, what does this have to do with the ewe lambs costing less than ewes? Another easy answer, ewes are more of a sure thing, so you will pay more for them.
Ewe lambs may be worth your money, but they may not be, which makes them, at least until they prove themselves, worth a touch less than a mature ewe.
Ewe lambs are not ideal for anyone new to sheep
Because ewe lambs are more challenging to manage, if you are completely new to sheep, you will probably do better with ewes that have already lambed at least once.
This will make your starter flock a bit more expensive, but in my opinion the extra money is worth it to have most of the potential problems already weeded out for you.
Sheep 201: Reproduction In The Ewe has a section on ewe lambs specifically if you are interested in reading more.