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Country Discussion Topics
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How does one sell at a livestock auction?
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Mike In PA    Posted 04-26-2002 at 06:00:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am considering raising some meat goats on my property, and I am hoping someone could explain the details of a livestock auction from a sellers perspective. Once I get the goats in a trailer and drive them to the market facilities, then what normally happens? An overview from you helpful folks will help me from feeling like an idiot when I call the auction master :) Thanks!


Mike In Pa -- Thanks To All    Posted 04-26-2002 at 12:04:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond. I have a much better idea of how this works now!


Ron/PA    Posted 04-26-2002 at 11:41:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Mike,
What part of PA are you from? If you perchance are in the central Susquehanna valley area I can send you the names of some friends that deal with the local auctions and will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Ron


Mark A    Posted 04-26-2002 at 10:12:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here in Texas, when the animals are brought to the sale barn, they are tagged with a glue-on tag on the back of the animal. They will get your name, address, and give you a copy of the form they fill out. Certain animals need to be tracked as to their origin, such as state/county, to track certain diseases such as brucellosis in cattle. Most animals, I think, should be sold in the state they were raised in. If its a "special" animal, you should talk to the auctioneer or owner of the barn and tell him about the animal. Goats do not need this. Sometimes if a guy sells a horse for instance, he will give the age, lineage, disposition, etc of it. But this would be a special case.

All animals sold in sale barns here are sold, with no premiums. Just make sure the place you take them DOES SELL GOATS. Otherwise, they may be sold cheap to get them out of the way. They are either sold "by the pound" or "by the head". I would recommend you go visit the sale barn during a sale and hang out and see what sort of animals sell there, and learn what you can. Some sale barns provide feed and drink for overnight-kept animals, but some do not. I have seen special arrangements between ranchers and sale barns where animals are dropped off 4-5 days before the sale and cared for. But dont rely on that, either get the animals there the night before or the day of the sale. Again, go to a sale, and learn. Your check will either be mailed to you, or bring your copy of the form that was filled out as you dropped them off, with you they day of the sale. After the animal has gone through the ring, give a reasonable amount of time to process their paperwork, and show the form and ask to pick up your check. They should be more than willing to give it to you to save them postage. Your check should be itemized to show their commission, yard fee which should be water food, insurance, and some tax perhaps. Some states may have a "checkoff" fee which is just money taken out for promotion purposes, such as the current "beef" promotions. Hope this helps.


Screaminghollow    Posted 04-26-2002 at 09:44:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've taken goats to the sales at the Green Dragon in Ephrata and to the Carlisle auction in near Plaintfield PA, off I-81. Learned a few things. First, make sure it is a place that sells goats on a regular basis. Since your in PA, I would suggest you get a subrciption to the Lancaster Farmer. It has weekly sale reports from about 50 livestock auctions. You can tell by the reports which ones sell goats regularly.
Second, call the sale barn and check the commissions. At the Green Dragon, the commission is a hefty 25% at the Carlisle sale it is a very resonable flat 3 or 4 dollars. New Holland has a huge goat sale every week.
Third, if you are close to a population center, you may be better off advertising the goats in the local paper. The buyers at the livestock sales tend to be middle men who are buying for the slaughter houses and they need to make a profit. The local Hispanic community is probably willing to pay more than you'd get at the sale. Check with you local Ag extension office about goat care. We've been raising goats for sale for ten years. There are some diseases and conditions you have to prevent and the USDA just recently imposed some scabies control tagging and vet requirements for certain types of goats and sheep. There is a neurological condition they can get from deer, which will kill them. All kinds of plants are toxic to goats.
Goats can be fun to raise, they are devils to keep in a pasture or pen. We've done it for years, and just had 8 new kids in the last four days. (Total Pop. 23 and growing. 3 more pregnant nannies to go)
We have goats with horns and without. The handles are nice, but can really hurt you, get caught in the fence etc. Learn how to disbud them. Show goats can't have horns.
If you are near central PA, go to the annual Falmouth Goat races in Sept.


Becky    Posted 04-26-2002 at 09:38:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Call around to auction barns in your area. Hard to find in the phone book, but you can find them in the local papers.
We have a small livestock auction here, once a month. When we get there, there is plenty of people ready to unload your trailer, and a guy with a clip board to take down the info.
In my opinion "NO SALE" is about the worst thing you can hear when bidding on 'a darn good deal'.
If you take it to the auction, you take your chances and should take what someone is willing to pay for it. If you want a set price, put an ad in the paper.
Took some bunnies to the auction, got $5 each. Thought that was great, next month, took some more and got $1.25 each. That's the way of the auction.


bob    Posted 04-26-2002 at 06:18:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
First find out if there is a market for goats at sale barn If there is take them there and they will pen them usually a vet will make a quick check to see they are healthy and when sale starts hope for a couple of good bidders Only way you can guarntee a price is buy back or no sale which will cost you a comminsion Some barns won,t allow this practice. If it is a good barn they will have enough bidders Hope this helps bob


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