Today was sheep and goat auction. I go to the auction to meet friends who also raise sheep. The auction is mostly a social event, the twice a month I get off the farm. Most of the breeding animals going through the sale are unregistered or if registered, inferior to my needs, or culls – to old or lame or not breeding sound. In the spring and summer I purchase small and thin sheep or goats to fatten up and resale. Today was different, I was going with a purpose.
The sheep and goat auction posts consignments for the upcoming sale, and one of the consignments was registered fullblood Dorper rams, six of them. A few of them looked really good in the photos, but photos can be deceptive, not capturing everything about an animal. There were no photos of the papers, so I did not know what the bloodlines were.
I thought I would look, but doubted I would purchase anything. My doubt was so strong, I did not take a trailer, just drove the truck. I got up earlier, chores done earlier to be there at 8 am when they opened. I checked the registration papers first, no need to look at rams if the bloodlines do not work with my ewes. Bloodlines would work, plus three of the five registered rams were triplets. I wrote down their sale tag number.
Went outside to look at the rams. I was not alone. One other person, a broker buyer, was looking. I knew he did not have the buying power to pay much, but he was drooling. I made my selection, like placing them in a sheep show, first, second and third placings.
Now to wait for them to come through the ring. I met with people, talked about how freezing cold it was today, and yesterday was T-shirt weather. When the auctioneer got in his seat, we found ours. I had no seat, I was standing. No need to take a seat a buyer who will be there all day could use, I was only bidding for one sheep.
I had a plan on how I was going to bid. I had a price I was not going over. To keep from getting drawn into the auctioneer’s spell, have a plan and have a top bid price set before the auction starts.
First, the bottle babies, then the livestock guard dog puppies. Now the sheep and goats. Soon, all six rams came in. I walked to the front. At this auction, people watch me like a hawk. If I bid on something, it must be good, but they also know I have a limit.
My plan was to be up front to get a real good look at their movement and reevaluate my choices. When the rams came in I was up front and center. The auctioneer spoke some about the rams, said the bidding would start by selling choice first, then asked the sale barn owner where to start. I had picked a starting bid in my mind that was higher than the usually starting bids, but several hundreds less than what the ram would bring at previous sales. I was going to as they say “separate the men from the boys” at the start. I stated loud and clear my starting bid and the auction began. Flurry of numbers and yells, I kept nodding when someone else bid higher, soon it was two of us, then just me. I got to pick my ram from the whole lot.
I walked forward to make my choice, although I had made my choice before the auction started. The sale barn owner and I have known each other for years, he looked at me and place his stick on the back of one of the rams. I smiled and nodded then told the auctioneer the number. The sale barn owner, he knowingly smiled and nodded his head. He knew I knew sheep and which one was best, as it was his first choice as well. He purchased the other four registered fullblood Dorper rams.
I paid for the ram. Then had to drive all the way home, get the trailer and back again. I should just take the trailer regardless if I purchase or not…lol.
Meet “Jumbo”, born March 2021, a triplet, registered fullblood Dorper ram. He will be used this year. I named him when we arrived home.