“Roll of the Dice”

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I went to the sheep and goat auction a couple of weeks back. It was good to see old acquaintances and catch up with friends. I had taken three ewe lambs, a ram lamb and a young billy goat to sale. As I do at any auction I walked through the pens looking at the animals there for sale. There was a lot of young lambs, light weights not weighing 50 pounds, older ewes, and majority of the animals needed feed.

It has been a tough summer in Texas. Hot temperatures and no rain. Pastures are dried up, short grass that is not growing. There has only been one cutting of hay in our area. Hay is not going to be abundant. Talk was on selling sheep and buying hay.

One acquaintance, TOV, was saying he is “going to roll the dice” and not sell any of his ewes. He is going to keep what he has, not purchase any although the prices are low. He is hoping for rain in August and September to get the grass to grow and one or two more cuttings of hay.

A lot of sheep farmers I know or are acquainted with do not visit the nearby casinos to gamble for pleasure. Yet, we are addicted to gambling. Currently, we are gambling on the rain – will it rain or not.

The market price for ewes is low at this time. It would be a good time to buy some young commercial ewes. Next spring, if we do get rain decent amount of rain through the fall and winter, ewe prices will be high. Sheep farmers who sold ewes in order not to feed them this winter will be wanting ewes.

There are some things we can control with management such as when lambs are born. There are many things we can not control, the largest variable is weather. We can not make it rain or not rain.

But I am playing it safe, I am going to just maintain what I have until next spring.

Currently, in north central Texas, we need rain.


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