Reducing variation in the sale group

It is much easier to market groups of animals if they have similar specifications.

You can reduce variation in a sale mob by working on the main causes. Some are easier than others to control. They include: 

  • The number you have to pick from – the more you can draft out, the more uniform you can make the sale lot. Looking for extras to “make up the numbers” always adds to variation.
  • Weighing and assessing fat of lambs will also assist in drafting a more even sale mob. The person drafting and sorting the lambs may need to improve their skills at assessing weight or fatness.
  • Variation in background if lambs were bought for finishing i.e. entry weight, genetics, nutrition, health etc. The more information you have about the lambs you are purchasing the more successful you will be at targeting the correct market

Variation in weight can be reduced in home-bred lambs by ensuring ewes are in good condition for joining. This ensures ewes are cycling, therefore getting in lamb easier and also better able to support foetal growth. The Lamb Growth predictor tool is a useful tool for making management decisions in lamb production systems. It uses repeated live-weights to calculate individual growth rates and adjusts these (for expected conditions) for future weight predictions. It predicts how many animals will reach a target weight on a specified date and how many animals will reach target weight.