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How do you all sell sheep and goats?

 
gardener
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The world is changing.  Nobody uses Craigslist anymore. Everyone around here uses facebook, but it is a customized, personal hell for me.  

There is an auction a couple hours away, but gosh, what a pain.

What else is out there?

South-central Kansas.
 
master pollinator
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I did use craigslist, and then a business FB page.   I still get inquiries on the FB page even though I sold the farm 5 years ago.  It's mostly just a place for archived photos, etc. now.  

Repeat business was a lot of my sales after the first few  years,  which was nice.  They usually contacted me through FB though.  

I tried feed store fliers;  never any inquiries.   Auctions around here are pretty much bottom of the barrel low prices and poor animal handling.   I'd hate to see any of my animals end up there.  I did try bringing some young drakes once and regretted the entire thing.  
 
pollinator
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I've bought from FB sheep/goat groups.  Haven't tried selling yet, except 1 lamb a while back that was a friend of a friend situation, but have kept in touch with that person and if/when I process a lamb they'll probably be interested in buying it.
 
pollinator
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Hi Beau,
The shepherdess channel on youtube has a lot of info on sheep. I'd imagine goats would be similar. I have linked to two videos where she shares about marketing and selling sheep.



 
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Does your local Ag Dept produce a market bulletin?  I have used the Louisiana Market Bulletin but the deadlines and time delay between sending the ad and the publishing can be a pain.
I quit selling to drive ups and driveway honkers and had to post "No Goats For Sale" signs to discourage stray people. I actually had tourists taking pictures next to my sign last week. That was weird.
FB & CL work quite well here, I prefer Craig's List and usually have my goats sold withing 48 hours of posting.
Facebook is okay but I find the rules & private messaging very annoying and I dislike having to check it constantly, not my happy place at all.
BUT - many of the FB people have some experience with goats, a lot of CL people have no clue.
I see goats for sale on some online groups but don't see them get sold very often. That may be because of the distances involved.
Goat people in other area use LSN (local sales network) , kind of like CL but I had no luck with that one.
Auctions vary. We have a Monday sale in Baton Rouge where random goats are sold, prices are actually higher right now that they have ever been.
Some of the Texas auctions are moving a lot of goats, prices pretty good.
We have at least 2 in state people who advertise to buy all sheep & goats and they say where they are going to be each week and line up locations for pickup.
I would call your local ag extension service and see if they know some names or locations.
A friend who raises hair sheep targets sales to ethnic/religious holidays and a local halal market helps her with this.
Are you raising pets, dairy animals or meat sales?
 
pollinator
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I think that TJ has a very good point. If you are selling for meat, a website might be best. I stopped contacting people selling live animals because I wanted them for meat and they were offended and didn't offer a way for me to have them easily converted into freezer food. And honestly, the local abbatoirs and butchers are sloppy, not worth the money.

Around here, CL and FB are the way to go for herd additions and such. You don't have to use your real name or anything. If you build up a good name by selling meat or dairy, livestock sales are just a by-product of that.
 
gardener
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Hi Beau,  I mostly rely on Craigslist.  I have so many ideological problems with face book that I just absolutely don’t go there….

When selling goats, I try to focus on what would be the perfect situation for her.  With dairy goats, you just automatically end up with more than you need, and selling the animals is not the main purpose.  Usually, there is some reason I am selling that particular doe, then I try to think up the circumstances in which that would be an asset.  For example, I had a great doe with a fabulous well attached udder.  But she gave so much milk I could not keep her healthy on wilderness pasture.  She needed the other kind of set up:  concentrates and rich feed, and someone who wanted maximum production.  So I said exactly that in the ad, and explained it when I got inquiries.  


I also price below market, because again, I have decided to sell her for some reason of my own.  When I sell her, I am meeting that objective as well as receiving money.  Maybe not everyone can afford to do it this way, but I can’t afford NOT to.  If money was the only reason, I would (and have) fall ill.

I try to represent the animal well in the photographs.

Lastly, I realize or expect it may take awhile to find a buyer.  

I also ask the goat people I know if they know anyone who is looking for a goat….

And oddly enough, in the last year, I have sold more of my friend’s goats than I have of my own.  People answer the ad, but I don’t have what they want…. but it turns out my friend has just what they want….
 
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I know that MeWe - the social networking Facebook alternative- does not have the bans on selling livestock that Facebook does. The American Nigora goat breeders association, has a page there for folks to list their goats for sale. HOWEVER, I don’t know if the membership is large enough to actually sell many. Might depend on your area.
 
pollinator
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Hey Beau, I have struggled with selling goats this year too. I ended up taking two to auction. However I tried two auctions before I found one of enough quality for our goats. The first auction was an hot mess. I actually took my goat back home. The second auction was way more professional and pleasant. They are a registered place. That post their animal sales. Not buyer info, just how much an animal sells for.

Auctions aren't always bad. I also read the reviews of several auction places before deciding which one to take them too.

Next time we have kids for sale. I am going to have a farm day open house. Let folks come over and meet the kids. Learn about goat care and hopefully put a deposit on a kid.

I had so many inquiries from CL no buyers pulled up. I kind of wonder if the market may be getting saturated with dairy goats. Last year I sold does for $250, this year each kid brought in around $150.

There are FB groups we are part of, but with the strict no animal sales it makes it challenging to post. Although I have seen others post with success, my post always seem to get removed. Must be something I said the page admin. haha.
 
pollinator
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First, I don't use Facebook at all, for anything, anymore.  I suppose, if you are okay with supporting their censorship policies, you could put up a farm page there and people who were looking might be able to find you that way.

Here in Kentucky, when I have goats to sell, Craigslist has worked very well, but I suspect that there is a difference in demand.  The market for both sheep (hair) and goats in this area seems to be pretty hot.  

If you have registered stock, you could use your breed organization's breeder lists.  When I was looking for purebred stock of anything, that was usually where I started my search.

For grade stock, in addition to FB, Craigslist, and breeder lists, you might try putting fliers up on the bulletin boards at local feed stores, and spread that out as far as you care to travel.  If you are selling them to be butchered immediately, try contacting meat markets in the nearest large city.  They may have specialty buyers (ethnic) who would be interested in talking to you.

But I suspect the problem is one of supply and demand.  I was surprised at the local demand for goats here, but given the climate, a lot of farmers keep some goats for weed and brush control (the summer heat and rainfall keeps things growing rapidly pretty much all summer -- it can be hard to stay on top of it).  There also seems to be a pretty good market for meat goats and hair sheep here.  It may be that in your area there just isn't that much demand, which will mean you'll need to get creative about marketing.  You may need to drop your prices, too, if you really need to sell animals (buy freezers and fill them, before taking a loss, though).

 
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When all else fails and they are costing you more to feed than they are worth, you can possibly donate them, live or to the butcher, to a local residential charity for the write off. We had a residential program for adults with special needs locally that received lots of donated livestock that had decided that fences were just a suggestion. A friend of mine was visiting family on the other side of the country when his cattle decided the grass looked greener in the very posh subdivision down the road. The whole herd of fully horned animals were rounded up and sent straight for butchering and my friend received a very nice write off that year. I never did hear if it was enough to offset the damages…
 
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people love to tell me that no-one uses craigslist anymore...
Yet somehow I sell sheep, chickens, ducks, cars etc on craigslist.

facebook is just too toxic.

Craigslist takes some time (and a well drafted ad) and you need a way to weed out time-wasters without scaring away real buyers - I get a phone number and make a brief friendly call right away.

Each year it gets a little easier as more people in my area know I'm the person to contact about sheep.  Folks refer buyers to me, and when I run out of lambs I refer buyers to other sheep people I know.  I always have the animals for sale ready in a separate pen easy to load when the buyer arrives.

I keep a list (google sheets) of people who are interested in buying animals for meat.  This comes from casual conversation when I'm out and about "O, you raise sheep? What do you do with them? wool?"  "Wool, live keeper lambs, I sell whole animals for meat."  "I'd love some lamb meat."  "I can put you on my call list, I usually have them in the Fall for $400-$450 each"

my final tip - something I've seen friends really struggle with is TIMING.  Setup your flock decisions when you make your breeding plans.  If you are clear on your own plan then you will know who's for sale before its time to sell them.  My friend wavers and wont commit to how many goats to keep because she's attached to them all, by the time she's realized she's not going to keep them all its late summer and **the serious buyers have already found their new goats for the year**.  In comparison I know how many I want to breed, how many I want to grow as replacement breeders and how many rams I want, so when lambing concludes I can pretty quickly decide who to keep and who to sell, I list them before they're even weaned and settle my keeper sales late spring early summer.  

In my unsubstantiated opinion Facebook is too convenient for too many people, as a net its brings in too much by-catch, craigslist is the slow and steady method to bring in the buyer you actually want.
 
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Beau Davidson wrote:The world is changing.  Nobody uses Craigslist anymore. Everyone around here uses facebook, but it is a customized, personal hell for me.  

There is an auction a couple hours away, but gosh, what a pain.

What else is out there?

South-central Kansas.




https://www.localharvest.org/overland-park-ks/goat

https://www.sare.org/publications/30-years-of-sare/marketing/goat-dairy-thrives-in-new-retail-markets/

https://www.facebook.com/K-State-Sheep-Meat-Goat-Center-195203157188879/

https://www.farms.com/classifieds/livestock-poultry-pets/sheep-and-goats/

https://www.livestockmarket.com/listings/goat-for-sale-in-kansas/?Animal=171169&State=KANSAS

 
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i  just sold all my goats in june but i always took them to the livestock auction,we have a graded goat sale every month and they always brought pretty good,sometime they did really well.

With goats timing is everything,you need to sell them before any big holiday,and i mean across all cultural holidays.

Craigslist worked well for me if i couldn't make it to the auction and needed to move some animals fast.

Good luck with them!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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How about the slow food organization?  Are you familiar with them?  There may be a few chapters in your region.  Lots of people interested in high quality food.  Slow as opposed to fast food.  It’s an international organization that’s common interest is growing cooking eating good food, supporting heritage breeds, and preserving an “ark of taste”.

They may not know how or want to slaughter and process the carcass, but if you had some references for people who are qualified and able, you might find some buyers.
 
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