Jan. 1 US sheep, lamb inventory off 2 percent

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – On Jan. 1, all US sheep and lamb inventory totaled 5.35 million head, down 2 percent from Jan. 1 of last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, US Department of Agriculture. Breeding sheep inventory slipped to 3.98 million, down 3 percent from 4.08 million head from one year earlier. Totaling 3.16 million head, ewes one year old and older, were 2 percent below last year.

Market sheep and lambs totaled 1.37 million head, down 2 percent from Jan. 1 last year. Market lambs made up 94 percent of the total market inventory. Twenty-two percent were lambs under 65 lbs., 12 percent were 65-84 lbs., 22 percent were 85-105 lbs., and 38 percent were more than 105 lbs. Market sheep made up the remaining 6 percent of the total market inventory.

Totaling 3.51 million head, the 2011 lamb crop was down 2 percent from 2010. The 2011 lambing rate was 109 lambs per 100 ewes one year old and older on Jan. 1, 2011 – which represents an increase of 2 percent vs. 2010.

During 2011, sheep death loss totaled 240,000 head, up 4 percent from 2010. Lamb death loss increased 3 percent from 370,000 head in 2010 to 380,000 head in 2011.

On Jan. 1, US goat inventory totaled 2.86 million head, falling 4 percent from Jan. 1, 2011. Breeding goat inventory totaled 2.38 million head, down 4 percent versus the year earlier. Totaling 1.78 million head, goat one year old and older slipped 3 percent below last year's total. Market goats and kids totaled 487,000 head, down 5 percent from one year earlier.

For 2011, the kid crop totaled 1.88 million head for all goats, down 2 percent vs. 2010.

On Jan. 1, meat and all other goats totaled 2.36 million head, down 4 percent from 2011. Goats and kids clipped totaled 149,000 head.

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