WASHINGTON – On July 1, sheep and lamb inventory in the United States totaled 6.90 million head, down 2% from July 1, 2009, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Breeding sheep inventory at 4.16 million head was down 3% from July 1, 2009. Market sheep and lambs (including newborn lambs), at 2.74 million head, were down 1% from last July.

The breeding herd consists of 3.37 million ewes one-year old and older, 175,000 rams one-year old and older and 620,000 replacement lambs (including newborn lambs). Market lamb inventory at 2.65 million head was comprised of 1.58 million lambs under 65 lbs., 550,000 lambs 65-84 lbs., 285,000 lambs 85-105 lbs. and 235,000 lambs over 105 lbs. Market sheep inventory was 90,000 head.

The 2010 U.S. lamb crop is expected to total 3.60 million head, down 2% from the 2009 lamb crop of 3.69 million head. Lambs born during January through June 2010 totaled 3.15 million head or 88% of the yearly total. An additional 450,000 head are expected to be born during the period July through December 2010. The 2010 expected lambing rate of 108 lambs per 100 ewes is unchanged from last year.

Meanwhile, all goat and kid inventory on July 1, totaled 3.67 million head, down 1% from the previous July number. Breeding goat inventory totaled 2.74 million head, down 2% from July 2009. All market goats and kids totaled 925,000 head, unchanged from the previous July.

Meat and all other goats on July 1 totaled 3.11 million head, down 2% from July 2009. The 2010 kid crop in the U.S. is expected to total 1.95 million head, unchanged from the 2009 kid crop. The 2010 expected kidding rate of 104 kids per 100 does is up 1% from the 2009 kid rate of 103.