This page was last updated on: October 26, 2008
Lamb Grading Standards
Lamb buyers in the Northeast prefer to assess specialty lambs based upon thickness and plumpness. The following grade classifications are used:
Blue: Lambs are in good physical condition and have sufficient cover so that the backbone is barely distinguishable by placing a hand over the back. On a body condition score ranging from 1 to 5, these lambs would be placed in body condition 3 to 4.
Red: Lambs are in good physical condition but do not have sufficient cover to fall into the blue category. The backbone is distinguishable by placing a hand over the back but the vertebrae do not protrude sharply. On a body condition score ranging from 1 to 5, these lambs would be placed in body condition 2 to 3.
Green: Lambs are thin and/or in poor physical condition so that they are not ready for market.
Lamb and Goat Marketing - Terminology
Hot House Lamb: Young lamb weighing from 25 to 50 pounds live.
Feeder Lamb: Lambs weighing from 60 to 90 pounds that go on feed to be finished for market.
Market Lamb: Finished lamb weighing from 90 to 150 pounds live. Currently, the most desirable lamb is one that will grade choice, with a 2 or 3 yield grade. The yield grades go from 1 to 5 (see specifications under specifications and charts section), with 1 having the least fat cover and 5 having the most fat cover. Most wholesalers and retailers prefer leaner animals with good confirmation.
Sheep: Cull ewes and rams that are no longer useful for production
Halal Slaughter: A Muslim slaughter, where the lambs, sheep, and goats must be slaughtered under certified Muslim inspection. With the increasing number of Muslims in the United States, this is becoming a very important market for goats and sheep. For goats, animals with a live weight of 50 to 70 pounds are preferred; they must have their baby teeth and almost no excess fat to obtain top dollar.
Kosher Slaughter: Named for Jewish "Kashruth", which are the dietary laws of the Jewish faith as set forth in the Old Testament and other Rabbinical rulings. Kosher meat may come only from cloven-hoofed (split-hoofed) animals such as cows, sheep, and goats that graze and chew their cud. The size is not important, only the animal's health. For an animal to pass as Kosher, it must be healthy, which is determined by a rabbi during slaughter. Usually the front or forequarter only is sold as Kosher.
Ky., Wv. & Oh. Stockyard Sales
Date, Time & Phone Number
Date Time Stockyard Location Phone Number
Mon. 11:30am United Producers Hillsboro, Oh. (937) 393 - 3424
Tues. 10:00am New OK Livestock Maysville, Ky. (606) 759 - 7280
Wed. 12:00noon Producers Gallipolis, Oh. (740) 446 - 9696
Thurs. 10:00am Union Stockyards Hillsboro, Oh. (937) 393 - 1958
Fri.** 12:00noon New OK Livestock Maysville, Oh. (606) 759 - 7280
Sat. 1:00pm Athens Livestock New Albany, Oh. (740) 592 - 2322
**Best day for Sheep