I have received so many calls and emails from people interested in a ram selling business. The reason why the interest in this business is on the increase is the high price it commands during the Moslem festive periods. During festive periods of Muslims, a ram sells as high as ₦100,000 Naira in Nigeria and the lowest price ranges between ₦20,000 to ₦30,000 for the West African Dwarfs. The surprising part of this business is that a ram is costlier than a goat. Some people observed these and they don’t want to miss out of the opportunity of breaking even and prospering financially from this venture. However, there are many things to put into consideration before venturing into ram selling enterprise.
- Feasibility and suitability study of the business which is very important should be carried out. However, if you live where there are less Muslims, then prepare to convey your animals to the suitable market where there is high demand during festive periods.
- Ram selling business is a seasonal business in which high sales comes only in Islamic festive periods such as the Eid-El-Fitri (Sallah) and Eid-Ul-Adha.
- All Rams are not of the same morphological characteristics i.e. there are different breeds which ranged from slow-growing to fast-growing breeds; also there are dwarf-type, medium, and moderately tall type. The latter command higher price than the others.
- Climate and Weather are factors that affect sheep generally and it could be disease incidences such as Kata and other related diseases. So both climate and weather should be considered before starting.
- There is need to get well-built pens for keeping your stock and it is advised to have one before getting your animal.
How to source for rams to sell
There are two options to get rams to sell to consumers;
- Personally breeding male sheep (rams) and female sheep (ewes) together to produce offspring.
- Buying from producers/breeders stated in the first option
The advantages of being a ram producer/breeder over buying from producers/breeders
- There is no rigorous effort of getting rams to sell prior to the festive season.
- There are ready spaces/pens to keep your animals.
- The source of each animal and age is known.
- Breeders can sell cheaper than those who buy from breeders.
- In situations where there are remnants after sales, it is easier to return them back to the farm until the next festive season.
Advantages of buying from breeders over being a breeder
- It is cheaper to start the business because you won’t be raising animals which attract more cost to produce.
- There is less fear for diseases since you are not keeping for a longer time.
- You can select the animals you want to sell from the breeder’s stock; after all, you will be paying and not for free.
- There is no need to wait for years to get matured rams to sell; since it will take a breeder up to 2-3years to breed a male lamb to a ‘sellable’ size or weight.
Prospects can select their preferred means of getting rams based on their personal judgment. What is important is having good animals to sell.
Strategies you need to apply in this ram selling business
- Get a good sum of money as a good starting capital.
- Create every means to reduce cost of production (both cost of purchase and feeding) Read this article for more on hot to feed at lowest cost
- Get a clean and spacious house/pen to keep selected rams to sell.
- Feed them well at least 10 days to taking them to the market.
Now if you’ve already gotten your rams, the next thing is to plan how you will get them to the market. You start this by surveying the physical market to check for potential limitations or competitors. Note, all competitors may not be available as at the time of your survey but you can interview people in the marketplace for more useful information.
Start the conveyance of the rams to the market few days (probably 5 days) to the actual festival day. Set a price based on animal’s physical look such as attractiveness and weight; also consider your competitors’ selling price(s).
Take along with you substantial forage grasses or legumes and never overfeed your animals when taking them to the market for sales. Just give them few grasses or legumes but enough water to reduce accumulation of stress. It is also very important to use a good van that allows enough ventilation. Any van void of this could cause a damage or loss, such as mortality due to suffocation.
Please note that you must have a very good and concrete relationship with your supplier as it will give guarantee and favoritism in your subsequent business deals. Also, it makes sourcing for animals easy for you rather than moving from one place to another in search of rams to sell during the festive periods. Most importantly, never dabble into this business without surveying your environment.