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Know Before You Go: Everything You Need to Know About Livestock Auctions

When it comes to purchasing new livestock, you have options: You can buy directly from farms or ranches, or you can attend auctions. With some of the largest and most diverse breeds of animals, livestock auctions can be a great place to find new animals, network with others in the industry or just enjoy the show.

Livestock auctions provide an opportunity to buy animals individually or in bulk and can be a great way to see what the market is currently willing to pay.


Before You Go

Prepare for your next livestock auction by considering the following tips to ensure a successful trip.

  • Choose the Right Auction: Livestock auctions occur weekly across the country. A quick Google search can help you identify and compare auctions near you.
  • Check Market Prices: Before you go, get an idea of what you might have to pay by checking the current market prices of various breeds. Keep an eye on livestock auction market reports to keep up with current livestock costs.
  • Do Your Research: Decide which breeds and characteristics you’re seeking and know the sizes of animals at different ages to determine good health.
  • Call Ahead: If you know you’re looking for a specific animal, you can call the auction ahead of time to make sure they’ll have livestock that fit your criteria.


During the Auction

Livestock auctions can be overwhelming. The following tips will help you stay focused and secure the animal you want.

  • Observe First: Get a feel for how things work at each specific auction by watching the first few rounds; everyone does things a little differently.
  • Pay Attention and Be Patient: It takes a lot of focus to hear the asking price over everything going on around you. Don’t rush – you might end up buying something for much more than you intended.
  • Network: Livestock auctions aren’t just for buying and selling livestock. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know other industry professionals.
  • Explore: Even if you don’t end up buying anything, livestock auctions are often a place for food, friends and fun. Snacks and entertainment can be found at most events.
  • Examine the Animals: When deciding on an animal, watch out for bumps, bruises or patches missing from their hides. For further examination, check the teeth, as well as the feet. Whenever possible, get the animal’s paperwork to see details on its breeding and medical care.

What’s Next?

The work isn’t over when you leave an auction. Make sure your new livestock are ready to thrive in their new home with the following tips.

  • Make Them Comfortable: It is important to remember the animals have also had a long and stressful day, so make sure to get them comfortable as soon as possible.
  • Quarantine: For the health of your entire herd, be sure to quarantine the new animals before introducing them to the full farm. Experts generally recommend quarantining new animals for at least three weeks. Consult your veterinarian on what’s best for your herd.
  • Schedule an Exam: Have a vet visit to provide a routine exam to make sure the new animal is healthy.

Be Careful of New Dairy: If you are adding new dairy animals to your farm, make sure to milk them last as they acclimate to your operation’s schedule.


With more livestock comes more responsibility. Make sure both you and your animals are prepared for whatever may come your way with James Allen Insurance. Visit our website today for more information.

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