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What Happens At A Cattle Auction?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
cattle auction

The auction market has evolved significantly in recent years, taking advantage of new technology to keep buyers and sellers around the world informed about what is happening in real-time. One major change has been that auctions are no longer limited to local events; instead, they are used by all types of buyers, many of whom never leave their homes. This allows them to be part of the market and make buying decisions on livestock.

Cattle auctions are places where farmers can go to sell their cattle, or buy new ones. This process is called an auction because it is a place where all the animals up for sale are put into pens and bid on by buyers. At one time, most people bought and sold all their cattle at auctions, but this has changed in recent years. Thanks to the Internet and online sales systems, some people now do their transactions by computer or phone without ever having to attend an auction. Many on-farm sales are also held directly between buyers and sellers with no intermediaries involved.

However, some people still choose to sell or buy their animals at auctions. This happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, an auction is the only place to find certain types or breeds of cattle. Other times, people choose to attend auctions because they are close by and fit their schedules. At other times, buyers simply don’t have the time to locate and bargain with individual sellers.     

What is a cattle auction?

Cattle auctions are an integral part of the cattle industry. They provide an opportunity for producers to sell their livestock, and for buyers to purchase animals. In order to be successful at selling stock, it is crucial that you understand how a cattle auction works, as well as the steps leading up to it.

Before going into a cattle sale, there are many things you need to do in order to be prepared for one. The first step is finding an agent which will help you sell your cattle at auction. This person must be familiar with the market and conduct sales of livestock on a regular basis before they aid you. 

Overview of how cattle auctions work

Auctions allow cattle to be bought and sold by either private owners or companies who purchase animals for meat processing plants. This form of selling is popular because the animal’s movement is not interrupted. Cattle auctions are usually held weekly at specific locations where anyone can come and buy or sell livestock. The prices paid for each animal vary depending on current market demands and the condition of the cattle.

Before an auction begins, a qualified auctioneer starts by reviewing important rules and regulations for both buyers and sellers. These include having all cattle in good physical condition so that they are able to walk onto an auction ring without assistance from a handler. There must be no visible signs of disease or injury present on the animal.

Some auctions also require that any bulls being sold are “shipped cooled”, meaning they must be handled with extreme care and not allowed to become agitated or excited in any way which may cause them harm. The cost of selling cattle at an auction varies depending on both location and type of sale. 

How long do cattle auctions last? 

Cattle auctions can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire day. Shoppers are allowed to inspect the inventory before bidding begins, but the sellers must give permission first. It is best practice to approach potential bidders with caution because all parties involved expect an atmosphere of integrity and responsibility throughout the auction procedure. Some auctions may allow a bidder to place a bid over the phone or online. At this point, it is important that they inform everyone involved in the auction.

Bidding at a cattle auction starts with the asking price for each animal and increments by a few dollars per lot if multiple animals are being sold together. The bidding will continue until there is no interest.

What types of livestock are sold at cattle auctions vs. private sales (i.e. auction vs. direct) or other selling methods such as consignment or online markets?

Cattle auctions are generally considered to be one of the most profitable selling methods for selling cattle. However, depending on where the auction is being held, not all livestock that reaches a market can be sold. Livestock must meet specific qualifications before they can enter a sale. For example, animals must have a health certificate and an inspection from the state veterinarian verifying that they are healthy enough, free of diseases, and able to be transported legally. Most auctions will not cater to calves younger than eight weeks because the animals cannot be safely transported. The transportation process can also cause problems for young animals if they are handled wrongly. Another reason cattle auctions are considered one of the most profitable selling methods is because of the competition. More than just one person is looking at the cattle and prices will usually be higher as a result.