~for holidays where lamb or goat meat is part of the traditional holiday feast~

NOTE: We do not guarantee the accuracy of these dates. If you have production decisions to make based on dates, double-check dates with a second source.  Please check with your specific buyers about the type of lamb or goat they want.  The listings here are broad generalizations. It is important to know your particular buyer’s demands and at what weights they start to penalize or reject animals.

Passover (Pesach) starts at sundown:

Type of lamb wanted - 30-55 lbs, milk fed and fat.

Western Roman Easter:

Type of lamb wanted - 30-45 lbs live weight, milk fed and fat.

Type of goat wanted - Fleshy, milk fed kids with relatively light colored meat, 3 months old or younger. Suckling kids weighing less than 20 lbs are generally disappointing to buyers due to low meat to bone ratios and high carcass drying losses now that they must be marketed with the hide off. Kids gaining less than 10 lbs per month or 1/3rd pound per day after accounting for birth weight are generally not fleshy enough to be considered prime. Prime Easter kids are generally gaining at least 1/2 lb daily. There generally is a slight price (per lb of live weight) penalty for kids weighing over 40 lbs. Acceptable weights generally range from 20 to 50 lbs with 30 lbs considered optimum by most buyers.

Cull adult animals are also popular for stews and curries at this time.

Eastern Orthodox Easter:

Type of lamb wanted - 40-55 lbs live weight, milk fed and fat.

Type of goat wanted - Similar to Western Easter kids. A slightly larger milk fed kid (i.e. averaging 35 lbs) is considered optimum.

Mother’s Day:

Type of lamb or kid wanted - Suckling lambs and kids are in demand as well as 45 to 60 lb weaned market lambs and kids. Because of the shortage of market lambs and kids weighing 60 lbs or more in mid May, prices are sometimes high for these larger young animals as well.

Start of Ramadan:

Type of lamb wanted – Weaned market lamb 60-80 lbs.

Type of goat wanted - male and female kids with all their milk teeth (i.e. not older than @ 12 months). Males can be whole or castrated. Overly fat kids are discriminated against. Optimum live weight is about 60 lbs but weaned kids from 45 - 120 lbs. are accepted by different buyers.

Id al Fitr (The Festival of the Breaking of the Ramadan Fast):

Type of lamb wanted - same as for Ramadan.

Type of goat wanted - same as for Ramadan.

Rosh Hashanah, starts at sundown:

Type of lamb wanted - Forequarters from weaned lambs 60-110 lbs.

Navadurgara, Navratra Dashara, Dassai or Dashain

Hindu holiday honoring the goddess Durga. In Nepal the holiday runs for 15 days while in India it runs for 10 days. Goats are generally slaughtered during the latter part of the holiday after which families meet together and celebrate with curried goat while receiving family blessings. Female goats are not acceptable for this holiday. Relatively tender male goats are generally used. Size of carcass depends on number of people expected to be fed. Weaned, market kids or yearling wethers are most in demand.

Id al Adha (Islamic Festival of Sacrifice, Eid)

Type of lamb wanted – 60-80 lbs. However, heavier old crop lambs are also in demand and may command the same price as new crop lambs.

Type of goat wanted - Prefer yearlings (i.e. animals with one set of adult teeth) that are blemish free. Large kids 60 - 100 lbs also in demand.

Animals with broken horns, open wounds, torn ears or physical injuries generally do not meet the criteria. In some cases, castrated animals or lambs with docked tails are frowned upon.

Muharramn (Islamic New Year):

Type of lamb wanted - same as for Ramadan.

Type of goat wanted - same as for Ramadan.

Diwali (Festival of Lights):

Other holidays when goat meat is commonly consumed include Christmas (December 25th ), New Year’s (Jan 1st), Cinco De Mayo (May 5th),  the July 4th weekend, and the numerous Caribbean holidays in August - Carnival, Carifest, Jamaican Independence Day, etc.

The Christmas and New Year’s market is for milk fed kids and lambs. These young animals are rare, because they must be produced by out-of-season breeding in April/May for Sept/October births. Kids and lambs as light as 18 lbs may be readily accepted. Cull adult animals are also popular for stews and curries.

The Hispanic market for goat is for 15 to 30 lb live wt suckling kids for cabrito, and large weaned market kids for seco de chivo and barbecues.  It is especially strong in some regions during Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), a popular Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of Mexican Forces over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Goats and sheep for July 4th weekend are animals suitable for barbecue, generally suckling lambs and kids for small parties and weaned market lambs and kids 55 to 120 lbs. for large celebrations.

Optimal goats for the Caribbean holidays are young, smelly 60-80 lb bucks. However, older animals of all sexes are often in demand and customers may prefer to buy them rather than pay the extra price for prime young bucks.

The Chinese market for goat according to Frank Pinkerton, PhD, is "limited to the six colder months” especially around the Chinese New Year. The preferred weight range is 60 to 80 pounds live, and goats in good health are required."