So what are the ways to purchase a youth project animal? Let's put the buying experience into three options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.
Private treaty is the term used to describe buying an animal in person from the breeder. If this is the first livestock project for a youth, this may be the best way to learn about the animals you are about to raise and can be the least intimidating.
- Meet the breeder and learn about the animals for sale
- Compare multiple animals and then decide on which to purchase
- Be able to see the parents of the animals for sale
- Establish a relationship with a breeder for the future
- May travel to multiple breeders before finding the animal you want to purchase
- Animals are sold on a first come, first serve basis and some animals may already be sold
- Prices are set by the breeder and not through competitive bids
During a live auction, animals are brought to a specific location to be sold through an auction to the highest bidder. Most bidders are present at the auction, but some may be bidding over the phone or online.
- Multiple animals are available to compare and all are for sale
- Prices are set through competitive bidding
- Auctions are professionally operated by the auction company
- Bidding happens fast and you must be ready to purchase an animal quickly
- Competitive bids can drive prices higher than expected
- Usually cannot see parents of animals for sale unless the auction is held at the breeder's farm or ranch
Breeders post pictures and videos of animals for sale on an internet webpage. Animals are usually sold through an auction format. Bidders send in their bids online and the web page updates the newest bid on the animal until the time for the auction closes.
- Animals from across the country can be for sale in an online auction
- Bidding can be done from the home computer or even smartphone
- Multiple animals can be compared on multiple online sales
- Bidders from across the country can push prices higher than at a live auction
- Animals are not available to look at in person, and pictures or videos may be older, not showing the current condition of the animal
- Arrangements must be made to have purchased animals picked up or delivered to buyer
Talk to other youth and parents about their experiences purchasing animals. You may also get advice from your Extension Agent or local Agricultural Education teacher.
Good luck with your search.
Kit Carson County
Golden Plains Area
Colorado State University Extension