For Producers

Lambs eating

For Producers


How do I book a slaughter date?

SunGold requires at least 2 to 3 weeks notice to schedule lambs for slaughter. Hours of receiving are 7:30am to 3:30 pm. Monday to Thursday. We will do our best to accommodate any number of lambs. Animals need to be delivered the day before slaughter. They will be weighed at the plant on our scale when unloading. Please do some tests weights to avoid having high (over fat) or low (under finished) weights.

What is the ideal Live weight?

Depending on the breed, lambs should weigh 110 to 120 lbs live, with a dressing percentage of 46-51%, which also depends on time of year and conditions of the lamb. Animals also need to be fed a grain finishing ration for 45-60 days. Grain feeding gives a more consistent finish, mild flavor and white fat that consumers prefer.

When should I take livestock off feed?

SunGold requires lambs to be taken off feed 24 hours before delivery.  This requirement is necessary to avoid full stomachs which can lead to condemnation on the slaughter floor, obstruction of stomach processing machine and other equipment.  Also, having empty stomachs will provide producers with a true yield. Undigested feed just ends up being an additional waste removal cost to SunGold and producers.

Does SunGold buy feeder lambs?

Yes. Feeder lambs are purchased on a live weight basis at the plant. Prices will be established according to the weight of the feeders and what the current market is. Feeder lambs also need two weeks notice for booking.

What are my payment Options?

There are two ways of payment. Rail pricing is our focus for payment of finished lambs to reward producers delivering better quality. Live weight payments are primarily used for feeder lamb purchases. Market conditions established for finished and feeder lamb pricing fluctuate according to supply and demand for lamb, and there is a strong seasonality to pricing.  All lamb payments will be made in accordance to regulatory requirements. Live (Feeders) within 48 hours, rail grade (Finished) within 72 hours.

How does the Price Grid Premiums / Deductions affect my Net Rail Price?

The Price Grid is a combination of carcass weight, GR measurement (Fat cover) and cleanliness. The GR measurement is the total tissue dept of the lamb carcass over the 12-13th rib, 11 cm from the backbone. This is taken with a grading rule. A deeper GR measurement indicates a fatter carcass. Optimum GR measurement is 4 mm to 11.9 mm. Less than 4 mm is considered under finished and will be graded as a C lamb and are subject to a discount. More than 18 mm are over fat. See below grid information on premiums and deductions.

How does Rail Base Price work?

See below for more information.

Why Grade?

SunGold grades every lamb to meet retail and food service minimum requirements. This helps Improve consistent quality for target market growth. This is designed to reward producers exceeding basic quality requirements and allows SunGold to provide producers information about the quality of their livestock.

Livestock Pricing and Payment Grid Information

In 2019 SunGold launched a new Rail Grid system. The main differences are a wider weight target range, and a conversion to metric. This grid is used on NALC’s own finished lamb and external lambs with the intention to reduce over fat carcasses and provide a wider and fair target weight range. It should be easier to achieve target revenues and provide more uniformity to the plant than is possible with the previous live payment system. See attached for our current Rail Grid and conversion tables. One-Page Briefers below provide excellent detail for further understanding. Click here for NALC’s Finished Lamb Payment Grid and Conversion table.

New for 2020 –  For the benefit of producers, NALC made a significant adjustment to the rail pricing grid commencing March 1, 2020. A tolerance has been added to prevent the weight discount that starts at 32.0 kg for up to 3% of the load. This would reduce the discount by $64/lamb or more ($2.00/kg reduced discount) on up to 3% of the number of lambs being delivered that exceed 31.9 kg.

New for May 2021 – Click here for a summary of NALC’s options for finished lambs, feeder lambs and cull sheep. NALC is truly becoming a one-stop-shop for sheep producers in Western Canada.

One Page Briefers

May 2021 Analytical Backgrounders

SunGold Specialty Meats Ltd.

For more information please call

Cathy Krohn: 1.800.363.6602