Wednesday, 11 May 2016


This is one post that is long overdue.   I experienced selling cattle myself for the very first time last year.  It was very interesting indeed.  And selling cattle is always something I look forward to because its reward for hard work. Consider the following,


It is always smart to see how prices are playing around.  Do research on market dynamics and pick the right time to sell your cattle.   Most auctioneers usually have auction summaries that you can request. I usually request summaries for the past 3 years and I investigate prices and see when prices are good roughly.  I often speak to livestock agents in my area.  With that I compare what the agent is saying with my research.  i.e  I noticed that oxen prices are usually the highest towards the end of year and the beginning of year.  I saw that from auction summaries.  I than call the livestock agent and ask him when is the best time to sell oxen with weight of 600kg.  A good agent gives great advice.


I think this point should be on top.  In this business, trusting your inner gut feeling and being optimistic helps a great deal. I go to auction knowing that my cattle are worth this amount, and most of the time, I get that and beyond.   

What then?
After you have picked a time to sell your cattle, and you feel it’s time to sell you need to arrange the following.


Specifically a movement permit.   This is a document issued by the VET office which allows you to move cattle from your establishment to the auction.  The permit is valid for 7 days and has an expiry date.  So you must make sure that the ‘transport process’ is within the dates stipulated on the permit. On the permit, you will be asked how many cattle you want to sell, and from which establishment to which auction.   


The departure is written in the triplicate departure book.  This is a book that can be obtained from any VET office. On the departure book, information such as permit number, date of departure and arrival, and eartags of cattle must be completed. 


If you do not have your own means of transport, there is a solution.  There are people who own trucks and are in the business of transporting cattle to and from auctions.  Look out for this people and get quotations on their charges.   They usually charge per kilometre (km), or price per head of livestock.  If your farm is 100km away from auction point, and the pricing of truck service N$25/km than transport cost will total to 100km x N$25/km = N$2500.00 It is important to consider rate (price per kilo), reputation of the trucking service (some services do not even show up to pick up your cattle), and how big the truck is.  You can choose to pay in cash after the service, or the trucking service is paid by the auctioneer and the money deducted from seller after the sale is complete. 

There are deductions that are made.


Commission on the sale of cattle is payable to the auctioneer for the services provided.  This is 6% on the proceeds of the sale.  This commission is directed deducted by the auctioneer.  If you have an income of N$ 50 700.00, commission to auctioneer is 6% x N$50 700 = N$ 3042.00.


This rate is 0.6% deducted by auctioneer.

Once the cattle have been dropped at the auction pens (before sunset), the auctioneer staff separate them into different lots/kraals.  The day of auction, you can get statement printed at auctioneer office at pens.  This statement can tell you which lot your cattle have been placed in.

Now, it is time to sit on the viewing deck.  There you can have conversations with great people and eat lekker braai vleis while waiting for the presentation of your lot.  

Once all your cattle have been sold, your collect your cheque and invoice at the office at pens and disappear. If you like, you can arrange with auctioneer to deposit the money in your bank account.