What is the going price for sheep? We can use that information to develop some very rough approximations of prices during the Viking age.
My conclusion at the end of this post:
- $150 – looks to be about the best estimate for a productive ewe
- $200 – price for a productive ewe, rounded off to a single significant digit and giving more weight to the more analytically focused articles found.
Follow along as this city boy sorts out prices for sheep. I learned a lot along the way.
11/1/17 (article written in 2002) – Countryside Daily – Raising Sheep: Buying and Caring for Your First Flock – This was the most helpful of a number of articles I read. It is focused on someone who wants to start raising sheep on a small acreage or someone wanting to become a part-time farmer. The focus on a small flock makes for a good comparison to ancient days when farmers would not be running hundreds of animals that would be raising what could be tended to by a family.
Article gives background on how to get started, including where to get animals and what to look for when starting a herd.
Here are some rough estimates of prices as of 2002:
- $200 – $250 – a younger ewe (female) in the ideal age of two years up to four years.
- Higher than $200-250 range – a bred ewe, (for us city boys that means female which has a higher price because you will quickly have yield from the ewe, specifically a new lamb)
- Less than the $200 – $250 range – an older ewe, aged five years and higher – lower price because there are less productive years left
- $75-$150 – lambs
- $100-$150 – ram (lots of options exist, including borrowing ram for a friendly neighbor, renting a ram, buying one and selling them after the breeding season)
Here is some technical breakout, which of course is new info for me: