The Texel ram lamb sold for the equivalent of about $490,000 at auction in Scotland this week, according to the Texel Sheep Society.
The animal, named Double Diamond, comes from a very respectable lineage in the sheep world. He was bred via artificial insemination using a champion ram valued at more than $86,000 and an ewe valued at more than $46,000.
Texel are a sought-after breed of sheep originally from the Netherlands. The lambs grow fast and the sheep are “ideal” for butchers, according to the society.
There was a bidding war for Double Diamond, which is unusual in the sheep world.
The previous record of more than $300,000 was set in 2009, the BBC reported.
“Don’t get me wrong, it is an obscene amount of money to pay for a sheep, and it definitely should not be a reflection on the farming community,” Jeff Aiken, one of the buyers, told the BBC.
Aiken was part of a group of three farmers who banded together on their bid, according to the report. Their plan is to make the money back through breeding.
The breeders look at characteristics like hair, color and head shape, Aiken told the BBC.
“We had to pay that amount of money to get the genetics,” he told the BBC.