Vaccination protocols should be minimally aimed toward the prevention of diseases in your herd and should be developed in consultation with your local veterinarian. The vaccine commonly known as “CDT” or “CD&T” is a vaccination for Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus. This is the vaccine that everyone raising goats should use. The label directions should be followed closely, including those for handling and storage. Several companies make CDT vaccines and some of those include vaccines for additional clostridial diseases. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if those other diseases are common in your area or are on your farm before spending the extra money for the multiple combination vaccines.
Many factors have converged to make it more expensive to feed livestock, including small ruminants. Regardless of the purpose of the enterprise, most sheep and goat producers want to know how they can reduce their feed costs. Everything we feed to our animals is more expensive than it was a few years ago, and it is likely to stay this way for the foreseeable future. However, there are some steps producers can take to reduce feed costs. Many of the steps are common sense and do not cost money (or much) to implement. Other strategies require a financial investment that should pay for itself in the long run. What works for one producer may not work for another. Some strategies may require some economies of scale.
Weaning is when the milk is removed from the diet of a young mammal. Usually – but not always – it coincides with separation of the young from their dam. Weaning age varies greatly in sheep and goats, from as early as 14 days to natural weaning, at more than four months of age. Lambs have been successfully weaned as early as 14 days; kids as early as 28 days. Early weaning is usually defined as weaning prior to 90 days of age; 60 days is most common. Late weaning is anything after that.
A plan setting goals for the increased production of the U.S. sheep inventory was unanimously approved during the 2011 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association convention in Reno. To meet the emerging demand for American lamb in the nontraditional markets, as well as supplies for our national lamb and wool processors, the ASI Board of Directors approved a campaign to increase the U.S. sheep inventory.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health held its quarterly meeting in April, holding the first reading for the proposed rule on standards of care for livestock and poultry. Based on five core principles of care, the rule joins food and water, shelter, animal health and treatment, animal stewardship and handling and transportation.
Infection with parasites, especially those of the gastrointestinal tract can, and in some circumstances do, cause substantial losses to goat owners. These range from decreased utilization of feed in unthrifty animals to death. The most important of the gastrointestinal parasites include roundworms and coccidia. An effective control of these two groups of parasites will make a significant contribution to your goats’s health and well-being.
The rapid rise in the number of processing plants that utilize corn to produce ethanol has increased the availability of co-product feeds. Feedstuffs produced from the ethanol industry have now become mainstream commodities, particularly in the beef industry. For various reasons, however, the sheep industry has been slower to incorporate these feedstuffs. One reason is that information on feeding ethanol co-products to sheep is less available in both research results and educational publications. Sheep producers also tend to have fewer animal units, thus bulk commodity use is less common than in the beef and dairy industries.