THE MASTITIS PROBLEM

GRANT M. TOMITA AND STEVE P. HART

Mastitis is defined as an inflamation of the mammary gland. The inflamation is the result of a localized immune response to an irritant within the gland. The irritant can be in the form of pathogens, toxins, or physical trauma. The goat mounts an immune response in an attempt to destroy or neutralize the irritant, and return the mammary gland to normal function.

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CONTROL OF INTERNAL PARASITES OF SHEEP

Internal parasites, or worms, cause major economic losses to the sheep industry. In addition to death loss, especially of pastured lambs in mid-to-late summer, major costs are reduced feed efficiency, slow rate of gain, poor reproductive efficiency, labor, and drugs associated with control. Internal parasite control is essential if a sheep enterprise is to be profitable.

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HOOSIER SHEEP PRODUCERS COULD GET TO VOTE FOR A STATE CHECKOFF

MEGGIE FOSTER

For nearly 10 years, Hoosier sheep producers have gone without a state checkoff because of an Indiana law that prohibited the existence of both a federal and state commodity checkoff. “In 2002 when the federal checkoff (under the American Lamb Board) came into play, the state checkoff was eliminated,” said Duane Sickels, chair of the Indiana Sheep Producers and a sheep farmer from Winchester, Ind. “And unfortunately, there’s not much in terms of federal money available at the state level, most is used for national promotion.

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FLOOD RELATED DISEASES IN LIVESTOCK

If your fields or farm buildings have been flooded, take special precautions against flood-related diseases in poultry and livestock. If possible, move the poultry or livestock to a dry, clean environment. Give animals extra care, particularly if they have been stranded by floodwater and have been off regular feeding schedules (see Table 1 for minimal survival requirements for livestock). Be cautious about allowing livestock access to wet or contaminated feed. Feed only a few animals initially, watching them for several days before allowing other livestock access to questionable feed, hay or silage. In addition, watch for signs of flood-related diseases.

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IMPROVING MEAT GOAT NUTRITION WITH FORAGES AND SUPPLEMENTATION

MATTHEW H. POORE AND JEAN-MARIE LUGINBUHL

Feed accounts for the highest single cost of any meat goat operation. Goats raised for meat need high quality feed in most situations and require an optimum balance of many different nutrients to achieve maximum profit potential. Because of their unique physiology, meat goats do not deposit backfat and marbling like cattle or sheep, and rates of weight gain are lower, ranging from0.1 to 0.8 lb/day. Therefore, profitable meat goat production can only be achieved by optimizing the use of high quality forage and browse and the strategic use of the more expensive concentrate feeds. This can be achieved by developing a year-round forage program allowing for as much grazing as possible throughout the year.

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PROGRAM DEVELOPED TO INCREASE NATION’S FLOCK

MARTHA BLUM

A new program aims to add 315,000 lambs to the nation’s sheep inventory by 2014. “We appointed a committee to rebuild the sheep industry, and this committee worked for almost two years to put together what we can do to increase sheep numbers,” explained Bob Benson, a member of the American Sheep Industry Association’s board of directors, during a presentation at the Illinois Sheep Industry Day.

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