REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT OF SHEEP AND GOATS

DIEGO GIMENEZ AND SOREN RODNING

The success of a sheep and goat operation depends on the number of lambs and kids raised, weaned, and marketed each year. The percentage of ewes, does, ewe lambs, and doelings conceived early in the breeding season; the lambing, kidding, and weaning percentages; and the percentage of ewes, does, ewe lambs, and doelings lambing and kidding unassisted are some of the most important factors influencing profits in the sheep and goat business.

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USDA REASSURES FARMERS IN STATES AFFECTED BY EXTREME WEATHER

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers in states across the country that USDA offers a variety of resources for those affected by recent extreme weather, including floods, drought, fires and tornadoes. USDA also urges producers in need or those with questions to contact their local county or state USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency office for assistance. In a recent tour of flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, as well as droughts and wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promised farmers, ranchers and others that USDA would continue to work hard to deliver assistance to those in need.

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AG FACES CHALLENGES, YET HAS PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITIES

MARTHA BLUM

A variety of events and issues are shaping the agricultural industry and providing challenges to farmers.  “More is happening outside our industry that is shaping agriculture than inside our industry today and that’s the stuff you need to monitor,” said Michael Boehlje, distinguished professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University.

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WORK, CREATIVITY HELPS KEEP ANIMALS COOL AT THE FAIR

MARLYS WEAVER-STOESZ

This week, thousands of animals are on the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds that, just like their owners and other fair visitors, are trying to keep cool.  With temperatures in the 90s last week, fair veterinarian Robert Zell said that 4-Hers need to beware of dehydration and heat exhaustion in their animals  Most barns have fans in them already, a few with misters too, he said, and owners need to provide plenty of cold, clean water. 

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HEAT STRESS IN SHEEP AND GOATS

SUSAN SCHOENIAN

Extreme heat is stressful to livestock, as well as people. High temperatures are even more problematic in states like Maryland, because high temperatures are also often accompanied by high humidity. The heat index (temperature + humidity) is a more accurate measure of heat stress (hyperthermia) than temperature alone.

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PARASITE CONTROL IN SHEEP WHILE GRAZING

MIKE NEARY

Sheep make efficient harvesters of forage crops. However, one of the biggest challenges of grazing sheep is economical and effective control of internal parasites. Internal parasites can cause unthriftiness, reduced production, increased susceptibility to disease and other pests, and even death of sheep. Controlling internal parasites in sheep takes management, monetary resources, and labor resources.

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SHEEP MANAGEMENT ON THE STAR SHEEP PRODUCTION SYSTEM

D.E. HOGUE

The STAR system of sheep production has been developed to maximize production of market lambs on a continuous year-round basis. This even supply of high quality lambs should allow for improved market development and enhanced prices for lambs demanded by discriminating consumers. To be successful, a maternal ewe flock that will breed any time of the year and produce mostly twins at each lambing is necessary. Sheep are normally seasonal breeders and lamb only in the spring so proper selection and continued development of the ewe flock is very important.

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