TO BREED OR NOT TO BREED

SUSAN SCHOENIAN

Should ewes and does be bred to produce their first offspring at approximately one year of age?  Or should you wait until they are yearlings to breed them for the first time?  The answer depends.  There are many factors to consider and pros and cons to each breeding decision.

Breeding ewe lambs and doe kids allows you to exploit their reproductive potential.  It is well-documented that ewes that are mated as lambs will have a higher lifetime production than ewes that are mated for the first time as yearlings. 

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Goats live body condition scoring.

Jennie H

When you conduct a live body condition scoring, you are making an assessment of fat reserves.

Condition scoring is important in all aspects of goat management, but especially so in the breeding of does. Does with condition scores of between 3 and 4 are more likely to get into kid, conceive earlier and conceive twins. Condition scores of between 3 and 4, when giving birth, allow the doe to kid more quickly, produce a healthy, active kid and produce more milk for the kid.

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ASI Website Lists Drought Relief Contacts

Producers are reminded that the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has set up a drought assistance page on its website, http://www.sheepusa.org/Drought_Assistance, where information can be posted relating to sheep for sale or lease, grazing needs for sheep located in a drought-affected area or pasture availability for producers with excess grass. Listings have recently been posted to the site and can be viewed.

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