SPRING PASTURES MAY BRING GRASS TETANY

EILEEN A. COITE

Now that we’ve had some warm days and a good dose of rain, I suspect our winter annuals will take off with spring growth. With that in mind, it’s always a good time to remember and be cautious of grass tetany, because this is the time we see symptoms.

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OUTLOOK FOR LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY IN 2014

SHAYLE D. SHAGAM

Total livestock and poultry production increased less than1 percent in 2013 as modest declines in beef, pork production and a sharper decline in turkey production were more than offset by higher broiler production. In 2014, the livestock and poultry sectors should be poised to take advantage of moderating feed costs. However, the ability of the sectors to expand production will be limited by non-feed cost factors, resulting in total red meat and poultry production which will very close to last year’s levels and about 1 percent below the 2008 record.

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MANAGING SHEEP IN DROUGHTLOTS

The information in this publication aims to highlight the purpose, benefits and experiences of sheep producers managing sheep in confined areas during drought. The practice is commonly referred to under one of the following terms; feedlot, sacrifice area, containment area or droughtlot. Of these terms droughtlot is preferred because it is the most descriptive and has least emotive connotations. Droughtlot refers to the maintenance feeding of sheep in confined areas, primarily in order to minimize pasture and related environmental degradation.

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COPING WITH HIGH FEED COSTS

SUSAN SCHOENIAN

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.

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MANAGING INTERNAL PARASITISM IN SHEEP AND GOATS

KATE HEPWORTH, MIKE NEARY, AND TERRY HUTCHENS

Internal parasites are a significant threat facing today’s small ruminant producer. Problems associated with parasites, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract of sheep and goats can cause irreversible damage or even death to the animal, reduced performance and economic loss for the producer. Animals that are overburdened with parasites can be hindered in their reproductive performance, experience reduced growth rates, and become less productive overall, whether their purpose be meat, fiber, or milk. Prevention and control of the parasites that infect sheep and goats are becoming increasingly difficult due to generations of overuse and improper use of the available anthelmintic dewormers, which results in increasing resistance by parasites to common anthelmintics.

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GOAT VACCINATION PROGRAM

DR. NIKI WHITLEY

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.

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