Breeding Soundness Examinations of Rams and Bucks

By Dr. Allen Bridges, Dr. Mike Neary, Lynn Pezzanite, Terry Hutchens

For optimal farm productivity, producers should select rams or bucks that have the ability to settle a large portion of females early in the breeding season and sire offspring with the genetic potential for rapid, efficient growth. To help identify males that are capable or not capable of settling females, producers can perform breeding soundness examinations (BSEs). Up to 10 to 15 percent of rams and bucks are of unsatisfactory reproductive breeding quality. Utilizing a BSE to identify fertile males and eliminate males with sub-par
(or inferior) fertility prior to the breeding season can improve economic returns to a flock or herd.



Caring for the health of your flock: are you doing it right?

By Ed Hewitt

On sheep farms, the use of medicines to ensure good flock health represents a significant cost for the enterprise. To avoid wasting time and money on products, it’s important to ensure that the right medicine is used for the right reason, at the right dosage, and at the right time. And in-between times, that products are stored in the right conditions.


Fall cover crop grazing basics

By Jerry Lindquist

Annual cover crop mixtures can make very nutritious and economical grazing crops for spring, summer, fall and early winter grazing in Michigan. Fall grazing is especially beneficial as it fills the gap as pasture grasses become dormant. Mixes of four or more plant species all planted together at the same time and same depth at a seeding rate total of 28-40 pounds per acre can be economical and nutritious for fall grazing livestock and are especially good for finishing grass fed beef cattle.


Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis in Goats: A Devastating Disease

By Mikelle Roeder

Caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE) is now considered one of the most significant diseases affecting the goat industry in the United States. It is caused by a lentivirus, a type of retrovirus, which is a family of pathogens responsible for many immunodeficiency diseases in many species, and most breeds of goats are susceptible. CAE causes multiple diseases in goats: arthritis, pneumonia, mastitis and weight loss in adults, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and brain stem) in kids.