The Perfect Time to Renovate Your Pasture

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Wayne County
(Previously published in Farm and Dairy, August 23, 2018)

“My biggest pasture weed problem is foxtails, what should I do to control them?” This was the comment and question of a recent phone call I received.

Foxtails, yellow, green and giant, are annual weeds. In a pasture situation, annual weeds such as foxtails, ragweed, pigweed, crabgrass and barnyard grass, are the result of pasture management.

These weeds require soil disturbance and bare soil to germinate and grow. Any practice that opens up or destroys the sod base allows these weeds to flourish. Continue reading

Fall Forage Options Still Exist

Hay and Forage Grower
(Previously published on Hay & Forage Grower: August 28, 2018)

Drought and other weather maladies usually prompt the need for additional forage production in the fall and early spring. But even in a normal growing season, it often makes good sense to conserve stored hay supplies and plant an annual forage in late summer or early fall.

“Many producers have already identified the opportunity to put oats, cereal rye, turnips, or other forage crops in this fall,” Continue reading

An Alternative Use for Wool

Tim Lundeen, Feedstuffs editor
(Previously published in Feedstuffs, Nutrition and Health: August 17, 2018)

Wool may offer dietary protein source.

Wool protein hydrolysates offer promise as functional ingredient in pet foods as well as other foods and feeds.

Developing new products from available resources often requires scientists to think differently, and such new products can offer new revenue streams for animal agriculture sectors.

Researchers with New Zealand’s AgResearch have discovered that proteins from wool can be added to the diets of animals to improve their health, opening up a new market for the sheep industry. Continue reading

2018 Statewide Sheep Shearing School

Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team

Are you interested in learning a new skill set that will greatly benefit sheep industry? Are you interested in the potential to make some money on the side working with your favorite small ruminant species? If you answered yes to both of these questions, look no further! All thanks to the support of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, the next sheep shearing school is slated for September 14 and 15 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Dave Cable Farm in Hebron, Ohio.

During this two day schooling event, attendees will be given the opportunity to learn how to properly shear a sheep using the Australian shearing technique. Those in attendance will be taught Continue reading

Housing and Working Facilities for Sheep

Stephen Herbert, Masoud Hashemi, Carrie Chickering-Sears, and Sarah Weis in collaboration with Ken Miller, Jacqui Carlevale, Katie Campbell-Nelson, and Zack Zenk, UMass factsheet editors
(Previously published as a factsheet by the University of Massachusetts with UMass Amherst Outreach UMass Extension)

Introduction
Sheep can acclimate to stiff weather conditions with no shelter if they have access to forage, water and protection from the wind. It is recommended that housing be available when lambing occurs during the winter months. Housing usually improves the number of live lambs per ewe. During the summer months, shelter is generally not required although some breeds will seek shade to be protected from the heat.

Housing facilities for sheep do not need to be elaborate or expensive. Old sheds and barns can be excellent housing and usually can be easily renovated to improve the management of the operation. There are many alternatives other than Continue reading

A Brief Refresher on Sheep Diseases

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

(Image Source: Susan Schoenian, Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

Some diseases that affect sheep.

Sheep can be affected by many diseases. This article gives an overview of some of the most common diseases of sheep. Scrapie, though uncommon, is also included, because it is important for reasons of public health and perception.

Abortion
Abortion is when pregnancy is terminated and the ewe loses her lamb(s), or she gives birth to weak or deformed lamb(s) that die shortly after birth. While it is not unusual for some ewes to abort, flock abortion rates in excess of 5% are usually considered problematic.

There can be many reasons for abortion, and it is not always easy to determine the cause. In the US, the most common infectious causes of sheep abortion are Continue reading

Good Management Practices for Fall Grazing

Ted Wiseman, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Perry County
(Previously published in Farm and Dairy: August 9, 2018)

Fall pasture management is a critical period for pastures. For many of us we have had adequate rainfall up until recently and pastures have done well to this point.

As we transition into late summer and early fall it is critical to pay close attention to your forages. Some pastures may be stockpiled, but those intended to be grazed this fall still need time to rest.

It’s very tempting to use those forages that green up late in the fall. Management decisions made this fall will greatly impact forage growth next year. Continue reading

Pneumonia in Sheep and Goats

Dave Van Metre, DVM, DACVIM Professor / Extension Veterinarian, Colorado State University

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue with multiple causes. It is an important medical problem of sheep and goats of all ages. In younger animals, various bacteria, viruses, and parasites of the upper and lower respiratory tract are often involved in the development of pneumonia. In adults, these same diseases – causing agents can create pneumonia.

In sheep, a systemic virus known as Ovine Progressive Pneumonia Virus (OPPV) can play an important role.

In goats, a similar systemic virus, the Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis Virus (CAEV), can cause pneumonia.

The word “systemic” means that OPPV and CAEV are viruses that can affect multiple organs, including the lungs. These viruses can also affect the brain, udder and the joints. In certain climates, parasites (worms) can travel from the gastrointestinal tract to the lungs, causing pneumonia.

What conditions increase the risk of pneumonia? Continue reading

Adding Distillers Grain and Soy Hulls to Sheep Diets

Jeff Held, SDSU Sheep Extension Specialists
(Previously published as an Extension Extra: South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service)

Feeding Soy Hulls and Dried Distillers Grain with Solubles to Sheep

Co-products from corn and soybean processing industries can be excellent sources of nutrients for livestock. With the growth of ethanol production from corn and increasing number of soybeans processed in the Upper Midwest, livestock producers have many nutrient-dense co-product feed resources readily available. In the Upper Midwest distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGS) derived from ethanol production and soybean hulls (SH) from soybean processing have created the greatest interest to sheep producers.

Interestingly these co-products are both high fiber-low starch in content, much like forages. Yet DDGS is classified as a protein feed and SH could be classified as an energy feedstuff.

As often found with co-product feed ingredients, these have unique nutrient profiles and physical characteristics that require attention when formulating diets. They often can serve multiple roles in diet formulation: Continue reading

The Benefits of Forage Diversity

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower managing editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: July 24, 2018)

Mother Nature’s high-quality forage gift.

The end of July always marks a crucial time for forage producers, especially those with livestock mouths to feed and less than desirable forage inventories.

But then again, even if forage inventories are in pretty good shape, why would you want to pass on the opportunity to get some additional high-quality forage?

As recent changing forage-production trends go, seeding something in late summer for additional fall, winter, or early spring forage ranks high on the list.

When temperatures begin to moderate in late August and September, it’s Mother Nature’s gift to have the opportunity for growing and/or harvesting some of the best forage of the season. Further, it can be captured in a variety of forms – hay, baleage, silage, or green.

To capitalize on this opportunity, now is the time to start formulating a strategy and evaluating options. Here are a few of my thoughts that are pertinent to this second forage-growing season: Continue reading

2nd Annual Eastern NSIP Sheep Sale

Rusty Burgett, Program Director, National Sheep Improvement Program

Hello Sheep Producers!

On behalf of the National Sheep Improvement Program and the sale committee, we would like to invite you to our 2nd annual Eastern NSIP Sheep Sale at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster, OH at 1:00 p.m. on August 11, 2018. This sale will be a great opportunity to access proven genetics that have been selected for increased productivity and profitability. Sheep can be found to improve lambing and weaning rates along with growth rates, increase carcass cutability and build parasite resistance. There will truly be a sheep for everyone. Continue reading

Late Summer Establishment of Perennial Forages

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Wayne County
Dr. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University
(Previously published in the C.O.R.N Newsletter)

(Image Source: MSU Extension Bulletin, Steps to Successful No-till Establishment of Forages)

Ohio growers experienced another wet spring and compressed 2018 spring planting season.  On some farms, this caused postponement of plans for spring seeding of alfalfa and other perennial forages.  In some areas, the prolonged wet weather affected forage harvest schedules, resulting in harvest equipment running on wet forage fields leaving ruts, compacted soils and damage to alfalfa crowns.  Some of these forage acres need to be re-seeded.

Late summer, and especially the month of August, provides growers with another window of opportunity to Continue reading