Michael Metzger, Michigan State University Extension Educator
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat: January 3, 2019)
(Image Source: NADIS)
Johne’s is a serious disease that affects small ruminants.
Johne’s disease is a fatal gastrointestinal disease of sheep and goats and other ruminants (including cattle, elk, deer, and bison) that is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). Also known as paratuberculosis, this infection is contagious, which means it can spread in your flock or herd. Young animals are more susceptible to the disease than adults. It is primarily spread by the fecal-oral route but may also be transmitted across the placenta and through milk and colostrum of infected ewes and does. The most consistent clinical sign in sheep and goats is Continue reading →
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
(Image Source: Lamb Shoppe LLC)
In addition to the annual spring and fall sheep shearing schools sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio will also be hosting an intermediate and advanced sheep shearing school scheduled for the weekend of July 27th and 28th from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Dave Cable Farm in Hebron, Ohio. As a note, the Ohio State Fair sheep shearing contest will be held on Friday, July 26th beginning at 10:00 am in the sheep barn show arena. Those interested in participating or viewing are encouraged to join! Continue reading →
Dr. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University
This month provides one of the two preferred times to seed perennial cool-season forages, the other being late summer. Two primary difficulties with spring plantings are finding a good window of opportunity when soils are dry enough before it gets too late and managing weed infestations that are usually more difficult with spring plantings. The following 10 steps will help improve your chances for successful forage establishment in the spring. Continue reading →
Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Crawford County
Wheat fields are finally turning green. As we do stand evaluations, many producers are weighing poor stands versus their need for livestock bedding. As you weigh your options, be sure to consider alternative agronomic crop fodder or cover crops as a bedding source. The two most common beddings, wheat straw and sawdust, are both already in short supply across the state of Ohio.
Precut Rye Straw
The first harvestable option is to look at cover crops you or a neighbor have planted. One option that has gained some popularity is precut rye straw. If your wheat stand is present, but not thick enough to take to head, you could follow these same principles making Continue reading →
Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)
With livestock sale season well under way here in the state of Ohio and across the country, countless sheep and youth are being united for an exciting summer together filled with memories of working in the barn to exhibiting their projects at the fair. With several sheep traveling and potentially changing hands multiple times, it is important to stop and think about what your lambs or the locations in which they were sold may have from a disease standpoint. One of the most common that you may encounter is soremouth. As a means to refresh ourselves on this disease, Susan Schoenian shares the ins and outs of this disease and reminds us that it can be spread from lamb to lamb or lamb to human.
Soremouth is the most common skin disease affecting sheep and goats. It is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus in the “pox” family. Soremouth goes by many names including contagious ecthyma, (contagious) pustular dermatitis, and orf. In Australia, it is commonly called “scabby mouth.” Continue reading →
Linda Geist, University of Missouri Extension
(Previously published in Drovers Newsletter: March 10, 2019)
Weed problems may explode this year thanks to the drought of 2018 and residual problems associated with overgrazing in parched pastures, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Valerie Tate.
Last year’s extreme weather conditions created a forage shortage. As a result, many pastures were overgrazed. Continue reading →
Jason Johnson, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA NRCS
(Previously published online in Wallaces Farmer: April 15, 2019)
Row crop farmers are beginning to focus more on improving soil health on their land for long-term sustainability. But according to USDA soil health and grassland specialists, livestock producers can also implement soil health practices to improve their pastures.
Many Midwest farmers are using soil conservation practices like no-till farming, cover crops and extended crop rotations to improve soil health on cropland. Similarly, livestock producers can adopt practices traditionally meant for forage improvement to feed microorganisms and add organic matter to the soil. Practices like rotational grazing, interseeding and forage harvest management help improve both forages and soil health. Continue reading →
Dr. Ray Kaplan, Professor of Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia
(Previously published on American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, January 2017)
(Image Source: American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control)
There now is very strong evidence that using combination treatment is the best method for using de-wormers and should be instituted on all farms immediately.
Resistance to de-wormers is a fact of life, and the situation has worsened greatly in recent years. Surveys indicate that most farms have worms resistant to at least two of the three major groups of de-wormers. Many have resistance to all three groups, and some farms now have resistance to all available de-wormers. But, having worms in your animals that are resistant to de-wormers does not mean that all the worms are resistant. For instance, when all the commonly used de-wormers were first introduced, their efficacy was > 99%. Once efficacy falls below Continue reading →
Callie Burnett, M.S. Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University
(Previously published in AGDAILY: March 29, 2019)
The importance of water as a factor in livestock production.
Although it’s “officially” spring according to the calendar, it may be a bit too early for me to extend my congratulations to you for making it through what many of us would call a rough winter. We’re close, but I certainly don’t want to jinx it. Depending on where you’re located, winter is still hanging around and with winter weather comes the not-so-joyous task of “breaking the ice,” literally. If you’re a herdsman or livestock producer, it’s very likely that you’ve had to spend a decent portion of your early mornings breaking ice in buckets, stock tanks, waterers, and the like. Sometimes, despite our greatest efforts, those things just aren’t able to stand up to the (sometimes below) freezing temperatures. Continue reading →
Jeff Cave, District Veterinary Officer, Agriculture Victoria, Wodonga
(Previously Published on Agriculture Victoria: Sheep Notes)
(Image Source: Jeff Cave – Sheep with Swayback)
Have you ever wondered whether your stock have a trace mineral deficiency?
Trace minerals such as copper, cobalt, selenium, and iodine are only required in small amounts but are still essential for optimal production, and for life. In contrast, macro-minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are required in larger amounts. Trace mineral deficiencies arise when the amount of the mineral in the food that is available for absorption by the animal through their gut is insufficient to meet their needs.
Growing animals have the highest demand for Continue reading →