(Previously published on Feedstuffs on June 24, 2019)
(Image Source: Feedstuffs – Oklahoma State University)
Adverse weather conditions during or after baling can allow mold growth, but pastures may also pose contamination risk.
With the abundance of rain that has fallen in the Midwest over the last several weeks, farmers and ranchers are likely dealing with moldy hay and spoiled feed. Moldy or spoiled feed can present a health risk for multiple species, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension equine specialist Kris Hiney said.
“Hay can be unfit for livestock due to excessive moisture while baling or exposure to the elements, such as excessive rain or flooding. Molds present in the feed may contain mycotoxins, which can cause significant health issues,” Hiney said. “While only some molds produce Continue reading
Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Clinton County
Having issues with your pastures? A soil test is always a great place to start!
Now is the time to start assessing the overall conditions of your pastures to decide what management steps must be taken to continue having a productive pasture for the coming year. Looking at the overall pasture composition becomes an important step to determining if any improvement is necessary.
What is the percent of bare ground exposed? Is it due to heavy traffic, over grazing, poor drainage or poor fertility? What is the amount of grass to legumes throughout the pasture? Do you have a lot of weeds? These are some important questions that we need to ask ourselves as we continue to battle challenging pasture and weather challenges this year. Continue reading
Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Professor and Extension Animal Scientist, Beef/Sheep, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech
(Previously published with Premier1Supplies)
Successful development,breeding, and lambing of ewe lambs is one of most important tasks of the shepherd. Summer is a critical time for the development of replacement ewe lambs as they make the transition from weaning to members of the breeding flock. Proper management of replacement ewe lambs during this time is critical to their future productivity and profitability.
In most breeding systems, replacement ewe lambs will be generated from within the flock. Therefore, attention to maternal traits in the rams siring potential replacements is critical. Additionally, preference should be given to crossbred ewe lambs. Crossbred animals have two major advantages over straightbred animals: 1) Crossbred animals exhibit heterosis (hybrid vigor), and 2) Crossbred animals combine the strengths of the breeds used to form the cross (breed complementarity). Crossbred females are superior to straightbreds for reproductive performance due to advantages received from heterosis. Crossbred ewes exhibit significant advantages Continue reading
Washington State University Extension, Animal Agriculture
(Previously published on the WSU Extension Animal Agriculture page)
Flushing isn’t just an aspect of indoor plumbing—it’s also part of a well-managed flock’s nutrition and reproduction program. This article will address the why’s and how’s of flushing sheep and goats.
What is flushing, anyway? The term describes a temporary but purposeful elevation in the plane of nutrition around breeding time. Its objective is to boost ovulation, conception, and embryo implantation rates. Flushing may also increase the proportion of females that exhibit estrus. Boosting these rates increases lambing and kidding rates by Continue reading
Michaela King, Hay and Forage Grower summer editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: June 18, 2019)
(Image Source: Noble Research Institute)
After being brought to the forefront by studies done at the Noble Research Institute (Ardmore, OK), crabgrass began gaining favor as a high-quality forage alternative. Many farmers are now considering it for improving summer pastures.
In an Arkansas Dairy e-News article, John Jennings, an extension forage specialist with the University of Arkansas (UA), notes crabgrass is a warm-season annual and, depending on rainfall, produces 2-5 tons of dry matter per acre. Crabgrass hay is typically better quality than Continue reading
(Previously published on Wormboss, Tests and Tools, Sheep)
Continually high worm burdens in your grazing animals resulting in the need to drench more frequently.
Managing the frequency and intensity with which livestock graze pasture reduces the number of infective larvae ingested from the pasture each day.
Effective grazing management will reduce the exposure of vulnerable sheep to larvae on pasture and the need for chemical (drench) intervention and at the same time provide nutrition to allow sheep to better deal with parasites. Continue reading
Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)
(Image Source: National Animal Disease Information Service)
Diarrhea is defined as an increased frequency, fluidity, or volume of fecal excretion. The feces may contain blood or mucous and be smelly. The color of the feces may be abnormal. However, it is not possible to definitively determine the infectious organism by looking at the color, consistency, or odor of the feces. A definitive identification requires a sample for microbiological analysis.
In livestock, diarrhea is called scours. There can be many causes of diarrhea: bacterial, viral, parasites, and diet. Continue reading
Michaela King, Hay and Forage Grower summer editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: June 11, 2019)
This spring has not been a kind one to farmers; it’s wet, and the forecast continues to call for more rain. Fields are being left unplanted, and hay is losing nutritional value with each passing day.
If current weather patterns continue, this sets up a scenario where hay harvest moisture is pushed to the limit or cut hay gets rained on.
Do you bale wet hay with the risk of it heating and producing mold, or do you continue to let the nutritional value of the crop drop? Continue reading
Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Wayne County
Pulling from the archives, we found it timely and appropriate to share this piece from our very own Rory Lewandowski as he reviews the benefits of implementing the FAMACHA© eye scoring system in your operation. Here at the university, we began our summer grazing project with 96 lambs, all of which will be FAMACHA© eye scored every 14 days over the course of the study as one of five measurements to track parasitism. Proper use of the of the FAMACHA© eye scoring system will be sure to prove beneficial to you and your flock/herd over the course of this grazing year.
A number of sheep and goat owners have been trained across Ohio in the use of the FAMACHA© eye scoring system, yet problems with internal parasites, in particular, with Haemonchus contortus continue. This is to be expected. Continue reading
Melanie Barkley, Livestock Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
(previously published on the Penn State Extension, Animals and Livestock page)
(Image Source: Susan Schoenian – Sheep 201)
Looking at a group of healthy sheep peacefully grazing while their lambs bounce around the pasture can be a very satisfying experience.
Proper handling of vaccines will help to insure that ewes remain healthy and produce healthy and vigorous lambs.
However, healthy animals don’t just happen, they take time and care. One step to keeping animals healthy involves vaccinating them to protect against disease. In order to accomplish good protection against disease, it is important to handle vaccines properly. Continue reading
Justin W. Waggoner, Kansas State University
(Previously published in The Stock Exchange News: May 30, 2019)
One the more common questions I receive with regard to analytical testing of forages and other feedstuffs is, “I have the sample, now what do I test for or what analysis package should I select?”
The basic components that nutritionists need to evaluate a feedstuff or develop a ration are dry matter or moisture, crude protein, an estimate of the energy content of the feedstuff — Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN), Net Energy for Maintenance (NEm), Net Energy for gain (NEg), and the macro minerals, Calcium and Phosphorous. These are the most basic numbers that are required, but Continue reading