Knowing how much water grazing sheep need access to can help, especially during winter management.
Water is certainly an essential nutrient for life, and it is without question that all animals need water to survive and thrive. To be perfectly clear, I am not questioning whether or not sheep need water, but rather asking the question: When do sheep need supplemental, fluid water from a water source? This question has important implications for how sheep are managed, especially during winter.
With Thanksgiving only a few short days away, when I reflect on the opportunities that The Ohio State University has provided to it’s students, we have plenty to be thankful for. This past spring I had the great opportunity to assist with the Scotland’s Ruminants study abroad program. For those interested in the details of this trip, be sure to check out my article: Scottish Sheep Production Through an American Lens. However, rather than reiterating what was written here, I will leave you with this video that undergraduate student, Caleb Rykaczewski, produced to highlight his experiences on the trip. Be sure to share this with your family when you all gather this week. Happy Thanksgiving!
This year’s forage analysis reports are showing more than the usual number of high-ash forages, according to Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension dairy nutrition specialist.
Typically, cool-season grasses harvested as hay or silage have about 7% – 9% ash, while legumes harvested as hay or silage average 10% – 12% ash. There are some outside factors that affect the mineral concentrations. As plants mature, the mineral concentration will decline, but forages grown in soils with high levels of available potassium often have higher mineral concentrations. Continue reading →
It seems like foxtail grass has taken over every pasture and hay field in Ohio in 2019. My good friend and Extension colleague, Clif Martin, wrote an excellent article detailing “How to Fight Foxtail in Forages.” I highly recommend you review this article to learn strategies to manage this weed. If his article is not enough to get you motivated, then hopefully this article will. Foxtail is not only a weed competitor and invader of your hay and pasture fields, but it also can cause some significant medical problems for grazing livestock, horses, and companion animals. Take a close look at the picture of a foxtail awn. It is very tiny as you can see in comparison to the dime placed for reference. Note that its shape is similar to a lawn dart, which means that it can only travel in one direction, point first. Depending on what species variety of foxtail grass present, this places the seed heads with Continue reading →
Cameron Lauwers is a first generation sheep producer and fourth generation farmer from Capac, Michigan who runs 600 ewes in a mostly housed accelerated lambing system. This pursuit is fairly new for his family. Originally, they were a dairy farm. Cameron’s Father, Uncle, and Grandfather implemented a successful farm succession plan by selling out of the dairy business in the 1980s, entering the cash crop market in the next generation, and diversifying into hay, baleage, straw, and now lamb. Cameron is the shepherd and his father Mike is the hay man.
Make sure you protect your vaccine’s effectiveness with a few practical steps.
Getting the most out of a vaccine starts with the syringes and needles.
Dr. Cody Creelman, a bovine veterinarian in southern Alberta, recently held a free webinar on ways to make cattle vaccines more effective. Part of his webinar covered how to keep needles and syringes clean and working well.
Ruminants secret enormous quantities of saliva from eight types of glands. The secretions are serous (watery), mucus, or mixed. The mixed secretions are weakly buffered while the others are strongly buffered with bicarbonate and phosphate. Saliva moistens and lubricates food and assists in masticating (chewing) and swallowing. Saliva contributes more than 70% of the water and most of the salts to the rumen. It assists in stabilizing rumen pH and provides sources of nitrogenous and mineral nutrients for the microorganisms. Continue reading →
No longer will producers who need injectable antibiotics for their [livestock] be able to just grab them at their local feed store or order them online.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wants producers to be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is continuing the phasing in of a law that requires a prescription for any antibiotic use in animals raised for human consumption, as well as for all companion animals.
Prescriptions, livestock and your vet
A prescription is already required for most antibiotics delivered to livestock, and the remaining three categories of injectable antibiotics available over-the-counter will soon be joining the list of medically important antimicrobials that require a veterinarian’s prescription. Continue reading →
This question has been commonplace this year, especially with the inability of many producers to make hay at a reasonable time. However, this isn’t to say that there isn’t hay to be purchased, because there is, but rather that hay of acceptable quality at a reasonable price is nearly non-existent.
With this in mind, we challenge you to think about how generations before us fed low quality hay. It was simple right? Feed more of the lower quality material and allow the animals to choose which parts of the bale are the best. Then once they have eaten what they want, pitch the rest of it on the ground for bedding. This may be true, but what happens when we aren’t feeding enough of the ‘good stuff’? Continue reading →
Baleage offers a low cost, high quality forage option for sheep and goats but care must be taken to reduce health risks.
Many small ruminant producers are looking for ways to reduce feed costs for their herd or flock. Hay prices in Michigan are high after the extremely wet spring followed by a hot, dry summer. As owners look to reduce their forage costs, baled silage or “baleage” is one possible choice, but there are several things to consider when evaluating this choice. Continue reading →
As we made the trip this morning to the Eastern Agricultural Research Station (EARS) in Belle Valley, Ohio to begin our fall grazing project, I found it fitting to share this video. In 1977, the highlighted handling system in this video was one of a kind in the east and many others began to take notice. Its amazing how handling equipment, techniques, and products used over the years have changed, yet at the same time many of the behavioral theories on how to work animals remain the same. At The Ohio State University, we strive to continue educating ourselves and our producers on the newest technology and latest management practices available. With this film dating back 42 years ago, I think its time that we make an additional one. To this day, sheep production continues to maintain a strong foothold in the great Buckeye state and we are grateful to be a part of it.