A Flood of Litter

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

One of the many challenges of flooded conditions is dealing with the garbage that is often swept into crop fields and pastures along with the water. It certainly is frustrating to watch the water recede and leave a trail of litter tangled in crop residue and fence lines. As disheartening and downright gross it is to walk the trail and gather other people’s garbage, it is important to make sure litter is removed promptly to prevent further issues at a later time.

Along with being unsightly, this litter may be accidently ingested by livestock if it is baled in hay or harvested with grain and can cause damages to equipment if it becomes entangled. Ingested metals and plastics can lead to a variety of digestive problems that can cause chronic struggles, acute illness, and/or death. Animals that have a digestive obstruction may Continue reading

Precision Flock Management

For those that are interested in moving your operation forward in terms of facilities, management, record keeping, and anything between – this presentation by Canadian sheep producer Patrick Smith is well worth the listen. In his presentation Patrick provides an inside review of his operation including the practices that work and those that he’d like to change. Near the end of his presentation, Patrick also discusses facility design which may be of most interest to those looking to expand. Enjoy the talk and please reach out if you would like to discuss details on your next improvement project within your own operation!

Weaning Management for Goat Kids

Ontario Goat
(Previously published online with Ontario Goat: 2020)

Weaning, or transitioning from a milk-based to solid diet, is one of the most stressful events in a kid’s life. It is not uncommon for kids to grow more slowly, stop growing, or even lose weight at weaning. This is referred to as “weaning shock”. Strategies should be implemented to reduce any negative effects that may arise as a result of weaning to protect health and welfare while maintaining growth. In meat goats, weaning may occur at the same time the kid is separated from the doe, causing additional stress. In dairy goats, maternal separation and weaning are usually separate events. This article covers strategies for weaning kids from milk who are already separated from their dam.

There is some evidence that dairy kids grow very well if provided with milk until 84-112 days (12-16 weeks) of age. The increase in growth at a younger age may allow replacement doelings to reach breeding weight at a younger age, reducing the cost of raising them. Producers must decide if the potential increase in growth and future milk production outweighs the cost of additional milk or milk replacer.

Preparing for weaning
Preparing kids for weaning should start early. Kids must be exposed to Continue reading