Minnesota Goat Confirmed to have Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension Teams
(Previously published online with North Dakota State University Extension and Ag Research News: March, 21, 2024)

A juvenile goat in Minnesota recently tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). While HPAI has been detected in predatory mammals that prey on infected birds, this is the first identified case of HPAI in domestic livestock in the U.S. The goat lived on the same premises where a poultry flock tested positive for HPAI in late February. The goat shared the same pasture and sole water source as the poultry flock.

HPAI is a known disease of wild and domestic poultry and waterfowl. There is limited information available about HPAI infection in ruminants, though in some species, animals with immature or compromised immune systems appear to be at greater risk of infection. Only Continue reading

Spring Pasture To-Do’s

Evie Smith, Small Farms and Master Gardener Coordinator, Oregon State University
(Previously published online with Oregon State University Extension Service: April, 2023)

When snow and ice finally ease up, and spring is just around the corner, your forage plants will start growing again. This means it’s time to start thinking about spring management for your pasture. Below are some management activities you should start planning for or doing.

Soil test
If you didn’t test it last fall, test the soil in your pasture this spring (or plan to do it this coming fall). OSU Extension recommends you test the soil in your pasture every one to two years to know how to amend your soil to get the most out of your pasture. The following resources can help you take and interpret your soil test. Continue reading

The Best Time to Market Sheep and Goats

Anthony Carver, University of Tennessee Extension Agent, Grainger County
(Previously published online with the University of Tennessee Extension Institute of Agriculture)

Any producer of any product always wants the best price they can get. Sheep and goat producers are the exact same way. To really understand the demand and supply economics of sheep and goats, one must first understand the large groups purchasing them.

The main purchasers for sheep and goats are ethnic groups. The purchasers recognize different holidays and feast days than most producers. This is the most important factor to understand in marketing sheep and goats.

Just like all holidays, the demand for certain foods go up. An example would be Continue reading

Forage Has Greened Up – So What’s Next?

Tom Kilcer, Certified Crop Advisor, Kinderhook, New York
(Previously published online with FarmProgress – American Agriculturalist: March 19, 2024)

Commentary: Early spring growth demands sufficient nitrogen and sulfur to optimize yield and quality.

Winter is coming to an end, and much faster than in normal years.

People I talked to in New York say they had less winter than we did in Tennessee. We saw an 8-inch blizzard — we rarely get 1 inch — and minus 9 degrees! We never get that cold this far south.

In any case, winter forage and grasses are greening up. This is one of those years where you should move early to get a jump on the season. The already enormous amount of spring growth demands sufficient nitrogen and sulfur to optimize yield and quality.

There are many factors that determine the best nitrogen rate to apply in spring. Recommended rates can be anywhere from 0 to 250 pounds of N per acre. You can’t change what happened last fall, but you can use it to determine Continue reading

What to Watch for with Asian Longhorned Ticks and Theileria in Ohio in 2024

Dr. Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

(Image Source: Tadhgh Rainey, Hunterdon County Health Services, New Jersey)

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance twenty years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in cattle, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. I first wrote about ALHT  in All About Grazing in July of 2020 with the article “The Threat of Asian longhorned tick continues” and then followed up with a March 2nd, 2023 article “Managing Asian longhorned ticks on pasture” so I want to provide an update on where we are in the state of Ohio with ALHT right now.

Where are we seeing ALHT in Ohio right now?
As of the end of 2023, we had positively identified ALHT in Continue reading

Top Tips for Healthy Lambs

Sarah McNaughton, Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress
(Previously published online with Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress: January 19, 2024)

Montana State Extension shares management practices for lambing and kidding.

With lambing and kidding season arriving to ranches, now is the time to evaluate management and facilities for a successful spring crop. Brent Roeder, sheep and wool Extension specialist at Montana State University, shared health management tips for lambs and kids during a recent producer-focused webinar.

Sheep and goats are management-responsive, with nutritional, environmental, or predatory stressors opening the door to disease.

“A lot of livestock management with sheep and goats is knowing how to manage the stress, especially in lambing,” Roeder said. “Knowing what to feed, when to feed, when to vaccinate, how to manage in the cold weather, how to keep predators out — all of those things play into maximizing your performance.”

While lamb loss is never ideal, Roeder said that it’s something that can’t be avoided. “It’s impossible to Continue reading

Dairy Goat Management: Seasonal Tips and Tricks

Dr. Mary Blankevoort, DVM
American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) Publicity/Promotional/Educational Committee
(Previously published online with ADGA: January 13, 2024)

(Image Source: American Dairy Goat Association – Dairy Goat Management Calendar)

This dairy goat management calendar is offered as a guide to assist you in preparing for each season. Some breeds and breeders may have unique needs or practice out-of-season breeding. Always seek the advice of your small ruminant veterinarian and never disregard professional advice or delay seeking professional veterinarian assistance because of something you read on this website. (Printable Version of this Dairy Goat Management Calendar).


Prepare for Kidding Continue reading