Lambing and Kidding Basics Discussion – February 18, 2023

Tim Barnes, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Marion County

Lambing and Kidding Basics

Dr. Michelle “Mitch” Michalak, Dr. Brady Campbell, and Jacci Smith are the headline speakers for a Lambing and Kidding program presented by the Marion County Sheep Improvement Association, and OSU Extension Marion County. The event will be held at the farm of Tim Swisher (Swisher Club Lambs) 9163 Irvin-Shoots, LaRue, Ohio starting at 10:00 am on Saturday, February 18. A lamb sandwich lunch will be provided by the Marion County Sheep Improvement Association. Dr. Mitch Michalak, Maria Stein Animal Clinic, will explain the “Obstetrics & Care of Newborns” plus discuss general flock/herd health. Dr. Brady Campbell, OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, will present “Nutrition: Gestation, Nursing, Early Growth, & Maintenance”. Jacci Smith, Delaware County Extension Educator, will highlight “Birthing Problem Simulator & New Technology for Your Farm” and Tim Barnes, Marion County Extension Educator, will explain a successful system to “ Artificial Rearing for Young Offspring”. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions and learn about caring for the newborns in your flock/herd. Pre-registration is requested by calling OSU Extension, Marion County at 740-914-3020 by February 15.

For more details on this event, be sure to click here to view the program flyer.

Over-the-Counter Antibiotics Will Require Veterinary Oversight (Rx) Beginning in June of 2023

Dr. Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Oho State University

By June of 2023, all medically important antibiotics currently available at most feed or farm supply stores will now require veterinary oversight (written Rx) to be used in animals, even if the animals are not intended for food production. Examples of affected antibiotics include injectable penicillin and oxytetracycline. In addition, some retail suppliers who were able to sell these drugs/products in the past may no longer sell them after June of 2023. This means that small and large animal veterinarians should be prepared for an increase in calls and visits from animal owners who previously may have purchased these drugs over the counter at their local farm supply store. To continue using medically important antimicrobials, you may need to establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Consult with your local or regularly used veterinarian for more information.

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Safe Use of Heat Lamps and Barn Monitoring System

Jason Hartschuh, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Field Specialist

During the winter lambing and kidding seasons, ensuring that lambs and kids get up and dry as fast as possible is critical for survivability and thus operation success. As producers, we can assist with this process by providing a warm area by offering supplemental heat and reducing barn draft while the young are still wet. For many operations, a heating system is part of their lamb and kid survival strategy with the lower critical temperature for lambs and kids being 50°F. Below this temperature lambs and kids are chilled and either need additional energy or supplemental heat. Unfortunately, heating systems add risk to our livestock barns. Any system has at least a minimal increase in fire risk. Especially the most common way of adding heat with heat lamps over deep bedded straw.

When using heat lamps there are some best management practices to keep in mind. Continue reading

Tips on Using Lesser-quality Forages

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer
(Previously published online with Farm Progress: January 27, 2023)

Testing the forages is the key, along with diluting them and allowing livestock to be selective.

Hay and forages after last summer’s extreme [weather conditions] come at a premium price and are of great value, especially with winter storms that piled snow on top of potential winter grazing resources.

After a snowy winter in parts of the Great Plains, producers might be digging into their feed piles and notice spoilage or mold. Molds can occur any time of the year, and the risk of problems can show up early or late in the year as well.

“In hay, excess dust can be a sign of mold spores, and can actually cause respiratory issues in humans and livestock,” says Continue reading

2023 OSU Extension Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference – Sowing Seeds for Success

Carri Jagger, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morrow County

OSU Extension to host Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference – March 11th, 2023- in Mansfield, Ohio

Ohio State Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Mansfield Ohio on March 11, 2023.  The theme for this year’s Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference is “Sowing Seeds for Success.”

Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation.  There will be five different conference tracks including: Farm Office, Horticulture and Produce Production, Livestock, Agritourism/ Marketing, Natural Resources.

Some conference topic highlights include: How to purchase our family farm, food animal processing, bee keeping, sweet corn, blueberry and pumpkin production, small ruminant nutrition, agritourism laws, fruit tree pruning and cut flower diseases. Continue reading

Winter Forage Management Means Business Strategy

Rebecca Kern-Lunbery, Animal Scientist, Ward Laboratories Inc.
(Previously published online: Progressive Forage – December 7, 2022)

While we all get anxious during the winter months and feel as if there must be something we can do out in our fields, preparing a good strategy for the upcoming growing season may just be the most proactive thing to do.

Winter management for forage producers looks quite different from the rest of the year. Many might feel as if there must be something they can do to get a jump on next season. Fertilizer application is ill advised during winter months due to frozen ground and the risk of runoff. Use of heavy equipment for overseeding or perhaps removing an alfalfa stand is also not advisable during these months. If the ground is frozen, you won’t be successful. With any snow precipitation and muddy fields, you risk destroying established sod or causing issues with compaction. So, should we just sit back and relax until spring?

No. Now is the time for strategic planning on your operation. While it may seem dull to Continue reading

How Much Should You Charge? Pricing Your Meat Cuts

Brian F. Moyer, Education Program Associate, Business and Community Vitality, Penn State University Extension
(Previously published online: PennState Extension – December 22, 2022)

Pricing meat for direct-to-consumer sales.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling halves, quarters, or single cuts, you need to know your cost of production first. What are your costs of raising that animal from day one until the day of slaughter? In any business endeavor, keeping good records is essential to knowing if you are going to be profitable or not. Once you know your cost of production, there are some tools you can use to help you determine what price you may want to attach to your fine, farm-fresh product.

Mike Debach of the Leona Meat Plant in Troy, Pennsylvania, has a nifty process you can use thatwill help you figure out your costs after processing so you can determine your retail price. For this example, understand that the cost of production will vary depending on Continue reading

All About Grazing – Pasture Improvements by Osmosis

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

(Don’t miss the 2023 OFGC conference on Feb. 17th. Click the ‘continue reading’ tab below for more details and registration information.)

The New Year evokes a spirit of willingness to change for the better. Resolutions to make healthier, cleaner, more economical, more environmentally friendly, and/or more spiritually fulfilling decisions are prevalent right now. Something about flipping the calendar gives us hope that now is a good time for change. Regardless of what day on the calendar it is, if you want to change something for the better, today is the perfect day to start.

Personally, I am a fan of the kind of resolutions that create less work for myself rather than those that create more. My day and my mind are already divided between too many things, to add another or three makes me exhausted just thinking about it. What I need is change by osmosis.

Osmosis, what does that word really mean?

It means Continue reading