Melanie Barkley, Livestock Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
(previously published on the Penn State Extension, Animals and Livestock page)
As a follow up to one of last weeks articles, Sheep Selection Tools, a good set of production records will serve as help tool in managing a profitable flock as well as assist you in making appropriate management decisions.
A key to profitability of any livestock operation is a good set of records.
Choosing what type of records to keep for your sheep operation initially starts with looking at what influences profitability of the flock. Once you decide what affects the profitability, then you can start collecting the records that help you make better informed decisions. These decisions might include tasks such as how to select the best performing sheep in your flock, how to identify sheep that should be culled, or how to identify expenses that could be decreased. Continue reading
Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team
The effects of winter feeding systems in gestating sheep on ewe and lamb pre-weaning performance.
As the breeding season comes to an end and winter approaches, it is important to consider how pregnant ewes will be managed as lambing season approaches.
There are several options available to producers for winter feeding strategies such as stockpiling forages on pasture, stored hay, grains, and recently the use of byproducts. Winter feeding can be a challenge as providing enough energy to meet the maintenance requirement of the gestating ewe and growth of the fetus becomes difficult.
Image Source: University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Department of Animal Sciences
In order to determine the effects of Continue reading
Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator, Guernsey County
The economics of selling lambs at weaning or finishing them out is heavily influenced by the cost of feed. Assuming at your facility, you have the option of selling lightweight weaned lambs or finishing them, let us compare the two scenarios.
Feed prices may vary considerably and a recent check with local dealers revealed a range in cost for 14-16 % crude protein grower/finisher feed of $136.40 – $207.00 per ton. Prices will vary throughout the area and it is possible to custom blend your own recipe even cheaper. However, Continue reading
Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director of Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
In recent months the leadership of Ohio Agriculture has been facing the reality that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has painted a bulls-eye on our Buckeye State. The group has publicly stated it would like to make Ohio its next victory, seeking to initiate and pass provisions similar to those that passed with a two-thirds majority in California as Proposition 2.
At a meeting they requested with Ohio Ag groups in February, HSUS representatives said Continue reading
Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Athens County
Increased fertilizer, fuel, and equipment costs have made stored forages an expensive commodity. The forage produced in pastures has likewise increased in value. Good pasture management offers the opportunity to lower sheep production costs by utilizing the animal to fertilize and harvest the forage. Often pasture management discussions center around rotational grazing principles. In this article I want to consider another aspect of pasture management. Do your pastures contain the species mix and varieties that will Continue reading