Adapted from ‘What You Need to Know About Lambing’ presentation by Dr. Ileana Wenger.
Article, Text, and Tables provided by: Alberta Lamb Producers Factsheet
For additional information: Consult with your local veterinarian and/or additional neonatal management resources provided by Alberta Lamb Producers.
(Image Source : Farm Advisory Service)
As you have heard me say many times in the past, repetition is the key to learning. The reposting of this detailed article on the topic of intraperitoneal injection is no different. In talking with some shepherds as well as viewing comments and videos online in the past few days, this invaluable technique has already been implemented this season to save a number of young lambs as shepherds face challenges with the extreme fluctuations in temperatures. I can attest that this protocol works. Last year I used this article to follow the step-by-step process of this procedure. In our specific case, the lamb made a full recovery. This isn’t to say that this is a surefire way to save lambs, but it is a tool to consider to improve your odds when all other options have been exhausted. Who knows, a few minutes of reading may end up saving you a chunk of change this lambing and kidding season.
Most lamb deaths that occur shortly after birth are due to starvation and/or hypothermia (low body temperature). These losses are most often preventable, and lambs can be saved if problems are identified and treated quickly.
Supported by the American Sheep Industry Let’s Grow Program, instructors from Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program provide their insight on identifying keys factors that may reduce labor during the lambing season. Labor saving suggestions revolve around watering, feeding, and bedding systems in addition to barn layouts to improve animal flow throughout the system.
I wrote this article in September 2021 for the Mid-Ohio Shepherds Grazing Conference and now that the conference resource guide has been published, I wanted to share this updated version which also includes a recent report on lamb consumption from the American Lamb Board below. Enjoy!
For those that follow the sheep and goat industry closely, I am sure that you have noticed that prices are better more than ever. For those that haven’t followed the recent market trends, I encourage you to do so – it may spark your interest in raising sheep or goats! As I write this in mid-September, the American Sheep Industry (ASI) reports that lambs, regardless of weight, are valued at 40% – 80% more than when compared with prices from the fall of 2020. For lambs weighing 60-90 lbs. live, the nation is seeing an average price of $2.69/lb., with slaughter weight lambs (100-140 lbs.) being valued at $2.47/lb. As we move into the fall and winter months, I only foresee these price trends to increase, which has held true!
Purchasing livestock mortality insurance could save high-risk genetic investments from an unexpected situation.
You save up to invest in another animal to add to your herd or flock. Or maybe, you just purchased a show animal that will travel across the country. This genetic investment could provide opportunity for your operation, but do you have livestock mortality insurance in case something goes wrong?
“Full-risk livestock mortality insurance is like life insurance for an individual animal,” says Ryan Thurston, livestock insurance agent at Heltebridle Bounds near Taneytown, Md. “A policy will protect that investment, even if it’s just as short term as one year.”
Dr. Reid Redden, Associate Professor and Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
(Reid’s Ram-blings: November 2021)
By now you know that I am a strong proponent of eating and promoting the consumption of lamb and goat meat. Bottom line, it is delicious, but the reasons to include lamb or goat in your meal rotation do not end there. It is nutritious and versatile in the ways it can be prepared. And as producers I believe it is important for us to be advocates of our own products.
When we cook and eat lamb and goat ourselves, we also become better advocates for it. I can’t count the number of times, I’ve heard “I only like lamb when Reid cooks it.” Over time, the fear of something different and we gain another advocate. Be Patient!
As a routine customer, I’m always inquiring about the origin of the product. Often, they are sourced from another country. Imported lamb is perceived by many consumers as Continue reading →
One of the most common asked questions that I receive on a weekly basis revolves around the topic of indoor housing options for sheep and goats. Unfortunately, resources here in the United States are limited on this subject. Thankfully, other shepherds from around the world have already investigated this need. Although from the perspective on an Irish sheep system, Mr. Edward Egan of Teagasc nicely outlines the top 10 considerations involved in building or refurbishing an existing facility used to house sheep. Because of resources and climatic conditions here in Ohio, not all of the presented information may apply to our producers. However, this video does outline important factors such as feeding and floor space allotments, ventilation, and feeding system that can be used as you begin designing your new system. A word of caution, much of the information is presented in metric measurements, but don’t worry. Pause your video and do the conversions. I think that many of you will find these values of interest as they may be able to be used to improve your current system. If nothing else, enjoy 10 minutes of pictures capturing alternative sheep production systems.
Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Clinton County
Robert Moore, Extension Associate, Agriculture, Environmental, and Development Economics
Interest in meat goats has grown rapidly in Ohio over the past 10 years. Goat is the most frequently consumed meat in the world. In the United States, meat goat production is growing because of goats’ economic value as efficient converters of low-quality forages into quality meat, milk, and hide products for many specialty type markets.
A big reason for the growing popularity of meat goats in this country is the large number of ethnic groups who have settled in this country and who prefer goat meat, milk, and cheese products. The meat goat is popular for another reason. Where resources are limited, a small herd of goats may be the only livestock enterprise that a small, part-time farmer can raise efficiently and profitably and become self-sufficient. In Ohio, goats are growing in popularity as a popular 4-H or FFA youth project, and many youth are raising meat goats for breeding or show. Continue reading →
Before getting into the sheep business, ask yourself these questions:
Do I like sheep?
Will sheep fit into my current operation?
What size of sheep operation do I want?
Do I have adequate facilities to handle the number I want?
Will I have an adequate feed supply?
Do I want to lamb in the spring or fall?
What breeds should I select to achieve my goals?
When and where can I market my lambs?
Could I have a predator problem?
Why Raise Sheep?
There are several reasons why you might want to consider raising sheep. Sheep are more efficient than beef cattle in the conversion of forage to retail product. The initial investment required to begin a sheep enterprise is relatively low. Expensive sheds and barns are not necessary; often buildings you already have will provide the dry, clean shelter needed by sheep. Sheep production is not limited only to Continue reading →
The American Wool Assurance website launched today at AmericanWoolAssurance.org, allowing American sheep producers to take a crucial step in certifying their wool through this voluntary, American industry-driven certification process.
The American Sheep Industry Association worked with Colorado State University the past two years to develop the voluntary program and standards that will allow manufacturers to purchase American wool with confidence that the animals producing that wool have been raised with a high level of care. Industry input from producers, shearers, buyers, extension, animal welfare experts and processors was critical in development of program standards.
“This is something that consumers and brands are asking for increasingly, and so it has become Continue reading →