Learn the Myths about Ticks to Keep Yourself Safe

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

I remember one day back when I was in private practice when a client brought in their dog for their examination and vaccinations and when he set his pup up on the examination table I noticed that the dog’s entire top half of his fur was slicked back. When I asked about this the client stated that he noticed ticks on the dog, so he covered him with motor oil to drown them out. I have also had clients tell me they put cigarettes out on ticks to burn them off or use kerosene to drown them off. Hopefully, they never use both of those “treatments” at the same time!

Veterinarians have a long history of dealing with Continue reading

USDA Factsheet: Scrapie Animal Identification for Sheep and Goats

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Factsheet: December, 2020 / Official ID types for Sheep and Goats

National Scrapie Eradication Program: Animal Identification and Recordkeeping Guide for Sheep and Goats

(Image Source: USDA – Examples of Official USDA Sheep and Goat Scrapie Tags)

Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. There is no cure or treatment for scrapie. The National Scrapie Eradication Program, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), has reduced the prevalence of scrapie in adult sheep sampled at slaughter by more than 99%. However, the cooperation of sheep and goat producers is needed to find and eliminate the last few cases in the United States.

Producers are required to follow federal and state regulations for officially identifying their sheep and goats. Producers must also keep herd records, showing what new animals were added and what animals left the herd/flock. This guide helps producers follow the regulations.

How to Get Official Eartags Continue reading

Fertilizing Hay and Pastures

Dr. Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Specialist, The Ohio State University
Greg LaBarge, OSU Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems Department of Extension
(Previously published in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter 16-2021)

Many hay producers across the state have completed or are in the process of completing their first cutting of the year. One of the two best times to top-dress maintenance fertilizer on hay is right after the first cutting. The other top choice is in the early fall. Remember that hay crops will remove about 50 lbs. of K2O and 12 lbs. of P2O5 per ton of dry hay harvested.

Fertilizer can be top-dressed on hay or pastures at any time during the growing season, but right after the first cutting and early fall provide times when the soils are usually firm enough to Continue reading

Drug Withdrawal Times for Sheep

Isabel Richards, Veterinary Science – South Africa and owner/operator of Gibraltar Farm
(Previously published with the Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins (EAPK): May 25, 2021)

(Image Source: Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, North Carolina State University – Sheep Anthelmintic Withdrawal Times)

Whenever we sell animals, be it at auction, privately as feeder lambs, breeding stock or even just pets and lawnmowers it is our responsibility to make sure that the animals we are selling will not enter the food chain with illegal drug residues in their tissue. Animals that are sold at auction need to be ready to slaughter as many enter the food chain within hours or days after being sold. Private sale feeder lambs, pets and breeding stock animals can be sold before their drug withdrawal times are over as long as you tell the buyer and they are okay with taking responsibility. Be sure to include the information on the bill of sale too, for your protection. The animal you are selling might not be intended to go to slaughter any time soon, but accidents happen and circumstances change, so buyers need to be aware if the animals have drug residues in their tissue.

Animals are randomly tested for drug residues at slaughter by the food inspection service officers. Animals that test positive for Continue reading

Hay Barn Fires are a Real Hazard

Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Crawford County
(Previously published in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter 15-2021)

(Image Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension System)

Hay fires are caused when bacteria in wet hay create so much heat that the hay spontaneously combusts in the presence of oxygen. At over 20% moisture mesophilic bacteria release heat-causing temperature to rise between 130°F – 140ºF with temperature staying high for up to 40 days. As temperatures rise, thermophilic bacteria can take off in your hay and raise temperature into the fire danger zone of over 175°F.

Assessing Your Risk
If hay was baled between 15% – 20% moisture and acid preservatives were used, there is still potential for a hay fire but not as great as on non-treated hay. A moisture tester on your baler can help you know how moisture varies across your field and when to use hay preservative. Without a moisture tester, if you occasionally find darker green damp spots or humidity is high, be sure to monitor for heating. Most propionic acid-based products are Continue reading

Rectal Prolapse in Small Ruminants

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

(Image Source: Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

Rectal Prolapse – A complex problem with many contributing factors

A rectal prolapse is when a portion of the rectum protrudes outside the anus. It is easy to recognize. The exposed tissue is usually a bright, cherry red (at first). Eventually, the exposed tissue becomes dry and cracked, causing more irritation and straining.

If left unattended, a rectal prolapse can become a life-threatening condition and a cruel way for an animal to die, as untreated animals may prolapse their entire intestinal tract and go into shock.

Sheep of any breed, age, or sex may be affected. Ewe lambs that prolapse should not be retained for breeding, as they are more likely to prolapse their vaginas at lambing. Prolapses occur less often in goats than sheep. Prolapses can occur in other livestock and humans as well.

Treatment
Correction may be Continue reading

Perennial Weeds can Indicate Soil Health Problems in Pastures

Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Licking County
(Previously published in Farm and Dairy: May 6, 2021)

If plants could talk, we could learn a lot, and our jobs as stewards of the land would be much easier. When we go to the doctor because we are sick, we do not sit quietly and expect the doctor to know how we feel and then tell us how to get better. We need to provide information that will help with the diagnosis.

But since plants cannot talk, our job is difficult when we try to locate the source of a problem, such as low productivity or an infestation of weeds.

Recently, one of my colleagues, Ed Brown, suggested a method of taking stock of what is growing in your pasture. Knowing what plants are growing in your pastures is an important first step in listening to what the pasture is telling you. Varieties of plants or changes in these populations from year to year can provide important clues. Continue reading