Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Licking County
OSU Extension in Licking County and the Licking County Sheep Improvement Association are providing a Lambing and Kidding School on Thursday, October 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be no fee for this class, but we do require registration by October 17th. Call 740-670-5315 to make your reservation. The location will be the Licking Valley Church of Christ at 158 Dayton Rd NE, Newark OH 43055.
With lambing and kidding seasons approaching, now is the time to prepare. Our class will discuss nutrition needs for nannies and ewes, pregnancy management from beginning to end and delivery techniques using hands on birthing simulators. Lunch will be included!
Anita O’Brien, Sheep and Goat Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs
(Previously published online as an OMAFRA publication: February 11, 2010)
The practice of increasing nutrient intake and body condition prior to and during breeding is called flushing. Its purpose is to increase the rate of ovulation and, hence, lambing rate.
The response to flushing is influenced by:
- age of the ewe (mature ewes show a greater response than yearlings)
- breed (prolific breeds are least responsive)
- body condition (thin ewes respond more than those in above- average condition)
- stage of the breeding season (greatest response is seen early and late in the breeding season).
Flushing is especially beneficial for Continue reading
Jaelyn Quintana, South Dakota State University Extension Sheep Field Specialist
(Previously published online with South Dakota State University Extension: November 23, 2021)
Managing nutrition during breeding season is critical for improving lambing rates, but it can often be a challenge. When breeding for spring-born lambs, forages are declining in nutritional value while nutrient requirements for sheep are increasing. Fall lambing requires breeding when heat can challenge conception. Regardless of the time of year, it’s important to keep ewes and rams in mind before, during and after breeding season. Prior to and throughout breeding, many producers utilize flushing to increase ovulation rates. During the breeding season, rams are working hard to service ewes in heat while attempting to meet their own nutritional needs. Increasing the flock’s plane of nutrition continues to play an important role in ewes by reducing early embryonic death and helping rams recover after breeding.
Success of breeding is largely dependent on nutrition. Simple management techniques, such as Continue reading
Dr. Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor, OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist
Tim Barnes, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Marion County
Dr. Alvaro Garcia-Guerra, Assistant Professor, OSU Reproductive Physiology
Whether it’s at the state fair or local livestock auction, a conversation that commonly occurs among producers revolves around the success rate of their breeding programs. In New Zealand during the late 1980s, a controlled internal drug release (CIDR) was developed and released for intravaginal release of progesterone (P4). Since then, estrous synchronization has improved on-farm production efficiencies that can assist in grouping lambing dates, breeding ewes out-of-season, or can serve as a crucial step in the implementation of artificial insemination.
Let’s Review the Basics Continue reading
Ted H. Doane, Extension Sheep Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
(Previously published online the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: August 1986)
Although this publication is a bit dated, it still provides quality content as it relates to the use of ram lambs for the upcoming breeding season. As producers begin to search for their next sire for 2022, remember not to discount some of the younger stock. As with anything else, diligent management and attention to detail will be of great benefit in the long run when it comes to the potential use of ram lambs in your operation.
This NebGuide explains how ram lambs can be most efficiently used in a breeding program and provides management suggestions for a successful program.
Are you planning to use a ram lamb this breeding season? If so, you should consider the capabilities and limitations of ram lambs.
It may be true that some well-grown, aggressive, vigorous, highly fertile ram lambs can settle 50 ewes and maybe more. However, these rams are exceptions. A good rule to follow for practical ram management is Continue reading
Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Extension Specialist, Small Ruminants
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat)
Although breeding season for many is several months away, its sheep sale season across the nation and producers are on the hunt for their next stud ram. Once acquired, rams should be tested and stowed away for safe keeping until its their time to shine. In general, spermatogenesis (the production of viable sperm) can take up to 12 weeks to regenerate if rams experience health complications or heat stress. Therefore, talking about the 2022 breeding season now is timely and a read that is worthwhile.
Ensuring the health and reproductive viability of rams on your farm is critical to a successful breeding program. Because one ram can service 50+ ewes during an optimal breeding season, there is a lot more risk for flock reproductive problems associated with his fertility compared to those of individual ewes. One unsuccessful season can have a huge impact at lambing time and beyond. This risk can be minimized by following some fairly simple and straightforward steps.
Ram physical examination
Producers should become familiar with performing simple breeding exams on rams several weeks prior to the breeding season. This involves Continue reading