On the border of Southwestern Montana and Eastern Idaho lay the rangelands that comprise the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. Sheep Experiment Station. My interest in sheep production and my nephew’s enjoyment of road trips, led us on the three-hour trek from Bozeman, Montana to Dubois, Idaho last week to set foot on the influential sites where many American sheep research and rangeland management discoveries originated. After catching up over lunch at an old-fashioned soda fountain in Ennis, Montana, we crossed the Idaho border, and continued on through beautiful stretches of native rangelands peppered with cattle grazing as we followed winding gravel roads to Dubois.
The Sheep Experiment Station Headquarters is located about six miles north of Dubois, although the grazing lands under station management total over 48,000 acres in two states, Idaho and Montana. Station Research Leader- Dr. Joshua Bret Taylor met us upon arrival at headquarters and gave us a whirlwind tour of the main facilities located on the 28,000-acre site surrounding the station office. Some of the earliest research on Continue reading →
Helping each sheep producer find ways to be more efficient plus take more control of flock productivity, both of which protect against price volatility, is the bottom line reason for the Best Practices to Increase Your Lamb Crop fact sheets. The series is a joint effort of the American Lamb Board (ALB) and the American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow program. These fact sheets were developed by a group of industry experts and are designed to help producers increase their productivity and profitability. Continue reading →
Abortions in sheep and goats are common submissions to the Animal Disease Diagnostic laboratory (ADDL), particularly in late winter and spring. The ADDL has assembled a multi-discipline diagnostic panel approach to guide practitioners on samples needed, tests offered to address most typical abortion-causing pathogens, and the cost of the workup. The goals are to present a thorough diagnostic plan that is expedient to collect, provide a working differential diagnosis, and that is done at an affordable price. Fresh samples that are most useful – required – include Continue reading →
Recently I have received some questions about rental of livestock buildings, specifically dairy facilities. Typically, callers want to know a charge per square foot or a rental rate based on a per head basis or, for a dairy facility, based on number of free stalls. The reality is that there is no one right or correct answer. There are some basic methods or approaches that generate a dollar figure. However, view that number as a starting point in a rental negotiation. There are additional factors that affect the final rental rate. Those factors include the age and condition of the building, location of the building, the functionality or obsolescence of the building, the demand for rental of this type of building and the character and personality of the parties involved in the rental agreement. Continue reading →
Since its re-launch in August of 2017, the OSU Sheep Team has generated interested from shepherds all over the state of Ohio as well as around the world. Our team strives to provide both timely and timeless small ruminant production information to producers that can be easily be applied on-farm.
On a weekly basis, our team works on generating and providing quality information that we feel is important for shepherds to know. However, we would like to try something different and turn a part of this process over to you as a viewer. For those that follow our updates on a weekly basis, we are interested in hearing from you! Continue reading →
Tim Barnes, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Marion County
As the winter lambing season comes to an end, many purebred and club lamb producers are opening their barns and offering their latest lamb crop up for sale to compete in the 2018 show season. As many begin to flip through sale ads and Facebook postings, there are somethings that exhibitors need to take into consideration before making their big purchase.
So you want to show a market lamb, but don’t know where to begin?
The experts say selection and show preparation are a science that will aid in predicting the final product of your sheep. A well-planned feed and Continue reading →
As requested by popular demand, below is a listing of the presentations from the 2017 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium. Presentations from the two day event can be viewed in PDF format by simply clicking on the title of the presentation. For those that have further questions on the presentations themselves, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help address your questions. Continue reading →
As explained by Dr. Temple Grandin, appropriate livestock handling and maintaining high standards of animal welfare are key to successfully raising, managing, and marketing livestock of all species. With the support of the American Sheep Industry Association and the Livestock Marketing Association, Dr. Temple Grandin outlines the appropriate methods upon how to handle sheep in any type of management or marketing situation. Understanding sheep from a behavioral standpoint will make working with sheep much easier regardless of the situation.