Category: Feeding

Ruminations on Lambing Season

Lambing season encompasses the last few weeks of gestation through lambing and early lactation. There are a lot of preventable problems that can arise during this season and derail the health and productivity of your ewes and lamb crop. Below is a compilation of management tips to help keep your

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Recipes for Keeping Trough Water Running in Winter

Previously published for The Daily Record through OSU Extension Wayne County I’ve gotten the question a few times – ‘How can I prevent water troughs from freezing without electricity?’ Well, what a very good question indeed. First, let’s talk a little bit of chemistry. Adding salt to water when you’re

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Producer Profile: Alex Caskey from Barred Owl Brook Farm, NY

As producers we cannot control the weather, but we can build resilience into our farm systems to mediate its effects. Silvopasture – the intentional integration of trees and grazing livestock – has been a hot topic of agricultural webinars because growing trees can do just that. Alex Caskey combines his

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Winter Grazing for Livestock: Enhancing Animal Performance, Health, and Farm Profitability

Winter grazing for livestock offers numerous benefits that extend beyond traditional feeding practices. This article explores the advantages of winter grazing, including improved animal performance, enhanced animal health, reduced labor for farmers, and ultimately, improved profitability. Improved Animal Performance: Winter grazing allows animals to continue their natural behaviors which limits

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Evaluating your mineral program

We all know that our sheep need minerals, but how do we know that we are not over- or under-supplying their needs? Mineral deficiencies can lead to disease, but too much can lead to toxicity and even death. Minerals interact with each other; high levels of molybdenum can suppress copper

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Grazing Native Warm-Season Grasses: SARE Grant Update

In my career with USDA-NRCS I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of different production methods involving a variety of livestock operations across North Carolina. Beginning in 2016, I began working with more producers that had established or wanted to establish native warm-season grasses (NWSGs) in their pasture operations. Those

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Scours: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Scours or diarrhea is something that most of us probably see in our flocks over the course of a year. Animals scour whenever there is a disturbance in the normal processes that regulate how much fluid is excreted in their manure. Scours is a symptom, sometimes due to a serious

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It All Starts in the Rumen

As prey animals, sheep evolved with the ability to harvest their food quickly with very little chewing, then retire to a safe place to further process their meal. Sheep are unable to directly digest the cellulose in forages and must rely on billions of microorganisms in the rumen (bacteria, protozoa

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Late Gestation Management Considerations

Ewes are bred, the holidays are just around the corner, and for all of us with winter lambing flocks, lambing season is almost here. Over the last year, we have invested in high quality genetics to move our flocks forward and now it’s important that we make sure our next

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Alternative Feeds: Is Variety the Spice of Life?

When it comes to sheep feed…it depends. With staggering increases in feed costs due to inflation, supply chain disruptions, impacts of international conflicts affecting energy, grain and fertilizer production along with regional weather events, now might be a good time to investigate alternative feeds. Alternative feeds are those that are

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