Category: Selection

Shepherd to Shepherd: Producer Forum Blog #3

For our third producer forum we asked our four shepherds, all enrolled in NSIP, how they select their breeding rams and how they make breeding decisions on their farms. Their answers, shared below, reflect the differences among the farms in environment, markets, individual flock goals and management styles. As a

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Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP)

Most shepherds have probably heard of OPP as it is one of the three diseases included in the biosecurity panels that many laboratories offer. The USDA Sheep 2001 study tested over 21,000 samples from 682 randomly selected flocks country wide to collect data on the prevalence of OPP. They found

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Shepherd to Shepherd: Producer Forum #2

For our second producer forum we asked our four shepherds what data they collect besides that used for NSIP; how they manage their data; what software programs they use; and how they analyze and use their data to make selection decisions.   Michelle Canfield, Canfield Farms, Western Washington I use

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Udder Health in Ewes: Mastitis, Udder Scores and Management

Ewes only have two teats and hopefully raise at least twin lambs, so maintaining healthy udders and culling ewes with udder problems is important to minimize lamb losses and bottle lambs while ensuring optimal growth of lambs on your farm. Mastitis leads to lower weaning weights in lambs of affected

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Shepherd to Shepherd: Introducing our NEW Producer Forum

Sharing experiences is the hallmark of education. In this new producer forum, four experienced EAPK members enrolled in NSIP, from very diverse areas of the U.S., answer questions and share their knowledge and insights into shepherding. In a series of interviews, Lynn Fahrmeier (Fahrmeier Katahdins, Western Missouri), Michelle Canfield (Canfield

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Prolapses in Sheep

There are three structures that can prolapse and be visible under a ewe’s tail: vagina, uterus and rectum. Vaginal and uterine prolapses can affect ewes around lambing and will be discussed here. Vaginal Prolapse A vaginal prolapse occurs when a ewe’s vagina protrudes out of her vulva. Most prolapses occur

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Making Genetic Progress

As breeders of purebred livestock, attention to genetic progress should be at the forefront of our selection programs. The equation below summarizes the components that contribute to genetic progress. indicates change in genetics ( stands for change, G stands for genetics). Genetic progress can be improved by increasing those components

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Selecting for Maternal Traits Drives Profit

Katahdins are raised in diverse environments using a wide range of management styles and for a variety of reasons. However, there should be a few common goals in any flock. In addition to being a shedding hair breed, Katahdins have always been viewed as an easy keeping maternal breed. In

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Selecting Your Next Breeding Ram

Achieving genetic progress and meeting your production goals depend in large part on selecting the right breeding ram for your flock. No animal has greater influence on genetic progress (or lack thereof) than your breeding ram. Selecting a new sire should be considered an investment in the genetic future of

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Selecting for Parasite Resistant Katahdins

People frequently ask us for suggestions on improving the parasite resistance of their flocks and how to identify resistant animals, and with good reason. Intestinal worms, or parasites, are one of the most limiting factors to profitable production for shepherds raising sheep on pasture. Lambs and late gestation and lactating

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