Friday, December 21, 2012
Last night was quite a wicked one for the weather! The wind was blowing sleet and rain into many barns across the area. For sheep who are housed inside, it is important to keep pens well bedded. This not only keeps sheep comfortable, but can help to prevent mastitis through a cleaner environment. For sheep housed outside, they should have access to a windbreak or an area with trees to help block the wind. Sheep that have been shorn recently should have access to shelter.
Monday, December 10, 2012
We have seen a lot of rain coming down recently with temperatures in the high 30's to low 50's. This type of weather is often a cause of pneumonia when animals are housed in barns. The heavy air tends to keep any ammonia coming off the manure pack trapped inside the barn. Good ventilation is key to prevention. Observe sheep for ten minutes at least once a day for signs of illness. Sheep may not be as vigourous at the feeder or they may stand by themselves in a corner. Take action right away to insure that animals return to health quickly.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
In the next couple weeks, new crop lambs will be a valuable commodity for sheep producers who lamb in the fall. Because most sheep will only breed in the fall for lambing in the spring, new crop lambs are mostly in short supply for winter holidays. Most years we can expect increased prices for lambs that are sold at auctions during the couple weeks prior to Christmas. Is fall lambing something you should consider for increasing revenues for your sheep operation? Consider feed resources, labor for lambing as well as flock genetics as you ponder the answer to this question.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The beautiful fall weather has also brought some welcome rains to parts of PA. The rain, combined with the moderate weather, will get the pasture forages growing again. Be sure to allow pastures to grow to 6 inches in height or more before turning animals into those fields. Once the field is grazed down to 3 inches, move the animals to a new field. This not only protects the forage plants, but also helps to prevent the animals from picking up internal parasites.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Don't forget to check your watering systems as the cold weather arrives. Make sure heaters are plugged in, but check for any frayed wires before plugging them in! If you are using unheated water sources, be sure to break the ice at least once a day and preferably more often. ideally, remove all ice from the watering container and refill with fresh water.