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Hoof Print

Spring 2018 – Volume 30, Issue 2

The Small Ruminant Magazine




Electric Fencing That Keeps Sheep & Goats Secure Gallagher electric fencing is a safe & secure containment option for sheep & goats. We offer both permanent & temporary electric fencing, as well as offsets that can easily be added to existing non-electrified fences for animal control. Gallagher also manufactures quality energizers designed specifically to control sheep & goats in a variety of terrains.

The Smart Fence (G70000) is a 4 wire, all in one 328’ long portable fencing system.

Visit us on the web at www.GallagherUSA.com/AM to learn more and to locate your nearest Gallagher dealer.


tems Electric Fence Sys



The B100 Solar Energizer (G392SK) Powers up to 60 acres/7 miles of multi-wire permanent fence.


EDITORIAL BOARD Debra K. Aaron, Tess Caudill, Bill Decker, Donald G. Ely, Dr. Tom Huber, Dr. Beth Johnson, DVM, Sonia McElroy, Kathy Meyer, Mark Powell, Terry Gipson, Dr. Kenneth Andries, and Shawn Harper DESIGN & LAYOUT Maggie May Rogers OFFICE SUPPORT Sharon Koontz PHOTOGRAPHY Dr. Debra Aaron, KY Sheep and Goat Development Office, KY Department of Agriculture, & Sarabeth Parido Cover ©Sara Dunham, Equinox Farm

10 Become a Mentor

12 Comparing the Efficacy of Copper Oxide Wire Particles and Copper Sulfate on Haemonchus contortus in Goats

14 Feeding the Lactating Doe 16 Wool Pool 21 Distinguishing Your Product

Association News & More ––––––––– 4

KY Goat Producers Assoc.

6 8

KY Sheep and Wool Producers Assoc.


Breeders Pages


Market Place

17 Tales from The Kentucky Fiber Trail




Copyright © 2018 by Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photo copying without written permission from the publisher.


1 A Visit with Kentucky Meadows Farm 2 Kentucky Fiber Festival Workshop listings 3 The 2018 Wool Season Begins



Special Features –––––


TN Sheep Producers Assoc.

22 NEWS TO EWES Executive, Editorial & Advertising Sales directed by Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office: P.O. Box 4709 Frankfort, KY 40604-4709



ADVERTISING Kelley Yates kyates@kysheepandgoat.org (502) 682-7780

In this Issue –––


HoofPrint: The Small Ruminant Magazine is a periodical to promote better animal health, husbandry, and knowledge among sheep and goat producers. HoofPrint is the joint effort of members of the sheep and goat industries and serves as a united voice for all small ruminant producers.

The Small Ruminant Magazine

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Free with paid membership to one or more of our partner organizations.

Hoof Print




Published Quarterly $24 per year


Hoof Print Magazine

Spring 2018 – Volume 30, Issue 2

w it h a g


An Annual Management Strategy for April Lambing



How do I Keep My Animals Safe From Contracting Disease on the Farm and at Exhibitions? It is called Biosecurity!



President’s Letter Fellow Goat Producers,

2017-18 KGPA Board of Directors

Kentucky State Fair: • Grand Champion (Market or Commercial Doe) $500


Shawn Harper - Benton, KY sharperfarms@yahoo.com

• Reserve Grand Champion (Market or Commercial Doe) $250


• Class Winner (Market or Commercial Doe) $50

From bitter cold, snow and ice to wind and rain. This has been a challenging year for goat producers! Everyone is ready for SPRING!!! Despite the weather, the Kentucky Goat Producers Association has been working on projects to promote goat production in our state. First, the KY Proud Elite Breeder Sale will be held on April 14th. This sale allows producers to offer select Kentucky Proud market goats and club lambs for our 4H and FFA youth exhibitors. The day will begin at 10 a.m. eastern with a show of the consigned animals. The placement in the show determines the sale order. The sale itself will begin at 2 p.m. If you are a Facebook follower “like” the Kentucky Proud Elite Breeders Sale to see the consignments our producers are offering. If your family has 4H-ers or FFA members and are looking for Kentucky Proud projects, we hope to see you there. This year we have a special addition- any animal purchased from the sale will be eligible for additional prize money at the

Secondly, we will be a part of the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival on May 19-20 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington. If you are interested in fiber goats and would like to learn more about them this would be a great place to learn! Visit www.kentuckysheepandfiber.com for more information. Third, KGPA is continuing their youth program for any Kentucky youth involved with goats. For more information visit the website https:// www.kysheepandgoat.org/kgpa-youthprogram. Stay tuned to your email and the KSGDO Calendar of Events for more information on events/activities offered through KGPA. You can find the Calendar of Events at https://www.kysheepandgoat. org/calendar-of-events.

Denise Martin - Magnolia, KY



Beth Johnson, Parksville, KY cowdocj@att.net


Kay DeMoss, Lexington, KY


2017-18 KGPA Board Members

Happy Spring!

Shawn Harper, KGPA President

Kentucky Goat Producers Association

• Karen Cooper, Dry Ridge, KY – kkcoop34@hotmail.com

• Jimmy Dowell, Webster, KY – jimmydowell@gmail.com

• Kenny Fenwick, New Haven, KY

• Donna Puckett, Munfordville, KY donnagpuckett@gmail.com

• Emily Robinson, Louisville, KY – emilycat6699@gmail.com

• Vicki Watson, Auburn, KY – dvwatson@logantele.com

JOIN or RENEW TODAY! KGPA Membership Application

Your $30 membership provides:

• 4 issues of the Hoof Print Magazine plus the newly designed 2017 Sheep and Goat Management Calendar • A unified voice for the goat industry on the state and national level • Representation on important committees such as the Check‐Off and the Animal Care Standards boards • Support of various educational and youth activities • Youth Membership forms can be found at kysheepandgoat.org/KGPA.html • And much, much more!

4 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Visit www.kysheepandgoat.org to join today! Name: _______________________________________________________ Address: _______________________City: _____________State: ______Zip:________ Phone: _______________________E-Mail: _________________________ Please enclose a check for $30 made out to KGPA and mail to: Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office P.O. Box 4709, Frankfort, KY 40604-4709.

KY GOAT PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION KGPA - UPCOMING EVENTS 6th 9th 12th 12th 16th 17th 17th 19th 21st 24th 26th 28th


Working Dog Workshops by Clearfield Stockdogs & Lamb Graded Sale - Richmond, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Sheep and Goat Meeting, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm KY Proud Elite Breeder Sale, Franklin Co. Fairgrounds Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat & Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Fort Harrod Goat & Sheep Association Meeting, Mercer Co. Ext. Office, 6:30pm potluck & 7pm meeting Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale - Paris, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day - Langston University, Oklahoma


8th Central KY Sheep and Goat Association, Marion County Extension Office 7pm 10th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 10th Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm 14th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY 15th Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn 15th South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Association, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) 16-17th Reproductive Clinic, Hyder-Burks Agriculture Pavilion, TN 17th Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Association Meeting, Mercer Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm potluck & 7pm meeting 19th Graded Sale - Springfield, KY 19-20th Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival - Lexington, KY 22nd Graded Sale - Paris, KY 24th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY

11th 14th 14th 16th 19th 19th 26th 28th


Graded Sale - Richmond, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Graded Sale - Paris, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY

To list your goat even on the Calendar send information to kyates@kysheepandgoat.org. Please be sure to include date, location, and time.

> > Visit us at www.kysheepandgoat.org

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 5


President’s Letter Greetings Sheep Producers,


he Tennessee Sheep Producers Annual Meeting was held December 1 and 2 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. Focus of the meeting was “Let’s Grow the Tennessee Flock” and invited speakers presented topics ranging from seedstock selection to reproductive technologies. In addition to lectures, awards were also presented to several individuals. The Ben Powell TSPA Shepherd's Award is presented to a member that is outstanding in their field. Mr. Greg Brann, Grazing Lands Specialist with USDA-NRCS has worked decades to spread the word about sustainable farming and pasture preservation. He has presented many times for TSPA and always gracious with personal experiences in his own farm consisting of mixed species including sheep. Many of us have benefited from his teachings across the state and he is very deserving of this recognition.

Mr. Alan Bruhin, past President and board member, was selected to receive the 2017 TSPA Service Award. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization for their promotion and/or unselfish service to the state sheep industry. Greg Brann, second from left, teaching in his element. Alan has raised club We’re already working on new events lambs for 4-H youth projects and has for 2018. Please mark your calendars worked at the University of Tennessee for the 2018 TSPA Annual Conference for over 38 years, currently an Extension to held again in Lebanon TN, November Agent in Sevier county, TN. Recently, Mr. 30-December 1 this year. Bruhin assisted in coaching the 2017 National Champion Skillathon Team at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY in November. Debbie Joines, TSPA President Alan, we thank you for your leadership and service to the TSPA!

Happy Spring!

2018 TSPA Board of Directors

2018 TSPA Board Members

President/ ASI Rep.

• Steve Alsup, Lascassas, TN –

Deborah Joines, Mt. Juliet, TN djoines@utk.edu

• Dwight Loveday, Louisville, TN –


• Mark Shedden, Knoxville, TN –


• Reyes Rich, Moss, TN –

Vice President



• Brandon Tavalin, College Grove, TN – tavalintails@gmail.com

Robert Walker, Alpine, TN


Secretary/ Treasurer

• Kevin Durett,Cottontown, TN –

Mark R. Powell, Watertown, TN shepherdboy1@yahoo.com

• Thomas Greenlee, Rutledge, TN –



TSPA Membership Application

INE Annual Dues: Adult: $30.00 Junior $10.00 JOIN ONL ! TODAY Name: ____________________________________________________________ If you are interested in a committee please select below: _____  Wool _____  Youth _____  Jr. Expo _____  Sale _____  Production Education _____  Membership/Revenue _____ Publicity _____ Annual Meeting

6 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Address: ___________________________City:_____________State: ___Zip: _______ Phone: _______________________E-Mail: __________________________________ Breed(s) of Sheep: ______________________________________________________ Please enclose a check for amount made out to TSPA and mail to: Tennessee Sheep Producer’s Association • 4233 Poplar Hill Road, Watertown, TN 37184

Pay dues and join online at www.tennesseesheep.org


Skillathon Winners

2018 Tennessee Sheep Shearing School

Learn to Shear

T Front row: Abby Tipton, Garrett Franklin, Kendall Martin & Juliann Fears. Back row: Alan Bruhin-Coach, Abi Bartholomew, Makenzie Moorehead and John Goddard-Coach

by John J. Goddard


he TN 4H Skillathon Team won the National Skillathon Contest at Louisville Kentucky (North American International Livestock Exposition). The team pretty much dominated the contest. The Tennessee Team won the overall contest by more than 100 points. There are three parts to the contest. All three have individual and team components. First part is identification. It’s comprised of identifying breeds of livestock, cuts of meat and livestock equipment. Tennessee won this part and had first, second, fourth and fifth high individuals. Second part was evaluation. It’s made up of hay and wool judging as well as team activities in marketing and selection. Tennessee was second overall team in evaluation. Third part was quality assurance. It is made up of an individual quality assurance activity, a quiz and a live animal hands on team activity. Tennessee won this part and had fourth, fifth and sixth high individuals. In the overall awards Tennessee had first, second, third and ninth high individuals with all being named All Americans. Team members were Garrett Franklin from Clay County, Abby Tipton from Loudon, Kendall Martin, Juliann Fears, Makenzie Moorehead from Lincoln county and Abi Bartholomew from Henderson county. There were a number of individuals and agricultural businesses that helped the team with sponsorship and we received some assistance in training by some of the University of Tennessee Extension specialist in the Animal Science and Food Science Departments. County Agents Alan Bruhin and John Goddard were team coaches.

he 2018 Tennessee Sheep Shearing School will be held on April 20 and 21, 2018, at the Tennessee Livestock Center on the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) campus in Murfreesboro. The school is sponsored by the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association, the University of Tennessee Extension Service and the MTSU School of Agribusiness. The shearing school is designed for either beginner or experienced shearers who wish to improve their skills. Instructors will teach the most modern, up-to-date shearing methods. One of the most important aspects of the school is information about maintenance and care of sheep shearing equipment. The school will start at 10:00am on Friday April 20, with registration. At 10:30 AM there will be a discussion of equipment care and maintenance and at 1:00 PM we will start shearing. On Saturday April 21 at 8:00AM we will continue with the hands-on shearing instruction. The course will continue until all sheep are sheared (usually by noon). The cost for the Shearing School is $150 per person. In order to make plans, preregistration is required. Participation is limited to the first 20 paid applicants. Complete the form below and return to the address shown. If you have questions, please email or call Mark Powell at 615-519-7796; shepherdboy1@yahoo.com or call Warren Gill at 615478-3828. More information about the school can be found on the TN Sheep Producers website. Fill out and mail in the form below or register online at www.tennesseesheep.org.

Pre-Registration 2018 TN Sheep Shearing School

Name:________________________________________________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________________________________________ City:___________________________________________ State: _________ Zip: ________________________ Phone:___________________________________________

E-Mail ________________________________________________________________________________________ Register online at www.tennesseesheep.org Make checks payable to: Tennessee Sheep Producers 4233 Poplar Hill Rd. – Watertown, TN 37184

TSPA – UPCOMING EVENTS Date • Details • Location • Website

April 20-21

TSPA Sheep Shearing School, Middle TN State University www.tennesseesheep.org

May 25-26

TN State 4-H Sheep Conference "Tennessee Tech University - Hyder Burks Pavillion" https://ag.tennessee.edu/AnimalScience/4-H/Pages/Sheep.aspx

May 25-26

7th Annual Middle TN Fiber Festival Dickson County Fairgrounds – www.tnfiberfestival.com

June 9

Nash Bash Club Lamb Jackpot Show Ward Agriculture Center, Lebanon TN. For more info contact Justin Hull at – justinhull@techmixglobal.com

June 14 19

Tennessee Wool Pools – details at www.tennesseesheep.org Jefferson Farmers Co-op Dandridge, TN Maury Farmers Co-op Columbia, TN

> > Visit us at www.tennesseesheep.org

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 7


Make It With Wool

Molly Eby, Junior competitor for KY at the National Make It With Wool Competition held January 31-February 3, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. Molly had a good time participating. 


The Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers is looking for dedicated producers who are interested in making our state’s sheep industry better. Consider becoming part of our Board of Directors so that you can share your great ideas and help us continue to move our industry forward! WOOL For more information on becoming a board member, visit



JO I N o r R E N E W TODAY ! Visit www.kysheepandgoat.org

KSWPA Membership Benefits • Quarterly issues of HoofPrint Magazine plus the newly designed 2016 Sheep and Goat Management Calendar • A unified voice for the sheep industry and representation on important state and national committees • Assistance with new marketing opportunities such as The Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and HoofTrader.com • Receive a membership to the American Sheep Industry, our national lobbying, marketing and promotional support system. • Support of various educational and youth activities

Name: ______________________________________________ Phone: ___________________E-Mail: ___________________ Address: ____________________________City : _____________________ State: ______ Zip: ______________ Please enclose a check for $30.00 made out to KSWPA and mail to: Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office P.O. Box 4709, Frankfort, KY 40604-4709.

8 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print


President’s Letter Greetings KSWPA Members, I feel sure that most if not all of you join me in looking forward to the beautiful, life-affirming season of spring. While my farm will remain ankle-deep in cold muck and mud for a few more weeks, my mind is already looking forward to several upcoming events where I hope to see many of you. First, while the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association (KSWPA) is not the sponsor of the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trials, many of our members enjoy this event and some even participate. My family looks forward each year to watching the talent and skills of both members of each dog/owner team. This year, the Bluegrass Classic will take place from May 16th to May 20th at Masterson Station Park in Lexington. To learn more about the Bluegrass Classic, please visit https://bluegrassclassic. wordpress.com. On May 19th and 20th, I hope to see every member of the KSWPA at the 9th Annual Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, which will also be held at Masterson Station Park. Our association sponsors this festival, and we need lots of help to ensure the event is successful again this year. To learn more about the festival, please visit https://www.kentuckysheepandfiber. com, and to volunteer, please contact Sarabeth at 859-771-7442. The KSWPA is made up of sheep producers who love our industry and desire to expand it, as well as those who enjoy associating with others who share their passion for animal husbandry. If you are reading this publication and are new to tending sheep, please keep in mind that the KSWPA has a mentoring program to help you jumpstart your sheep business. If you’re new or if you have been herding sheep for some time, please take advantage of our online Small Ruminant Profit School classes that have the potential to expand your knowledge base, improve your herd health and increase your profit margin. To learn more about the mentoring program or the online classes, please go to https://www.kysheepandgoat.org/srps. As president of KSWPA, I once again encourage you to help our association find new ways to increase the consumption and popularity of lamb. Also, I ask you to help our association grow by recruiting new members. Ask your sheep and wool producing friends and family to join our group and help promote our products. Please tell potential KSWPA members that once they join the association they will have access to: HoofPrint Magazine, A Breeder Directory listing, KSWPA mentoring program, and a variety of educational programs. Please direct them to the following link where they can see all the offerings available to KSWPA members: www.kysheepandgoat.org/kswpa. Best wishes,

Bill Decker

2017 - 2018 KSWPA Board of Directors President Bill Decker, Waddy, KY bdecker@cisco.com

Past President Scott VanSickle, Auburn, KY scottvansickle@wheattech.com

Vice President Kathy Meyer, Paris, KY 1tkmeyer@bellsouth.net

Secretary Rebecca Abbott, barefootbecca79@yahoo.com Treasurer Dorothy Vale, Nicholasville, KY valerdv@aol.com

ASI Representative Madeline Rosenburg, Bagdad, KY Madeline.ballyhoofarm@gmail.com

> > Visit us at www.kysheepandgoat.org

3rd 6th 9th 12th 12th 16th 17th 17th 19th 21st 24th 26th 28th


EweProfit School III, Oran C. Little Research Farm Working Dog Workshops by Clearfield Stockdogs & Lamb Graded Sale - Richmond, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Sheep and Goat Meeting, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm KY Proud Elite Breeder Sale, Franklin Co. Fairgrounds Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat & Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Fort Harrod Goat & Sheep Association Meeting, Mercer Co. Ext. Office, 6:30pm potluck & 7pm meeting Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale - Paris, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day - Langston University, OK


8th Central KY Sheep and Goat Association, Marion County Extension Office 7pm 10th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 10th Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm 14th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY 15th Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn 15th South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Assoc., Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) 17th Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Association Meeting, Mercer Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm potluck & 7pm meeting 19th Graded Sale - Springfield, KY 19-20th Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival - Lexington, KY 22nd Graded Sale - Paris, KY 24th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 11th 12th 14th 14th 16th 19th 19th 26th 28th


Graded Sale - Richmond, KY EweProfit School III, Oran C. Little Research Farm Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Graded Sale - Paris, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY

2017-2018 KSWPA Board Members • Warren Adcock Campbellsburg, KY Wadcock6307@hotmail.com • Frank Berry, Lexington, KY frankrberry@gmail.com • Jim Mansfield, Salvisa, KY SHEEP & WOOL jim@fourhillsfarm.com PRODUCERS • Hannah Nilsson Windsor, KY ASSOCIATION windsorwoolfarm@yahoo.com

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 9

Become a Mentor R

emember your first couple of years in your sheep or goat operation? Ever have some nerve wracking experiences and times when you just really needed to talk to someone? Or, maybe you did have a mentor available that helped make the nerve wracking moments much easier to handle with just a simple phone call or email? KSWPA and KGPA need your help! With the increasing population of goats and sheep in our state, there are lots of people who could benefit from your knowledge. Consider becoming a mentor so that we can continue to strengthen and grow our industries.


A KSWPA and KGPA Mentor is a person who:

✦✦ has a passion for the sheep and goat industries in the nation, and more specifically in Kentucky ✦✦ be a person that is willing to help other producers become successful in their operations ✦✦ will give time and talent to new producers to help the new producer implement management practices into his/her operation that will ultimately benefit the new producer


✦✦ Mentors must be a KSWPA or KGPA member ✦✦ Mentors must have been in the sheep or goat industries for a minimum of 5 years ✦✦ Mentors can have backgrounds in meat, dairy and fiber operations ✦✦ Mentors must be willing to provide contact information to new members seeking a mentor

To become a Mentor, complete the application below and mail to KSGDO, PO Box 4709 Frankfort, KY 40604, or go to www.kysheepandgoat.org/become-a-mentor

Mentorship Application

Name:_____________________________ Farm Name:________________________________ County: ___________________________ Years in Business:___________ Type of Operation (commercial, purebred, dairy, fiber, etc.): Breeds: Email:_____________________________________ Phone:(_____)_______–_______________ Comments (anything else you want people to know):

10 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Save the Date!

KY Annual Producer Conference October 27, 2018 KY State University Research Farm PRESENTATIONS WILL INCLUDE State of the Sheep and Goat Industry A 30,000 foot perspective

Keynote Speaker Reid Redden,

AgriLife Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist & Associate Professor, Texas A&M

Options for Performance Testing Goats How EBVs Can Improve Your Flock

Stay tuned to our website for more details!


The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-Off Program began in 2010 and collects $.50 for every $100 worth of sheep and goats sold in the Commonwealth. According to Kentucky law, Check-Off funds must be used for the purpose of promoting the increased use and sale of sheep and goats. To date, Check-Off has provided: • $50,000 in New Farmer Recruitment loans have been given to 25 new/beginning producers in Kentucky since 2012 • $25,000 given for special projects to help producers increase marketing efforts throughout the state since 2012 • $13,800 spent in promotion of sheep and goat products in 2017 KY Sheep & Goat Check-Off Sponsors the Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen Cooking Show KY Sheep & Goat Check-Off Sponsors the Try Something Different Tonight marketing campaign # of people who tasted lamb and goat products: 25,000 # of people who have learned about products and cooking techniques: 5 million To learn more details about the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-off Program visit www.kysheepandgoat.org/Check_Off.html Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 11

Comparing the Efficacy of Copper Oxide Wire Particles and Copper Sulfate on Haemonchus contortus in Goats

by James Mackey, Murray State University


Haemonchus contortus (the barber pole worm) is a primary concern for goat producers. It thrives in warm temperate zones like the Southeastern region of the United States. An infestation of H. contortus, known as haemonchosis, can cause poor development, poor performance, and death which makes H. contortus one of the most economically impactful parasites in goats. Commercial anthelmintics have been used to control H. contortus, but overuse of these products has led to the development of anthelmintic resistance in this parasite. Consequently, alternative ways to monitor and control it have been researched. While rotating between the different classes of anthelmintics has helped to slow H. contortus’ resistance development, even this method alone has not worked to prevent resistance from developing. Methods such as the Faffa Malan Chart (FAMACHA) system and fecal egg counts (FEC) have been developed to monitor this parasite and to reduce its rate of development of resistance. The FAMACHA system and FEC are used to selectively treat only the goats with significant infestations to allow for the H. contortus gene pool to develop variability. Alternative treatments to chemical anthelmintics are copper oxide wire particles (COWP) and copper sulfate (CuSO4). These have been found to be effective at controlling H. contortus populations in goats with a lessened

resistance development and are beginning to be used alongside chemical anthelmintics to combat resistance development in H. contortus. Both COWP and CuSO4 have been individually compared to, and used alongside, chemical anthelmintics in some studies. However, as of this writing, the researchers were unable to find a study that compared the effectiveness of COWP to CuSO4 in a comparative study.

Research Method

The researchers performed a comparative study between COWP, CuSO4, and Levamisole. The study utilized a group of 60 female goats that were randomly divided into 3 groups while maintaining a similar average age between the 3 groups. Each goat in group 1 received a 4g COWP bolus. Group 2 received CuSO4 drench by weight, and group 3 received a levamisole drench by weight. Fecal egg counts were performed on each goat every 2 weeks for 14 weeks. Body condition scores and FAMACHA scores were obtained on each goat every 2 weeks for 14 weeks, and packed cell volumes were performed every 4 weeks for 14 weeks.


Overall, this measured the efficiency of the 3 methods of deworming. Both COWP and Levamisole were reliably effective at managing the H. contortus population. The CuSO4 was only mildly effective and required repeated dosing to prevent anemia in the group. (Figure 1) The CuSO4 group also had

12 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

larger standard deviations overall than both the COWP and levamisole groups, meaning that the treatment was less consistent. The results showed that COWP are an effective way of controlling H. contortus in goats as it produced similar results to the Levamisole control group. (Figure 2, 3) CuSO4 was not a reliable method of controlling H. contortus populations. The CuSO4 group was not only less effective at treating the H. contortus infestations, but the dosage (60mL for goats over #100) was more difficult to give than administering a single COWP bolus. While COWP and CuSO4 have been found to be an alternative to chemical anthelmintics and can be used alongside chemical anthelmintics to reduce resistance development, COWP should be selected over CuSO4. James Mackey is a student at Murray State University, where he is currently obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture. Passionate about animals, he is pursuing a career as a veterinarian. When he is not busy with academia, he enjoys volunteering at his local animal shelter.

Special Thanks To:

• The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Council (KY Check-Off) for funding the research project • Darien Maness, Nicole Hodge, and Victoria Shutz for helping throughout the study with collections, transportation, and lab work

Figure 1.) COWP group’s PCV’s were relatively stable through entire study; whereas, CuSO4 and Levamisole groups had to be retreated around week 4 of the study.





Figure 2.) CuSo4 group maintained a fairly high average FAMACHA score whereas, the COWP and Levamisole FAMACHA scores were similar.



Figure 3.) Illustrates that the CuSO4 group’s FEC dropped significantly after being redosed as did the Levamisole group but they went back up at next collection. The average FEC for the COWP and Levamisole group were lower over the entire study when compared to the CuSO4 group.

• Dr. Beth Johnson and Dr. William DeWees for helping set the framework and providing guidance throughout the project. • Dr. Alyx Shultz for helping with the initiation of the study and running the statistical analysis

• Barbie Papajeski for providing guidance with the laboratory procedures and verifying all the fecal egg count results. • Shawn and Ginny Harper and their help with managing the goats




Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 13

fescue) are so low in forage quality that grain supplementation would even be needed for a dry doe. Hay Generally, hay is priced according to quality, cutting number, forage species, fertilization, type of bale and naivetĂŠ of the buyer. The buyer needs to evaluate the quality of hay that is purchased using a forage analysis. Your county extension educator can help you understand the result of a forage analysis. [To learn more about hay evaluation, view HoofPrint Spring 2017 Volume 27]

Feeding the Lactating Doe


t is important to feed your animals according their current stage of production to ensure they receive adequate nutrition, feed is not wasted, and animals are not overfattened. The lactating doe has the greatest requirements for nutrients than at any other time during her lifecycle. If not properly managed, she can be handicapped in early lactation when she is producing the most milk. In general, milk production peaks about 5-6 weeks after kidding, but feed intake (or how much she can consume) doesn’t peak until two weeks later. Thus, an energy deficiency is created and the doe must convert body tissue to energy, resulting in a weight loss. By 8-9 weeks after kidding, milk production declines as part of the natural lactation curve and so the doe no longer has to lose weight. At this point, feed intake declines much less rapidly than lactation, enabling the doe to regain her body condition over the next 3 weeks.

Know What Your Feeding

Before we can feed the lactating doe, we need to know the protein and energy of the feed, hay or pasture that we have available. As mentioned above, the doe needs to consume a lot of nutrients at this time, so the risks of not knowing what you are feeding are too severe. For example, poor forage severely limits overall feed intake, and feeding too much grain can result in acidosis especially if the animal is not consuming sufficient hay.

Feed For the feed, we can read the feed tag and find out how much protein is in the feed mix. The feed needs at least 14% crude protein, often abbreviated CP, but would prefer 16% CP. [To learn how to read a feed label, view the HoofPrint Winter 2017 Volume 26 ] Energy Generally, the energy level of the feed is not on the label, but can be found out by contacting the feed manufacturer. You want the feed to have a Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) of at least 70%.

Forage- Hay and Pasture Forage, whether hay or pasture, does not come with a feed tag. Forage quality is a term that not only includes protein and energy, but also such characteristics as leafiness, softness of stems, smell and freedom from mold, which are all factors that may affect forage intake. Forage quality, especially the protein and energy levels, determine how much supplemental feed is needed. . Optimum forage would be at least 9% crude protein and have a TDN of at least 54%. If the forage is not up to these values, additional supplementation will be required. Example: A few forages such as ryegrass or wheat pasture are high enough in forage quality for late lactation animals whereas other forages (mature bermudagrass or

14 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Pasture Visual evaluation of pasture quality is similar to visual evaluation of hay quality. There should be a predominance of leaves as compared to stems, few or no seedheads, and a green color for good nutritious forage. Pasture that is vegetative (rapidly growing) is the highest quality. Please remember that one deficiency of chemical analysis of pasture forage is that forage is cut near ground level and includes all leaves and stems. Goats select predominantly leaves first which are high in quality and leave stems (low in quality) minimally grazed. Thus, results from a forage analysis will show a lower nutrient quality than what the goats are consuming unless they are forced to consume the stems by having a limited amount of forage available. Secondly, goats also skip grazing plants that they do not like, thus animals will consume more of a high quality hay than a low quality one. If pasture is over 14% CP and over 60% TDN, supplementation may not be required. The level of supplementation also needs to be adjusted based on changes in body condition as well as individuality of goats because it is difficult to predict how much hay or pasture a goat will eat. Monitor body condition and reduce feed when the doe gets over a body condition score of 3.5.


https://extension.psu.edu/ determining-forage-qualityunderstanding-feed-analysis, https://extension.tennessee. edu/publications/Documents/ SP437-A.pdf.

Is Knowing What I’m Feeding Really that Important?

As we said earlier, the level of supplementation depends on forage quality. If a doe is on early summer range or early growth fescue, she would require a similar amount (2-2.5 lbs) of supplementation as for a medium quality hay. Most likely, since the doe is consuming mostly leaves, she would be able to get by on less than this amount of supplementation. If the doe were grazing wheat pasture, she would only require a pound of supplemental feed. Actually, since wheat pasture is high in protein, we could use whole shelled corn as the supplement. If she is grazing orchardgrass, the doe will only need 1.0 lb of supplement, whole shelled corn will be adequate also. However, if we feed a poor quality forage such as mature range, mature bermudagrass, full bloom-timothy, wheat straw or corn stover, even if we feed 3 lbs of supplement, we cannot fully meet the nutrient demand and they will only be able to consume 2 lbs of forage and we will have some risk for acidosis and enterotoxemia. This shows how important forage quality is for the lactating doe.

Overcoming Challenges of Feeding the Lactating Doe

Determining the amount of supplementation to feed a doe has some major challenges. 1. The biggest problem faced when determining the amount of supplementation needed is that there is very little and very poor data on milk production in meat goats, which affects nutrient needs. So, there is no tried and true determination of supplement levels amongst breeds to use as reference. Meaning, we have to figure it out on our own. 2. Secondly, every producer knows that some does milk better than others. A doe raising twins produces about 50% more milk than a doe raising a single kid, and a doe raising triplets or quads produces about 75% more milk than a doe raising a single. Generally, we aim to feed does as though they were raising twins since most goat producers average close to twins. Tools of the Trade • Basically, supplying the doe with 2 - 2.5 lbs of 16% goat feed and 3.5 lbs of good quality hay (10% protein and 56% TDN) can meet her requirements for lactation if she is feeding twins. Generally, the

problem is that goats cannot consume goats are unable to read the mineral bag this amount of feed in early lactation to know how much mineral they should necessary to meet the nutrient demand be consuming. Monitor consumption for milk production, so they will lose by calculating how long a bag of minsome weight. This is why does need eral should last. If animals are not eatto have a body condition score greater ing sufficient mineral, dried molasses or than 3 before kidding (3.5 to 4 is best). soybean meal can be mixed in the min• Since she is not be able to consume eral to increase consumption. Mineral adequate feed until she is 6 - 8 weeks into and vitamins status can be assessed by lactation, she will lose weight, especially blood tests, but liver analysis is the best the first 4-6 weeks. This is the only time for most minerals. When an animal dies, a doe should be in a body condition less a piece of liver the size of two fingers can than a 3. be taken and frozen until submitted to • If a doe has triplets, she would need 2.75 the Michigan Diagnostic lab for analysis lbs of a 16% goat feed and 2.75 lbs of hay. (they have one of the best analytical proYou must limit her grain to no more than cedures for liver minerals). the amount of hay she is consuming. When a doe consumes much more grain Conclusion than hay, she will be at greater risk for Taking care of the nutritional needs acidosis and enterotoxemia. of your goats will enable them to produce • Research has shown that vaccination for their best and have fewer health and enterotoxemia in goats does not provide parasite problems. They will produce good protection against enterotoxemia better quality and heavier kids at weaning in goats for as long as in sheep. The time, and goat raising will be more fun. doe should have been vaccinated the last month of gestation to provide a high Steve Hart PH.D. has been a Goat Extension level of antibodies in the colostrum to Specialist with Langston University for 26 years. protect her kids as well as protecting the He is a nutritionist and has conducted research doe when she is consuming a high level on forages, weed and brush control and control of internal parasites of grain while lactating. • Goats should always have a The Cooperative free-choice loose Extension Program at mineral available Langston University will host at all times to the 33rd Annual provide for their Goat & Hair Sheep Field Day mineral and viSaturday April 28, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. tamin needs. The at the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research mineral needs This year’s focus will be on Preventing Production Losses. Featured to be replaced speakers will be specialists with considerable goat and sheep experience. frequently so Presentations will include: that it is attracMorning Session: Afternoon hands-on tive for goats to workshops: consume. Your ⇒ Preventing Production ⇒ further discussion on aspects county extension Losses from: of production losses, educator or live• Predators ⇒ useful tips for cheese makers, stock specialist • Disease pack goats • Internal Parasites ⇒ basic goat husbandry pracshould be able to tices, budgeting help you select ⇒ goat feeding and nutrition, a goat mineral. DHI training, Just tell him to ⇒ buck and ram performance pretend it is a testing, cattle mineral. If ⇒ government assistance, fitting and showing market certain minerals wethers, and many more in an area are deworkshops ficient for cattle, Program includes morning and afternoon activities for youth. Langston University they will also is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, OK on Highway 33. Registration is free and bebe deficient for gins at 8:00 a.m. Lunch may be purchased or you can bring your own. For registration information contact Dr. Terry Gipson (405) 466-6126 or tgipson@langston.edu goats. Another or register online at http://goats.langston.edu/2018-goat-and-hair-sheep-field-day problem is that Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 15


2018 WOOL POOL KY WOOL POOL C. Oran Little Research Center Sheep Unit


Jefferson Farmers Co-op June 14, 2018

Wool Drop-off: May 24 (SheeProfit Day)– June 9th , 2018 Baling: Saturday, June 9

106 Highway 92 South, Dandridge, TN


423 Westover Dr., Columbia, TN


C. Oran Little Research Center Sheep Unit 1171 Midway Road, Versailles, KY 40383

Maury Co. Farmer's Co-op June 19th, 2018

Look for wool preparation and pricing details at: www.kysheepandgoat.org & www.tennesseesheep.org Volume 28 Summer

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16 Volume 24 Summer20

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Spring 2018

The Kentucky Fiber Trail

A Visit with Kentucky Meadows Farm by Sarabeth Parido


entucky Meadows is located outside of Versailles, Kentucky. Edward Crowely, along with his wife, Terri, started sheep and dairy goat farming in 2016. After a long career in Corporate America and starting his own business, Ed found that part-time farming was increasingly appealing to him. They currently raise Rambouillet and in the last year have added Delaine Merino, Natural Colored Merino, and Scottish Black Face. They are a part of our growing membership with the Kentucky Fiber Trail and we recently had a chance to find out more about their farm. Thank you so very much Ed for participating in the Kentucky Fiber Trail. Can you tell us more about your farm and farming background? "Along with the Rambouillet, Merino and Scottish Blackface sheep that we raise, we also have a small flock of alpacas. I grew up on a large dairy / beef cattle farm in Missouri and I really wanted to get back into farming at least part time. My wife and I had discussed it, and we both thought sheep and dairy goats could be a good way to get started on a small farm (we only have 10 acres!). Our goal is to raise fine quality and unique fiber for the yarn and spinning markets."

You raise a variety of breeds, is that for different fiber purposes? "We test our wool every year at YocomMcColl Wool testing Labs, and last year our ewes averaged 20.1 micron (3.4 standard deviation which is very consistent), a %>30u of 1.2 ( a comfort factor of 98.8%), staple length of 4.8”, and crimp of 17.6! To give you a feel – fine wool is under 22 micron (64 spinning count), so our average is what is considered a very high grade (70 spinning count). Our best ewes were ultra-fine with a micron count of under 17 microns. You can probably guess that I’m really into measuring performance! We are members of the National Sheep Herd Improvement Program (NSIP)." "While the Scottish Blackface are not a fine wool – they have nice long wool used in producing Harris Tweed. Our plan is to artificially inseminate the Scottish Blackface using imported Valais Blackface semen and start a flock of this very unique breed in Kentucky." "All of our sheep are registered so, an important part of our operation is selling livestock. We really want to help re-populate the fine wool flocks in Kentucky." What do you as a producer do with your fiber (ie: send it off to a mill/process it yourself etc)? "We currently send our fiber to a mill

in Indiana where we have it processed into yarn. Eventually we would like to open our own mill (and attempted to in 2017, which unfortunately did not work out). We always hold back one or two fleeces to sell ‘in the grease’ because some of our spinning customers like to process their own wool. Last year we sold the fleece we held back within a couple of days of putting it on the web at over $20 a pound. That was pretty exciting! We are still figuring out the best mix of sales between yarn, rovings, and ‘in the grease’ wool, but I think that is probably always going to be changing a bit from year to year." How much work goes into your farm and fiber production? "Well – my farm could be a full-time job if I let it! I won’t kid you, it’s a lot of work. Especially since my wife and I both hold down full-time jobs. My son helps out and during shearing time it becomes a family affair! We have three aspects to our farm operations: 1. Farm to Table Production: We sell pasture raised duck, turkey, and chicken eggs. Starting this year, we will be offering pasture raised chickens, and we will be offering farm to table beef in early 2019.

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2. Value Added Products: Terri makes Goats Milk Soap (Mariam’s Soap) and hand weaves scarves. 3. Livestock Sales: We sell registered livestock, with a key objective of helping to grow fine wool production in Kentucky. We sell registered Rambouillet, Merinos, Scottish Blackface sheep, Alpacas, and Nubian Dairy goats. We also sell a limited number of livestock guard dogs (Great Pyrenees). 4. Services: Terri is a certified sorter and is completing her requirements as a Master Sorter. We provide stud services with our flock. This is important to helping expand the fine wool flock in the state. So it’s pretty diversified, which we want it to be. I’m a big follower of Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms) and believe in the focus on improving pasture quality through multispecies grazing, composting, intensive pasture rotation, and not using chemical fertilizers. It’s a more labor-intensive form of farming, but one that I enjoy and that seems to work for us. Especially as small-scale farmers, it makes the most economically productive use of our limited space!"

What was the most valuable resource for you as you were getting started? "Our mentor – Kathy Meyer – was fantastic, and both the Ewe Profit School and SRPS were absolutely critical. I wouldn’t advise that anyone get in the business unless they go through one or both of these programs. And generally, just getting to know people in the industry was very helpful. The owner of the ranch we bought our sheep from (Paul Erk, of the Erk Ranch in South Dakota) was fantastic and very patient with my questions. He actually picked out my starter flock for me ‘sight unseen’ so the first time I viewed my sheep was when they were jumping out of the trailer! And after coming off a 10,000+ acre ranch in South Dakota – these girls really did jump! Really, everyone I have met in the industry has been incredibly helpful. One of the best resources is just to get out and meet people at the different events and build up a network of folks you can share ideas with and learn from." If someone came to you and asked you for your best piece of advise about getting started in fiber farming, what would that be? "I think one of the best pieces of advice I received was to buy the very best livestock you can for your starter flock – go for quality over quantity! We did this and I’m really happy

we did. I’m going to add one more piece of advice. Make sure your spouse/partner is engaged in this also. I know it’s been really fun for Terri and I in building this operation, and she gets as much if not more credit than I do. Our primary flock ram loves her because she has gotten him untangled from electric wire fence so many times! And when something goes wrong or you make a mistake (and trust me – we have made our share of beginner’s mistakes), then it’s great to have someone there by your side to go through that learning process and to help you keep perspective on all of it!" Be sure to check out the Kentucky Meadows LLC website at www.kentuckymeadows.com and view their location and all of our other members on The Kentucky Fiber Trail interactive map www.kentuckyfibertrail. com! Sarabeth Parido, is the Director of the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. She raises her own small flock of sheep in Clark County, Kentucky along with her husband and three sons. She spins and dyes her fiber into yarn and has taught knitting classes for 14 years. Sarabeth is passionate about Kentucky fiber and wants to see great things happen for Kentucky wool producers.

2018 Workshop Schedule Friday May 18th

From Farm to Shawl: A Journey with Wool Dyes of the Americas Nuno-Felt Scarf Color & Weave Patterns for Rigid Heddle Irish Knitting Basket Weaving Goat Soap Making Wrong Side Forward: Reversible Cables Spindles of the World Blending Board Basics Adding Beads to Knits Saori Weaving Intro to Rug Hooking

Saturday May 19th

Spinner’s Dream Basket Weaving Fabulous Felt Flower Fascinator Lichen Dyeing Spring Egg Punch Hooking Saori Weaving

Saturday May 19th con't.

Spin and Ply with Tibetan Spindle Color Theory for Fiber Artists Crafting Your Business Pin Loom Weaving 101 Photography for E-Commerce Exploring the Color Red with Natural Dyes Crochet Socks Continuous Strand Weaving on Small Frame Goat Yoga

Sunday May 20th

Woodsy Forest Vessel Felting Intro to Scandinavian Band Weaving Broom Making Primer Shifty Dye Pot- Tweaking Your Color Learning to Twine Two at a Time Socks Exploring Color Theory for Fiber Arts Producing and Marketing Your Wool

Visit our website for times and availability of the classes


Kentucky Fiber Trail ※


The 2018 Wool Season Begins by Julie Stepanek Shiflett, PhD


s shearing commences across the U.S., all eyes will be on the Australian wool market. The Australian market defines U.S. wool prices with U.S. wools bringing 75-85 percent of Australia’s value depending upon degree of wool preparation. The Australian-U.S. dollar exchange rate can also affect the value of U.S. wools. In the four weeks since its December recess, the Australian wool market gained 4 percent from its pre-recess average and was 25 percent higher year-on-year. In the first two weeks of February, the Australian average wool price--measured by the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) -- was $6.42 per lb. clean (the greasy price is about half this, $3.17 per lb.). Continued tight international wool supplies and growing strength of the U.S. and other developed economics are likely to support wool prices in coming months. Another boost to the wool industry is the growing category of wool in the sports and outdoor market. “Traditional wool apparel goods were heavier, more durable products worn primarily in colder climates, and were not responsive to changes in styles and fashion trends,” (NRC, 2015: 261). That was yesterday’s wool: Today’s wool is the

trendsetter. Wool’s ability to carve out niche markets will keep demand expanding, and support grower prices. “Performance apparel is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global textile industry and as consumers become conscious of the impact that their purchases have on the environment, they look for natural, sustainable alternatives,” (Fiber2Fashion, 2/4/2018). The leading sports brand Adidas is on board, developing active wear from wool.

Kentucky Sheep Count

At 31,000 ewes, Kentucky saw a 3 percent rise in sheep inventory in 2017 (USDA/NASS, 1/2018). Numbers were steady with the ewe count from 5 years ago. When expanding the inventory count to the neighboring seven states, the ewe number jumps to 327,000 ewes, unchanged between 2016 and 2017 and 1 percent lower than 5 years ago. The eight state region including Kentucky and its neighbors accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. ewes in 2017. In 2017, 75,000 lbs. of wool were produced in Kentucky, up 5,000 lbs. yearon-year. At an average 90 cents per lb. greasy, the total value of the wool crop was $68,000, up 8 percent year-on-year. In 2017, 11,000 head were reported as being shorn in Kentucky, only about one-third of total

head, indicative of the growing hair sheep population. In Kentucky, average 2017 fleece weights—lbs. of wool per head—jumped 6 percent from 6.4 lbs. to 6.8 lbs. Kentucky’s wool yield is comparable to the U.S. average of 6.79 lbs. At the low end, the average was 5 lbs. per head in some states neighboring Kentucky. At the high end, in the western states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, the finer wools produced an average fleece weight of 8-9 lbs. per head. Fleece weights are a function of the breed of sheep, genetics, nutrition and shearing interval (Schoenian, S. 2015). In 2017, shorn wool production in the U.S. was 24.7 million lbs., down 5 percent from 2016. Sheep and lambs shorn totaled 3.44 million head, down 4 percent from 2016. The average price paid for wool sold in 2017 was $1.47 per pound greasy for a total value of $36.4 million, down 3 percent from $37.7 million in 2016.

Explore your Marketing Options

As the U.S. wool clip has contracted over the years, so too have marketing options. Wool buyers--domestic or international-reduce their costs by purchasing in volume and when volumes shrink, so too does profitability. The wool market will only

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Julie Stepanek Shiflett, PhD consults for the American Sheep Industry Association. She also consults independently and is an Adjunct Professor of Agriculture at the Western Colorado Community College, a division of Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado. Julie received her PhD in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and currently raises Boer goats in western Colorado.


American Sheep Industry Association, Inc. No date. Code of practice for preparation of wool clips. http://d1cqrq366w3ike.cloudfront.net/http/ DOCUMENT/SheepUSA/Code_of_Practice_ low.pdf. Accessed February 10, 2018. American Sheep Industry Association, Inc. Various dates. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service wool price data. Fiber2Fashion. 2/4/2018. “Woolmark and Adidas unveil design competition,” http://www. fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/woolmarkand-adidas-unveil-design-competition-240428newsdetails.htm. Accessed February 14, 2018. Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative. http://www. midstateswoolgrowers.com/index.html. Accessed February 13, 2018. National Resource Council. 2008. Changes in the Sheep Industry in the United States, Making the Transition from Tradition. Sheep101.info, http://www.sheep101.info/wool. html. Accessed February 9, 2018. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). January 31, 2018. Sheep and goats.





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(ASI, No date). Price premiums are available to those growers that run white-faced sheep with wools that are at least 3 inches long (staple length), are less than 30 micron, are not stained yellow, and are contaminate-free. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to show off your wool this season. The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office lists a directory of sheep shearers and wool buyers are just a phone call away.


Kentucky Fiber Trail ※

the current wool market and prices (NRC, 2008). A second downfall is that the quantity sold might be low, bringing lower prices. An upside to private treaty is if a grower raises specialty wools (colored, longer, or coarser) in demand by hand spinners and weavers. U.S. wool growers face three general marketing challenges: finding wool shearers, marketing, and wool preparation. Price received for wool is very much a function of how well it is prepared. Much of U.S. wool is prepared original bag (OB) in which bellies and stained wool are not removed from the fleece when packaged or tied. A second and third method of preparation are more commonly seen with larger flocks and in the West. A second method of preparation is called bellies out untied (BOU). The distinguishing characteristic of this method is that the belly wool is separated from the rest of the fleece. The third method, table skirted and classed (TSC) is when bellies, vegetable matter, stained wool, and head and lower leg wools are removed. For large flocks, the wool will then be classed whereby different fleeces are placed with like fleeces based on micron, staple length, and color, among other characteristics. Australia sets the standard for wool preparation where most Australian wools are skirted and classed. The amount of on-farm preparation will directly affect prices received. If a grower wants to make a significant investment in wool, then perhaps an investment in a ram is warranted such as a fine wooled Rambouillet or Targhee. The lower the micron count (the finer the wool), the higher the value. Many of the sheep breeds in Kentucky and neighboring states such as Dorset, Polypay, Shropshire, and Hampshire have higher micron counts, perhaps up to 30 micron. If a grower is content with his/her flock genetics, then there is still a lot that can be done to improve wool preparation to improve returns. For example, do not run hair sheep with wool breeds. Do not let polypropylene get into your wool. Mow pastures so burrs don’t get into the fleeces. If a grower runs black-faced sheep such as Hampshire, then the black fibers will lower wool value. Package bellies, head and lower leg wool separately. Remove wool manure tags and hay chaff when packaging. At a minimum, keep the shearing area clean and do not shear wet wool. “Wool contamination adds cost to processing raw wool, limits the end uses that raw wool can reach in the retail market and adds labor cost to remove contamination,”


support so many wool buyers before a reduction in volume handled negatively affects returns. There remains a strong network of wool marketing options across the U.S.; however, a network that counts on your wool clip. Depending upon where a grower lives, there are multiple ways to market wool: 1.) warehouse system, (2) marketing cooperative, 3) pools, and 4) private treaties (NRS, 2016). Warehouses, cooperatives and wool pools all aim to “provide wool buyers adequate volumes of wool that can be purchased with confidence that their uniformity is accurately represented,” (NRC, 2008:253). Once a wool pool, cooperative or warehouse receives your wool, it sorts the wool by quality, increasing quantity of any one wool type to attract buyers. If wool quality is not what end-users anticipated when purchased, then its value next time around will be sharply discounted. There are a handful of large wool warehouses across the United States. Roswell Wool, in New Mexico and California, and Center of the Nation Wool in South Dakota are a couple of the largest warehouses. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) lists nearly 60 wool pools across the U.S., many in the East and Midwest. A wool pool is a variation of a cooperative system whereby a group of producers that grow like wools combine their fleeces to gather a sizable clip. A smaller producer can thus receive the marketing benefits of selling a larger volume. The largest wool marketing cooperative—Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative in Ohio—operates similarly. Its value added is in gathering, sorting, and grading growers’ wool. It takes wool from many small farm flocks of different breeds, types, and levels of contamination, sorts out visible contaminates and combines the wool into sizable lots of uniform grade and quality to attract buyers. According to its website, Mid-States coop has 10,000 farmer/owners marketing 6 million lbs. from 23 states. Mid-States offers multiple marketing plans for growers, catering to growers’ investment in wool production. One popular method of sale is for the coop to issue a final settlement check in December representing an average price for the year for each grade. Grade primarily represents the micron (fiber diameter) of the wool. Selling wool direct to buyers is also a viable option for many farm flocks, but perhaps not the best fit for all growers. One downside is that the buyer might be more knowledgeable than the grower about

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Distinguishing Your Product by Francis and David Martin


here is a line in the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams”, which goes something like this, “If you build it, they will come”. Unfortunately, many people think that is applicable to the marketing of products. Marketers have added a second part to that phrase, “If you build it, they will come, only if you stand on the roof top and shout, ‘It’s over here, it’s over here!!!’" In the average grocery store, there may be more than 40,000 items. Also, the footprint for many major grocery stores may exceed 100,000 square feet. How do you distinguish your product in this environment?

Getting Attention Heard of the “3 second rule”? This is the amount of time it takes to look at items as you walk down the aisle of a grocery store, especially if you are turning your head side-to-side to survey the many products attempting to catch your interest. Your goal is to make the customer stop, take a serious look at your product, read your label, and then put your item in their basket. Sound tough? Well it is! You have to realize that getting your product into the store is the easy part. Keeping it in the store is where the real work begins. As we have stated before, how good your product tastes becomes a small variable in the selling process. Store buyers and representatives only want to know how you plan to get your product off the shelf and into the customer’s basket.

The Importance of the “Marketing Plan” We are sure that you have purchased an item because you saw an ad or promotion for the item on television, a billboard, or in a print ad only to discover that the product was a total disappointment. At that point, you decided to not become a repeat customer and you may have asked yourself, “Why did the store put that horrible tasting product onto the shelf?” It may be very simple- the producer of the product had an outstanding Marketing Plan. To remain on the shelf, stores are looking for product sales. An outstanding

Marketing Plan can help even a terrible product perform just as well as a an outstanding one simply because the plan can generate enough 1 time purchasers that would reflect consistent sales.

Factors to Consider & Include in Your Marketing Plan • Creating Your Identity One of the first steps in the creation of the marketing plan is to create an identity, or more commonly known as “Branding”. Your branding may be an image, a jingle, a phrase, or picture. It may deliver a message or it may just be a “cute look”. Whatever it is, this visual representation would be your “logo”. This logo would be the identifier of your brand. When people see this logo, they think about your company, product or service. Your “company logo”, and your “product logo”, don’t have to be the same, but it becomes important for the public and your potential customers to be able to associate them and be able to transfer the goodwill from one to the other. • Due Diligence Prior to spending money to have your “logo” professionally designed or to start using it for your brand, you need to conduct some “due diligence” to determine if the logo, “trademark” or “service mark” is being used by another company. It is possible that you may not be the only person that thinks your logo is outstanding. You can do the research on your own or hire a lawyer. Start your research on the state level by contacting the Secretary of State Office. The next step would be to contact the US Government Patent and Trademark office. Once you have exhausted your search and found that the logo is available, you can proceed with the creation of the image as your logo or brand. It is suggested that you consult the assistance of a graphic artist to help in the creation of the logo. The development of the logo is too important to rely on the nephew of the 3rd cousin of the neighbor down the street! And along the same lines, you need to get a

wide variety of opinions about the logo design to make sure it is appealing. Don’t rely on opinions of just family and friends. If you have determined that your logo or image is unique, you might want to consider filing for trademark and copyright protection. You can start the filing on the state level which is easier and cheaper than on the federal levels. The key to determining the ownership of a trademark or copyright is the date of “first use”. Who used the image first? Filing on the state level provides evidence of the date of “first use”.

• Branding Once you have developed your logo, then you start the “branding process”. Use your brand on everything from business cards, letterhead, T-shirts, hats, and marketing materials. When you are wearing your logo on your attire, people will ask what it represents and that will give you the opportunity to discuss your company and product.

• Set a Budget Next, develop a budget you can afford to spend to market and advertise your product. Then, determine the most effective media route to spend the money. Today, the use of social media has made marketing and advertising more affordable. Social media includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can consider commercials for the use in cable television commercials. Cable television commercials have become more affordable. Another effective tool is the use of email blasts, or email marketing. David Martin is President/CEO of Widget DTC. A native of Brunswick, Ga. Graduate of Morehouse College, with a degree in Political Science, and a Law Degree from Rutgers School of Law- Newark.

Frances Martin is Chairman of Widget DTC. A native of Philadelphia, Pa. Graduate of Drexel University, with a degree in Design and Merchandising, a MBA in Finance, and a Masters in Project Management from Keller University.

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 21


An Annual Management Strategy for April Lambing By Donald G. Ely, University of Kentucky



anuary and February have been, and continue to be, the traditional lambing months for producing milkfed slaughter lambs (100 to 120 lb) in the Farm Flock States of the eastern U.S. Even though this system has many production advantages, April lambing has evolved as a viable system in the transition states (VA, KY, TN) and the deep southeastern U.S. This system evolved as “hair” sheep came into the relatively hot and humid southeast. The no shearing requirement motivated many new producers to select “hair” sheep for their production. In addition, the same new producers wanted to produce market lambs from only grass (pasture) rather than feeding concentrates to growing lambs in confinement. To attain this objective, lambs had to be born in the spring (typically in April). Concurrently, the market for light-weight slaughter lambs (50 to 80 lb) mushroomed because producers could sell these “highdollar” lambs throughout the summer. Although some may believe that April has replaced January and February as the traditional lambing season for the Farm Flock States, it cannot become traditional until a consistent annual management program has been developed. It is the purpose of this paper to describe some management strategies that may improve the productivity and profitability of an April lambing system.

The First Step

The average weight of ewes across types, breeds, environments, etc. is 150 lb when they are open, dry, and in moderate body condition (i.e., at maintenance). There are times during the year when they may weigh as much as 180 or as little as 125 lb, depending on their stage of production. Likewise, the body condition of ewes, in any lambing system, changes throughout the year depending on their stage of production (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Body Condition Score of Ewes as They Work Through an Annual Production System.

The scale used for assigning a body condition score (BCS) ranges from 1.0 (emaciated) to 5.0 (obese). Ewes can be scored in 0.5 increments (i.e., 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, etc.) or even 0.1 increments (i.e., 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, etc.) as producers become more experienced. Figure 1 shows how the BCS of ewes change throughout the production year, which begins with nutritional flushing. All ewes enter flushing at a 1.5 to 2.0 BCS. With proper management, they leave this period and work through breeding at 2.0 to 2.5 BCS. Figure 1 also illustrates that BCS increase at different rates during gestation (early vs. late) to reach 3.5 to 4.0 at lambing. Ewes need this high BCS at lambing because even though they can be fed the best possible lactation diet, their BCS can decrease to 1.5 to 2.0 by the time lambs are weaned. This should be a normal occurrence for high producing ewes that nurse twins. On the other hand, high producing ewes that are fed a suboptimal lactation diet may have BCS less than 1.5 at weaning. These will be emaciated. Performance of their lambs will be poor because these ewes had to reduce their milk synthesis so they could survive, even at their lambs' expense.

22 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

The Production Year

Inclusive dates of the production stages of an April lambing system are shown in Table 1. For April lambing ewes, their production year begins on November 1 with a nutritional flushing period. This is a 2-week period before turning rams with ewes. Defined as “having ewes in a rising body condition at time of breeding”, the purpose of nutritional flushing is to synchronize conceptions and increase lambing rates by 0.15 to 0.20 lambs per ewe lambing. To attain these reproductive advantages, ewes need to enter the nutritional flushing period at 1.5 to 2.0 BCS. Furthermore, they need to be checked for internal parasite infestations in October (see Table 2). Most certainly, de-worm ewes and rams with FAMACHA scores 3, 4, and 5 or de-worm all ewes and rams. This is one of three times during the year when all ewes can be de-wormed regardless of FAMACHA score. During this 2-week period, they should begin to gain weight and BCS from a diet of pasture pickings of bluegrass (BG), orchardgrass (OG), timothy (T), and/or

Table 1. Production Stages for an April Lambing System (Spring Lambing).



No. Days

Flushing Nov. 1 to Nov. 15 14 Breeding Nov. 15 to Dec. 6 21 Early Gestation Nov. 17 to Mar. 16 119 Late Gestation Mar. 16 to Apr. 13 28 Avg. Lambing Date Apr. 13 Lactation Apr. 13 to Jun. 12 60 Post-Weaning Jun. 12 to Jun. 22 10 Maintenanceb Jun. 22 to Nov. 1 132 Approximate. Open, dry.



Table 2. Yearly Sheep Operation Calendar – April Lambing.

bromegrass (BR) plus 1.0 lb/hd/d shelled corn or pasture pickings plus grass hay (BG, OG, T, and/or BR) provided ad libitum and supplemented with 1.0 lb lb/hd/d shelled corn. Continuing this management until the end of the 3-week breeding period on December 6 (Table 1) should produce BCS from 2.0 to 2.5. Ewes must have ad libitum access to a complete mineral mix provided in loose form every day of every production stage. Ewes leave the breeding stage and enter directly into early gestation (EG) at 2.0 to 2.5 BCS. At the end of EG, 119 days later (Table 1), ewes need to project at least a 3.0 BCS. This means they need to gain only about 0.07 lb/hd/d for the 119-d EG period or a total of 7 to 10 lb/ewe. This small gain and minimum BCS change illustrates that quality of roughage consumed during EG is unimportant as long as quantity is adequate. Diets during EG can include ad libitum access to pasture pickings or low-

quality mature grass hay (fescue, BG, OG, or a mixture of any combination of the three). If hay has to be fed, each ewe needs 5.0 lb/d, whether fed once daily from square bales or provided ad libitum in “big” rolled or “big” square bales. Depending on ewe BCS, availability and quality of pasture and/or hay and weather, supplementation with 0.5 lb/hd/d shelled corn may be needed so the BCS is at least 3.0 at the end of EG. Late gestation (LG) is about 28 d long and extends from March 16 until the average lambing date of April 13. Ewes enter LG at 3.0 BCS. They need to gain 0.5 lb/hd/d during LG to attain a BCS of 3.5 to 4.0 at lambing, indicating that hay (medium quality grass or grass legume) and/or pasture quality needs to be higher than was consumed in EG. These ewes require 4.0 lb/hd/d of hay or pasture dry matter per head daily. In order to obtain the 4.0 lb of dry matter from green pasture [spring cool season grass (BG, OG) or small

grain forage], ewes may have to consume 20 to 25 lb forage/hd/d. This feat will be difficult to attain because the green forage is so high in water that 150-lb LG ewes are physically unable to take in this volume of material in a 24-hr period. In turn, their LG gain may be severely reduced to the extent they may encounter ketosis (pregnancy disease) if they are not supplemented with at least 1.0 lb of a grain mix per head per day. The composition of an example grain mix is shown in Table 3. Shelled corn can be substituted for the grain mix on a 1:1 basis, but hay must be higher quality than the medium quality fed with the grain mix. With corn, feed either grass hay harvested in the vegetative stage, grass/ legume harvested at mid-bloom, or alfalfa harvested at mid-bloom. Ewes lamb in a lot near the barn or inside the barn. Ewes and newborn lambs are moved to lambing jugs for 2 to 5 days for several reasons. First, the weather in April is highly variable. It can be hot, dry, cold, rainy, snowy, or any combination. Cold (35 to 45° F) and rainy conditions (mud) are most devastating on baby lambs. Continual wet coats and cold temperatures enhance lamb death losses from pneumonia. Practicing survival of the fittest is not an economical venture in this real-life scenario. Secondly, moving to jugs assures bonding of ewes and lambs. This reduces the number of “bummer lambs” and concurrently increases the percent lamb crop that will subsequently be marketed. A third reason for moving ewes and lambs through jugs is individual animal identification. Ewe production performance can be monitored if ewes and lambs are individually identified. This performance can even be monitored by the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) if animals are individually identified. Other reasons for “jugging ewes” include iodining lamb navels, removing mucal plugs from teats, and making sure ewes are milking enough for their lambs. Grafting, docking, castrating, and vaccinating lambs is effciently done if ewes are jugged. Deworming all ewes out of the jugs prevents the periparturient rise in stomach worm infestation. This is the second time all ewes are de-wormed. After 2 to 5 days of bonding, ewes and their lambs are moved from lambing jugs to nursery (mixing) pens. Each ewe is fed 5.0 lb grass hay plus 1.0 lb grain mix (Table 3) or shelled corn per day. Pairs remain in

News to Ewes continues on pg. 24 Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 23

News to Ewes continued from pg. 23 the nursery pens until enough ewes have lambed to send to pasture (usually by 2 weeks after lambing). It is during these two weeks that shepherds exercise their greatest shepherding skills because this is the period that has the greatest impact on the number of lambs marketed. Ewes enter lactation at 3.5 to 4.0 BCS and leave 60 days later at 1.5 to 2.0, even though they are fed a maximum amount of highest-quality feed. Feed ewes for milk, not BCS. April lambing ewes, with ad libitum access to fescue, BG, OG, T, or BR pastures, even with clover, must be supplemented with at least 1.0 lb grain mix (Table 3) or shelled corn/hd/d. Efforts to maximize ewe milk production, and their lambs’ growth, from grass alone in April, May, and June may be an exercise in futility for two reasons. 1. Pasture forage during these months may contain 80 to 85% water. This consumed forage passes through the digestive tract of lactating ewes so fast that nutrients contained in the forage are excreted in feces before they can be absorbed and converted to ewe body maintenance and milk. Results can be hungry, poor-doing lambs! Supplementation with a pound of corn, and maybe a pound or two of hay will slow down the rate of passage of this washy, green grass through the digestive tract so the nutrients of the corn, hay and pasture forage can be absorbed and converted to ewe body maintenance and milk. 2. Adequate nutrition needs to be provided to lactating ewes in the spring in order to prevent stomach worm infestations. Stomach worms that inhabit the abomasum of ewes are in hypobiosis (inactive) during the winter. When environmental conditions change (warmer weather, increased rainfall, high humidity) from winter to spring, grass becomes green and stomach worms become active. These worms also respond actively to stress encountered by April lambing ewes – that is, inadequate nutrition to produce enough milk from “washy (watery)” green grass alone to support maximum growth of twin lambs. To counter this stress, supplement spring pasture forage with a grain mix (Table 3) or shelled corn and perhaps hay on a daily basis. Provide a loose, complete mineral and fresh, clean water ad

Table 3. Ingredient Composition of an Example Grain Mixa. Ingredient Ground/cracked shelled corn Soybean pellets

Lb/Ton b


Distillers dried grains with solubles Complete mineral mix


Ammonium chloride Vitamin E


Vitamin A, D, E premix f

Percent of Mix















12.9% crude protein. Ground through a hammer mill without a screen. c 48% crude protein. d Composed of 22.25% calcium; 6.00% phosphorus; 23.50% salt; 1.00% magnesium; 1.00% sulfur; 30 ppm iodine; 6 ppm cobalt; 32 ppm selenium; 1,800 ppm zinc; 1,500 ppm manganese; 302,000 IU vitamin A/lb; 25,000 IU vitamin D3/lb; and 200 IU vitamin E/lb. e 20,000 IU/lb. f Vitamin A = 4,000,000 IU/lb; vitamin D3 = 800,000 IU/lb; and vitamin E = 500 IU/lb. a


libitum every day. Shade will be needed in May and June. Heavy stocking rates of 6 to 10 ewes plus lambs per acre of cool season grasses are possible in May and June if they are rotated to a new pasture at least every 2 weeks. Using smaller acreages per pasture allows more frequent rotations like weekly, every 2 to 3 days, or even daily. More frequent rotations (mob grazing) will promote more efficient forage utilization and more stomach worm control. Regardless of the rotational frequency, pastures need at least 30 days of rest between grazing bouts so growing forage can recover from previous bouts. Creep feeding April-born lambs is a must if maximum performance is to be achieved. Twin-born lambs that are creepfed have been shown to reach 100- to 120lb market weights 30 to 35 days earlier than twins that are not creep-fed. Even lambs planned to be marketed at 50 to 80 lb need to be creep-fed. Non creep-fed lambs may be subjected to low milk production of ewes if they consume only spring forage. Resultant high stomach worm infestations of the ewes and lambs may keep some lambs from even living to 50 to 80 lb. Creep feeding can help overcome some of these problems. Two example creep diets are shown in Table 4. Diet 1 is the simplest. It haswithstood numerous experiments that have tried to show more complicated and expensive diets produce faster and more efficient gains. One of these is Diet 2. The advantage of Diet 2 is that it is the same grain mix that can be fed to ewes in late gestation. It can also be fed to lactating ewes

24 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

(at least 1.0 lb/hd/d) and all other classes of sheep on the farm (rams, replacements). Lactating ewes are fed once a day in feeders in an open barn that allows them continual access. If this facility is unavailable, locate feeders near water, mineral feeders, and shade. Construct creep feeding areas either inside a barn or near the ewe feeding area. The daily amount offered to lambs in troughs depends on the previous day’s intake. Keep increasing the daily amount offered as lamb weights increase. Traditionally, lambs are weaned at 120 days of age. Such lambs are weaned when pasture forage is limiting, thus daily milk production of ewes is relatively miniscule. Weaning in this situation can be abrupt. With the advent of early-weaning lambs at 60 to 90 days of age, preparing ewes for weaning has to be more gradual. Ewes that lamb in April in the eastern U.S. are still producing significant amounts of milk from relatively large amounts of high quality forage when lambs reach 60 to 90 days of age. These ewes need to participate in a weaning management scheme that will hopefully reduce udder problems (like mastitis) in the next lambing season. Any grain mix or corn in the daily ration of lactating ewes should be gradually reduced beginning 7 days before the weaning date. At the same time, it is ideal if ewes and lambs can be moved to pasture that contains lower quality and/or quantity of forage during these 7 days. One should not be concerned about the lambs as milk production of ewes declines during these 7 days because they will compensate by consuming larger amounts of creep feed. On the day of weaning, move ewes

Table 4. Creep Diets for Lambs on Pasture. Diet 1 Ingredient

Diet 2





Ground/cracked shelled corn





Soybean pellets





Distillers dried grains with solubles





Complete mineral mixc, d





Ammonium chloridee















Vitamin E


Vitamin A, D, E premix


Ground through a hammer mill without a screen. 48% crude protein. c Composed of 22.25% calcium; 6.00% phosphorus; 23.50% salt; 1.00% magnesium; 1.00% sulfur; 30 ppm iodine; 6 ppm cobalt, 32 ppm selenium; 1,800 ppm zinc; 1,500 ppm manganese; 302,000 IU vitamin A/lb; 25,000 IU vitamin D3/lb; and 200 IU vitamin E/lb. d Provide ad libitum in loose form with Diet 1. e For preventing urinary calculi in wether and ram lambs. f 20,000 IU/lb. g Vitamin A = 4,000,000 IU/lb; vitamin D3 = 800,000 IU/lb; and vitamin E = 500 IU/lb. a


away, leaving lambs in their pre-weaning environment. A 48-hour “drying off” period without feed in a lot or barn helps shut down or decrease milk synthesis and production. Likewise, and depending on the weather, water can be withheld for 24 to 48 hours. All ewes are treated with a de-wormer, to which stomach worms are not resistant, 48 hours after separating from lambs. Three hours after de-worming, turn ewes to the poorest pasture that is available. If hoof growth is excessive, trim feet and run ewes through a foot bath with a 10% zinc sulfate solution 2 weeks to a month after weaning. Udders can be palpated for normalcy and/ or mastitis at the same time. Ewes that have production problems are identified and culled. Keeper ewes are rotated through the poorest pastures on the farm until the next breeding season. Lambs need to receive three vaccinations for enterotoxemia (overeating) Type D at 5, 8 (weaning), and 11 weeks of age (Table 2). This vaccine can be either Type C/D or simply Type D. The weaning vaccination is given the same day the ewes are separated (60 days). This is also a good time to weigh lambs and evaluate their birth to weaning performance from home computations or from NSIP. Lambs are left in their pre-weaning pasture for 7 days and continue to have ad libitum access to creep feed. Hold them off feed and water overnight in a barn or lot before de-worming 7 days after weaning. De-worm early in the morning. Continue to hold in the barn or lot for 3 hours before turning back to the

pre-weaning pasture for 2 days. Then, they are moved to the highest quality pasture on the farm and fed a grain mix that has an ingredient composition similar to creep diet No. 2 in Table 4. This diet needs to be fed once daily at 2% of average body weight of all lambs until September 15. Gradually increase (over 2 to 3 weeks) the daily feed amount until the 2% of body weight level is reached. After the 2% level is reached, hold the daily intake the same for 2 weeks. Weigh or estimate weights. Gradually increase the daily intake according to the actual or estimated weight until it equals 2% of the new average body weight. It is always best to weigh lambs on or about August 1 to see how they are gaining. If weighing is not possible, weight estimates may work. Average gains (weaning to market at 100 to 120 lb) should be at least 0.55 lb/hd/d (ADG). Lambs are rotated to fresh highquality pasture daily, every 2 to 3 days, or weekly, but at least every 2 weeks. They are de-wormed as symptoms of infestation occur. Close daily observation is essential for all lambs born in April and raised on pasture during summer and fall because these lambs will have stomach worms regardless of management. Live with the worms, but try to keep to a minimum. High-quality pastures grazed by lambs from weaning in mid-June to September 15 include BG/white clover, OG/white clover, or OG/alfalfa mixes, summer annuals (sorghum x sudangrass hybrids), or pure stands of alfalfa. Pure stands of only BG or OG will not support daily gains desired by

producers who market milk-fed slaughter lambs. Do not graze alfalfa after September 15. However, pure stands of BG and OG provide excellent pasture after September 15. All lambs are weighed on September 15 and ewes and wethers are separated from ram lambs. Management to marketing in October/November may require separating light weight lambs from heavy weights, changing the grain mix from feeding once daily to self-fed or moving some light weights to a confinement environment – remembering the goal is marketing uniform groups in October/November at 100 to 120 lb.


Ewes that produce milk-fed slaughter lambs are forage harvesting equipment because their annual production is derived from 330 to 365 days on pasture. The 35 days when they may not be on pasture are during the 30 to 35 days of the lambing season in a barn or shed in April. To stimulate highest production, highest quality forages are fed during lactation, lower quality in late gestation, and the lowest quality during early gestation and maintenance. Strategic supplementation with a grain mix or shelled corn is necessary during flushing/breeding, late gestation, and lactation. Management of April lambing ewes requires precise forage management (especially in lactation) and internal parasite control. Lambs forage with their mothers after they are a week or two old and are creepfed until weaning at 60 to 90 days of age. After weaning, they rotationally graze high-quality forage supplemented with a grain mix (2% body weight daily) until September 15. After this date, they may continue summer management, can be self-fed a grain mix on fall pasture, and/or may be segregated and finished to market weight in confinement. Management per lamb depends on the sex, its weight, forage availability, and weather conditions. Finally, April-born lambs are marketers of farm produced forage. To realize significant income from this product, ewes and lambs have to be managed so the forage will generate this income. Dr. Donald G. Ely, Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 25

Genetically Speaking... What about Wool?

By Debra K. Aaron, Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky


ool is a versatile, renewable resource that is environmentally friendly. Historically, wool revenue has contributed from 10 to 30% of the total gross income of U.S. sheep enterprises. In recent years, however, a combination of low wool prices, relatively high lamb prices, and the influx of hair sheep into U.S. flocks has caused a downward trend in the proportion of farm income generated by wool sales. As a result, sheep producers generally exert less selection pressure towards improving wool quality and quantity versus improving meat production (number, weight, and quality of lambs). Exceptions, where wool production is more likely to contribute to economic sustainability, do exist. For example, wool continues to be important under more extensive production systems in arid regions of the Western U.S. Lamb production in these environments may be limited by heat, cold, and drought while wool production may be less affected. Typically, more feed resources are required for producing a good lamb crop than for producing a good wool clip. In addition, the majority of sheep in these areas are wooled. As a result, some attention to fleece quantity and quality is important. Other exceptions include specialty flocks that produce high quality fiber for hand spinning and weaving within the hobby fiber sector of the market. Superior quality wools of these types, carefully marketed, command high prices and, therefore, should be emphasized in selection programs. The goal of this article is to provide some insight regarding genetic improvement of wool production and its relationship to lamb (meat) production.

Breed Classification

Sheep breeds should be chosen for specific management situations based on their adaptability and overall potential

Merino (fine wool) for meeting specific production goals. In terms of wool production, breeds represent either a limit or an opportunity for genetic change by selection. Table 1 Lincoln (long wool) categorizes various breeds according to type of wool produced (fine, medium, and coarse or long) and describes the characteristics of the wool they produce. Fine wool breeds produce a more desirable, finer-grading fleece that has greater uniformity than fleeces from other wool types. Wool production is the primary objective and lamb production is secondary. Wool from these breeds is used for the best quality, lightweight, worsted, and woolen garments. Medium wool breeds are appropriate for flocks in which wool production is important but secondary in terms of income to that of lamb production. Wool from coarse or long wool breeds is used mainly for carpets, although the finest wools in this category may be used for tweeds or flannels and are desirable for hand spinning or weaving.

Economically Important Wool Traits

Sheep producers who rely on wool as an important source of revenue must have specific production objectives for it as a commodity. Identifying and selecting those traits that contribute toward high quality fleeces is the first step toward meeting wool production goals. As luck would have it, of all the economically important traits in sheep, those related to wool are some of the easiest to improve.

26 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Polypay (medium wool) Progress through selective breeding is directly related to accuracy of identifying individuals that are superior or inferior for desired traits. For selection purposes, objective measures are preferable to subjective ones. Traits that directly influence the value of wool, and can be objectively measured, are fiber diameter (or grade), staple length, and fleece weight. Fiber diameter (grade, fineness) is the most important price-determining measure of wool. Fine wool fleeces ordinarily bring higher prices per pound than do coarse wool fleeces. The grade, or fiber diameter, of wool primarily depends on the breed of sheep (Table 1). Visual evaluation of diameter is often practiced on ewe fleeces while objective measures (micron determination) are limited to ram fleeces. The finer the fiber (in other words, the smaller the fiber diameter), the better. Uniformity of fiber diameter is also important; fleeces with a high degree of variation in grade are undesirable and have a lower monetary value. To detect such variation, fleeces of ewes and rams can be examined before shearing. Staple length refers to the length of wool obtained by measuring the natural staple without stretching out or disturbing the crimp (natural waviness) of the fibers. It also has an important effect on the monetary value of a fleece. Ordinarily, this trait is highly correlated with pounds of wool produced. Heavier fleeces typically have a longer staple length. Uniformity of staple length over the entire fleece also affects its value.

Table 1. Classification and Wool Characteristics of Various Breeds.

Wool Class Fine Wool

Medium Wool

Coarse or Long Wool

Wool Characteristics within Class Blood grade: Spinning count: Grease fleece weight: Average fiber diameter: Staple length:

Fine 80 to 64

Blood grade: Spinning count: Grease fleece weight: Average fiber diameter: Staple length:

½ to ¼ Blood 62 to 50

Blood grade: Spinning count: Grease fleece weight: Average fiber diameter: Staple length:

Low ¼ to Common 48 to 36

9 to 18 lb/ewe 26 to 17 microns 2.5 to 3 inches

4 to 14 lb/ewe 33 to 21 microns 2.5 to 5 inches

8 to 12 lb/ewe 41 to 31 microns 3 to 15 inches

Colored Wool

Frequently contaminated with black fibers. Fleece weight, in particular clean fleece weight, combines effects of staple length and fiber diameter. Within a particular wool grade, clean fleece weight is the best quantitative measure of fleece value. However, scouring individual fleece samples is expensive and its cost cannot be justified, especially for ewes. Grease fleece weight, the actual weight of the fleece when shorn, is the most practical quantitative measure of wool production. Within breeds, there is a high, positive correlation, or association, between grease and clean fleece weight. Thus, simple and inexpensive measurement of grease fleece weight, and selection for it, can be expected to increase clean fleece weight.

Breeds within Class Merino Cormo Debouillet Rambouillet Targhee

Cheviot Columbia Corriedale Dorset Finn Hampshirea Montadale

Polypay Shropshire Southdown Suffolka Texel Tunis

Border Leicester Coopworth Cotswold Lincoln Romney

Black Welsh Mountain Icelandic Jacob Navajo-Churro Shetland


Objective measures of fiber diameter, staple length, and fleece weight of all ewes in the flock may

not be cost effective. However, cost of evaluating potential sires can be justified, particularly in purebred flocks of wool breeds. Both purebred and commercial producers should insist on objective evaluation of grade and either clean or grease fleece weights when selecting rams. Many producers combine subjective with objective measures in their selection programs. For example, the average fiber diameter of ewe fleeces can be estimated visually and their fleeces weighed individually at shearing. Although grease fleece weight is not as good a measure of wool production as clean weight, it is objective, low cost, and rapid. At the same time, rams can be evaluated objectively for these traits.

Other fleece traits include fiber density, color, softness of handle, and freedom from defects. Fiber density, the closeness or compactness of the fibers in a fleece is important, but a practical objective measure has not been developed. Experienced producers may be able to assess fiber density subjectively through a “touch method.” Colored or white fleeces contaminated with brown or black fibers are less valuable to large textile manufacturers than are pure, creamy white fleeces. Thus, color is generally considered a wool defect and sheep with a lot of black fiber, hair, or kemp should be culled. However, in specialty flocks that produce high quality fiber for hand spinning and weaving, the top priority may be producing wools of many shades of black, brown, and gray.

Genetic Parameters

Selection programs require estimates of heritabilities and genetic correlations. Heritability refers to the proportion of differences among animals for performance traits that are due to differences in the additive effects of the genes they possess. In other words, heritability measures the likelihood of those differences being transmitted from parents to offspring. The higher the heritability for a trait, the faster the genetic change through selection. Wool traits are moderately to highly heritable (Table 2). This means producers can

Table 2. Heritabilities of Fleece Traits.



Grease fleece weight


Clean fleece weight


Yield, %


Staple length


Fiber diameter






From Sheep Production Handbook, American Sheep Industry Assoc. Inc., 2015 Edition, Vol.8.

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 27

make rapid improvement in wool quality and pounds of production using selection programs. Genetic correlations indicate the relative change in one trait associated with selection for another trait. As shown in Table 3, genetic correlations of wool traits with each other are generally positive. A positive correlation means that some of the same genes affect both traits and that a genetic increase in one trait results in a predictable genetic increase in the other trait. Positive correlations are not necessarily favorable. On the average, a heavier fleece weight is associated with a larger fiber diameter. The two traits increase together, but only the increase in fleece weight is favorable. An increase in fiber diameter is unfavorable. Thus, genetic correlations should be considered when selection programs are developed. Other important production traits, such as reproductive efficiency, lamb growth rate, and desirable carcass characteristics, are negatively correlated with most wool traits. Fortunately, most of these correlations are relatively small. Thus, improvement in wool production is not likely to be associated with large undesirable effects on other production traits.

Table 3. Correlated Response in One Fleece Trait Associated with Direct Selection for Another. Direct Selection for:

↑ Clean fleece weight

Staple length

Fiber diameter

Fiber density

Age at Selection

The best time to evaluate a fleece is when sheep are yearlings with a full 12-month fleece. At this time, maternal influences and effects of age tend to be reduced. In addition, wool traits are highly repeatable; therefore, measurements made at a year of age can be good indicators of future wool production.

At weaning: Initial evaluation of ewe lambs for replacement.


Mature animals:

Ignore wool traits except to remove sheep with defects, such as colored spots, extremely hairy britch, or belly wool that extends up the sides of the animal.

Primary evaluation of replacement ewes and rams. If animals were not shorn as lambs, differences in age (fleece growth period) and type of birth or other preweaning variables may still be evident. Fleece weight, staple length, and fiber diameter should be considered. Most genetic progress is obtained through ram selection. At maturity, culling should be based largely on age and soundness. Most selection should have occurred on yearlings. Evaluating aged ewe fleeces is difficult because of differences in physiological states of the animals. For example, barren ewes will have better fleeces than ewes that have raised one or more lambs. Culling of mature rams should largely depend on progeny performance.

28 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

Correlated Response Expected In:

→ →

↑ ↑ ↓ ↑ ↓ ↑ ↓ ↑ ↑

Staple length Fiber diameter Fiber density Fiber diameter Fiber density Clean fleece weight Fiber density Clean fleece weight Staple length

↓ Clean fleece weight ↓ Staple length ↓ Fiber diameter

Inheritance of Color

With the exception of specialty flocks that produce fiber for hand spinning and weaving, colored wool is considered to be undesirable and culling is recommended for sheep with pigmented fleeces. The inheritance of color is generally assumed to be qualitative in nature; that is, influenced by only one or a few pairs of genes. Most instances of black color in sheep fall into this category and are due to a single gene which allows pigmentation. This gene is recessive to the dominant gene for white wool. However, there is apparently more than one type of black color and more than one gene involved. Inheritance of brown and multicolored fleeces is more complicated and many pairs of genes may be involved.

Selection Programs

Realistic plans for changing wool production traits by selection are not reached in many flocks. Problems may involve relationships among traits, age when selections are made, and animal identification. However, in most situations, lack of a well-designed selection program is the primary reason. Too often there is no plan or plans are changed so frequently they lose direction. Selection programs can be based on individual records, progeny performance, or preferably, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs). When individual records are used, animals are selected solely on their own performance record or phenotype for the trait (for example, grease fleece weight). This type of selection can be used effectively for wool traits because they are moderately to highly heritable. Selection based on progeny performance is typically limited to rams. Keep in mind that performance records will not be available on progeny until they are measured at approximately one year of age. As a result, genetic progress may be slowed because of the increased generation interval.

A more accurate method of selection, even for highly heritable traits, involves use of EBVs. The National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) generates EBVs for three economically important wool traits (Table 4) in western range breeds and maternal wool breeds, like the Polypay. EBVs are science-based, industry-tested data values that can be tracked and measured. They are proven to increase on-farm productivity and enhance selection decisions. Table 4. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) Produced by NSIP for Various Fleece Traits. EBV


Fleece weight (%)

Based on grease fleece weight and estimates animal’s genetic potential for wool production. Fleece weights are recorded in kg but are reported as percentages of the overall mean fleece weight.

Staple length (mm)

Estimates genetic potential for length of wool fiber. Positive selection emphasis is recommended in flocks that receive premiums for long-staple fleeces.

Fiber diameter (microns)

Estimates genetic merit for fleece quality. Animals with finer, more desirable fleeces have negative fiber diameter EBV, so negative EBVs are favored for this trait.

EBVs begin with on-farm production data but then convert it to actionable genetic information. Performance data (such as fiber diameters, staple lengths, and fleece weights) are adjusted for variables that are not related to genetics, such as age at measurement, sex of the individual, age of dam, and flock management. In addition, EBVs are calculated using performance of the individual animal, related animals in the same flock, and related animals in other flocks. Genetic correlations among traits are also considered in the calculations.


Wool traits are relatively easy to change through selection while lamb production (reproduction and growth) and carcass traits are more difficult and slower to improve. When selecting for improvement in wool, the major goal should be to increase fleece weight within grade. Fortunately, gains in wool quality and quantity are unlikely to be associated with major undesirable effects on other economically important production characteristics. Finally, decisions concerning the relative selection emphasis on wool versus lamb (meat) are often difficult in wooled flocks. The balance between fiber and meat production should be determined by the relative efficiency or cost of production and price received for the two commodities. However, it seems reasonable that if sheep have to be shorn, neglecting wool entirely may be poor business management.

Buying quality Katahdin and Katahdin cross lambs 100-125 lbs.

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Four Hills Farm • Jim & Lynn Mansfield Salvisa, KY • 859-325-5188 jim@fourhillsfarm.com • www.fourhillsfarm.com Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 29

Health & Management



by Dr. Beth Johnson, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Field Veterinarian, Office of State Veterinarian


aving healthy flocks/herds is critical to the success of your operation. One of the quickest ways to put the health status of your operation in jeopardy is through contamination occurring at livestock shows, sales, and farms. This article will discuss several methods to prevent bringing diseases home, as well as, how to disinfect areas that are contaminated. The principle behind biosecurity is to perform certain precautionary steps to avoid contaminating you or your animals.

Biosecurity measures on the farm

Clothing: How many times have you gone visiting other farms only to come home and immediately go and check on your animals without changing shoes, clothes or washing your hands? The very first step in biosecurity is to not introduce disease that is present on your clothing, equipment, etc. into your farm or viceversa disease from your farm to someone else’s operation.

30 I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I Hoof Print

• Consider keeping a pair of shoes/ boots dedicated to wearing to other farms or production units. Boots/ shoes can be easily cleaned and disinfected. If you are unable to do this, then purchase some slip on “plastic booties” that go over your footwear and can be removed prior to getting back in the car. • Change your clothes and shoes when you arrive home before heading to the barn. Remember that when you are at another farm, show or livestock market, animals are going to rub up against you or maybe you couldn’t resist rubbing on them. Remember that your clothes are fomites for infection. A fomite is an inanimate object or substance that is capable of transmitting infectious organisms from one individual to another.

Disposable Gloves: Disposable gloves are essential to biosecurity! If you have lesions on your animals such as soremouth, please be considerate and provide gloves to anyone handling your animals. As well, throw a couple of pairs into your pockets prior to visiting other farms. You never know when you may need to utilize them and would much rather have a pair to put on rather than be without! Footbath: Location is the most important key in setting up your footbath. The footbath (Photo 1) should be placed in a strategic location that requires visitors to your farm to step through prior to entering the area where your animals are housed. It may be a good idea to set the footbath up on a solid surface, such as concrete, bricks, or cement blocks to prevent mud around the footbath area. A solid surface can be swept or washed down to eliminate the buildup of dirt that can pollute your footbath. Mud quickly pollutes your footbath, making it useless in providing protection. Footbath solutions should provide adequate disinfection properties yet not stain/bleach clothing. Do not use Clorox. If a footbath isn’t practical, provide slip on plastic booties to visitors. This is for your protection as well as theirs.

Photo 1. Example of a durable footbath mat.


Photo 2. Sample biosecurity sign Biosecurity Signs: In today’s society, it is recommended that you post signs at the entrance to your farm stating that you take pride in biosecurity, i.e. photo 2 shown above.

Quarantine: Another measure of biosecurity is to quarantine all new additions to your herd/flock. Animals should be confined to an area that does not allow commingling with other animals on the farm for a minimum of 10 days. During this time, parasite treatment and fecal examinations should be performed prior to placing them in with the resident herd/flock.

Biosecurity measures at show

Disinfect Show Pens: If at all possible, try to show your animals off of your trailer. This means that you do not take them off your trailer except to prepare them for the show and they are placed back into the trailer immediately after showing. If you are required by show management to place your animals into pens provided by the them, it is important to remember that these pens have been used by other producers and their animals. Very rarely are pens sanitized between use and can easily be a source for certain diseases such as ringworm and soremouth. Other animals have rubbed up against the pen and contaminated the pens. If you have to place your animals in these pens for various reasons, then disinfect the pens with a spray and wipe down as much of the hard surfaces you can with a quality disinfectant that is viracidal as well as fungicidal. Use of a pump sprayer makes this job fairly easy to perform. Use Disinfectant Wipes: While being shown, judges usually feel the sheep

Phenols (Lysol, Tek-trol, Environ)

Effective against fungi & many bacteria Retain efficacy in presence of organic material

Pine-tar odor Turn “milky” in water

Iodophors (Betadine, Isodyne, Eladol)

Effective against bacteria & many viruses

Can stain clothing & surfaces Does not work well in presence of organic material

Hypochlorites (Bleach, Halazone)

Relatively inexpensive Effective against bacteria & many viruses

More active in warm water Irritating to skin Corrosive to metal

Quaternary Ammonium Odorless, non-irritating, (Germex, Virex, Vindicator) deodorizing, colorless Have detergent action

and goats for muscling, fat cover, udder attachment, teat structure, etc. With Boer goats, each animal’s mouth is examined to make sure the front teeth are aligned up properly with the upper pad. Most judges do not clean their hands between each animal; therefore, the risk of transferring skin diseases such as ringworm or soremouth is a possibility. Conscientious judges usually will request hand disinfectant wipes to use in case they encounter a suspicious skin lesion or other contagious pathogen while examining the animals. If you are a show superintendent, it is your responsibility to provide this if needed.

Disinfect Animals After the Show: What should you do to protect your animal after they leave the show ring? Many producers will bathe their animals immediately after the show with an iodine based shampoo. This is a wonderful way to disinfect your animal, but at many shows all you want to do is load up and head home after an exhausting day of fitting and showing your animals. I have recommended a product for several years called Trifectant that can be mixed in water and sprayed on the animals as a leave on spray. This seems to help tremendously with control and prevention. Consult with your veterinarian and see if there is a product they would recommend. Disinfect Equipment: Remember that shared equipment (shears, hoof trimmers, drench syringes, trailers and other small ruminant transport means) may transfer disease as well. Be sure that all equipment is disinfected prior to using.

Inactivated in the presence of some soaps or soap residues

Biosecurity Resources

Whether producing milk, meat or fiber, an excellent resource manual for biosecurity is the National Biosecurity Reference Manual: Grazing Livestock Production. The manual provides a set of voluntary, cost-effective guidelines to help reduce the risk of disease entering a property, spreading through the livestock population, and/or being passed to surrounding livestock operations. It outlines recommended measures under five management areas: Livestock; People, Equipment and Vehicles; Feed and Water; Pests and Weeds; Management. The link for this manual is shown below: http://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/ toolkit/plans-manuals/national-farmbiosecurity-reference-manual-grazinglivestock-production/ http://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/ wp-content/uploads/2013/06/FarmBiosecurity-for-Livestock-Producers.pdf Footbath information: https://extension.umd.edu//poultry/ small-flock-production/footbaths “Excellence in Exhibition – Preventing Disease in Animals and People” – Online Course: http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/YouthInAg/ Dr. Beth Johnson, is a Staff Veterinarian in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and has 40 years of experience raising and treating small ruminants. Her family farms in Parksville, KY where she raises Gelbvieh cattle and Boer goats.

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-2 Spring 2018 I 31





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(6616FOC) 18% mini-pellet for creep. Encourages early consumption and gains in baby kids. Chelated minerals for improved cell absorption, haircoat and overall skin condition. Contains Opti-Ferm yeast for optimum digestive health. Medicated with Deccox.

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Profile for HoofPrint- The Small Ruminant Magazine

Hoofprint vol. 30_Iss2 Spring 2018  

HoofPrint - The Small Ruminant Magazine is a periodical used to promote better animal health, husbandry, and knowledge among sheep and goat...

Hoofprint vol. 30_Iss2 Spring 2018  

HoofPrint - The Small Ruminant Magazine is a periodical used to promote better animal health, husbandry, and knowledge among sheep and goat...