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Hoof Print

Fall 2018 – Volume 30, Issue 4

The Small Ruminant Magazine

WATCH OUT FOR PRETTY PLANTS & NOXIOUS WEEDS

KY ANNUAL CONFERENCE

DETAILS INSIDE

WEAVING ART WITH AGRICULTURE

ON THE KENTUCKY FIBER TRAIL

TENNESSEE AGRICULTURAL

ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM INFO


Fall 2018 – Volume 30, Issue 4

Hoof Print

Hoof Print Magazine Published Quarterly $24 per year

The Small Ruminant Magazine

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

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.

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EDITOR / MARKETING DIRECTOR Kelley Yates

FIBER KY UC

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OFFICE SUPPORT Sharon Koontz

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Health & Management

PHOTOGRAPHY Michelle Arnold, DVM, Jerri Ramsey, Ed Crowley, Alvina Maynard, Sarabeth Parido, and Dr. Debra K. Aaron Cover © Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

22 23 26 28

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

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

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Breeding Soundness Exams Breeding Soundness Exams on Bucks Why Use a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory? Watch Out for those Pretty Plants, & Noxious Weeds!!

Association News & More 4 6 8 32 33

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Alpaca Awesomeness at River Hill Ranch Weaving Art with Agriculture Along the Kentucky Fiber Trail Australian Wool Prices Hit Record High

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DESIGN & LAYOUT Maggie May Rogers

Tales from The Kentucky Fiber Trail AIL TR

EDITORIAL BOARD Tess Caudill, Maggie May, Sonia McElroy, Bill Decker, Debra K. Aaron, Donald G. Ely, Mark Powell, Dr. Beth Johnson DVM, Kathy Meyer, Dr. Tom Huber, Shawn Harper, Terry Gipson, Dr. Kenneth Andries

Buck Collection High-Tech Sheep and Goat Breeding Annual Producer Conference Schedule and Information Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Information

KY Sheep and Wool Producers Association KY Goat Producers Association TN Sheep Producers Association Breeders' Pages SHEEP & WOOL Market Place PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


KY SHEEP & WOOL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Calendar of Events 18th 18th 20th 25th 27th

SEPTEMBER

Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting; Mercer Co. Ext. Office; 6:30 pm potluck & 7:00 pm meeting Graded Sale - Paris, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY

NOVEMBER

​8th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 8th Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, Jessamine Co. Fairgrounds; 7pm 3-16th NAILE 12th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY

13th 17th 20th 20th OCTOBER 8th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY 9th EweProfit School II, C. Oran Little 27th Research Farm Midway, KY 11th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 11th  Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, 10th Jessamine Co. Fairgrounds; 7pm 13th 16th Graded Sale in West Kentucky 13th Auction Barn 16th  South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, 13th  Barren Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) 18th KSU Goat Third Thursday 18th Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting; Mercer Co. Ext. 15th Office; 6:30 pm potluck & 18th 7:00 pm meeting 20th Graded Sale - Springfield, KY 18th   23rd Graded Sale - Paris, KY 25th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 27th Kentucky Annual Producer Conference, Frankfort, KY

Central KY Sheep & Goat Assoc., Marion Co. Ext. Office 7pm Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) Graded Sale - Paris, KY

DECEMBER

Graded Sale - Richmond, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, Jessamine Co. Fairgrounds; 7pm Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting; Mercer Co. Ext. Office; 6:30 pm potluck & 7:00 pm meeting Graded Sale - Springfield, KY Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT)

SHEEP & WOOL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

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. Having a mentor could be the difference between a new producer thriving or diving! Consider becoming a mentor so that you can make a difference in someone's life. Together we can continue to strengthen and grow our industries.

kysheepandgoat.org/ become-a-mentor

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.

4 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print


KY SHEEP & WOOL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

President’s Letter

Greetings Sheep Producers,

I

n Central Kentucky, where I live, we had a wonderful summer and growing season. I hope your weather was just as good and you had great grazing and hay production this summer and fall. Please register for the 2018 Kentucky Annual Producer Conference to be held on October 27th in Frankfort, KY. We are very excited to have Reid Redden from Texas A & M as our guest speaker. Mr. Redden is well known amongst the small ruminant industry for his work in areas of performance testing and National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP). The Annual Producer Conference is a great place to learn more about the sheep industry and sheep production, and to network with other sheep producers. We look forward to seeing LOTS of sheep producers attend the meeting!

www.kysheepandgoat.org/ annual-producer-conference

At the time of this writing many of us are enjoying the Kentucky State Fair. The Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, along with the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, were given an incredible opportunity to promote sheep production, lamb consumption and wool products at the 2018 Kentucky State Fair. First, we served lamb sausage in the 2018 Kentucky Commodity Appreciation Breakfast on August 16th, opening day of fair. The breakfast was attended by hundreds of key leaders from Kentucky’s agriculture industry and is designed to allow agriculture commodity groups to highlight their place in our state’s agriculture infrastructure. Second, the sheep industry was heavily promoted in a trade show booth in the new AgLand display of the KY State Fair. Focus of the display was to encourage consumers to “Try Something Different

Tonight on their Plates, in their Homes and in their Fashion”. Hands on experiences were offered to children and adults to experience ways to incorporate sheep/lamb products into meals, clothing and home décor. Last, but definitely not least, for the first time in state fair history, lamb was highlighted in a cooking competition on the Gourmet Garden cooking stage! The Gourmet Garden stage conducted a series of Pro vs. Con cooking competitions in which a professional chef competed against a producer/home cook to see who could cook the best meal Sandra Canon as the winner of the 2018 KY State Fair Pro vs Con lamb cooking contest. This year marks the first year lamb has ever been used on the Gourmet Garden stage! Sandra used lamb provided by KyLamb. Thank you Eileen O’Donohue for the wonderful lamb product! using delicious Kentucky lamb! Our own Eileen O’Donohue of KyLamb provided the lamb for the Pro vs. Con cooking competition. My two primary goals as a member of KSWPA are to increase the consumption and popularity of lamb in Kentuckians diets and to increase the membership of the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association (KSWPA). To accomplish those two goals, we need more sheep producers focused on the goal of growing and improving our industry. To do that I need your help as KSWPA members to ask all of your friends and family who are sheep producers, but not members to join you in becoming a member of the KSWPA. As a member you have access to HoofPrint our informational magazine, our breeder’s directory, our mentoring program, and a variety of educational programs. Here is the link. https://www.kysheepandgoat.org/kswpamembership-app.html From there you can go to the home page and see all the offerings available to you as a KSWPA member. Best Wishes, Bill Decker, President Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association

Try Something Different In Your Home, On Your Plate and On Your Farm!

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

Secretary Rebecca Abbott, barefootbecca79@yahoo.com

Past President Scott VanSickle, Auburn, KY

Treasurer Dorothy Vale, Nicholasville, KY valerdv@aol.com

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

ASI Representative Madeline Rosenburg, Bagdad, KY

scottvansickle@wheattech.com

Madeline.ballyhoofarm@gmail.com

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

> > Visit us at www.kysheepandgoat.org

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 5


KY GOAT PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Letter from the President

Hello Goat Folks,

I

hope everyone had a chance to visit the Kentucky State Fair this year! There were several significant changes from previous years and they were very successful! The new AG Land in the south wing was a hit. It allowed many commodity groups to display what they are doing. The Ky Sheep & Goat Development office had an excellent display that was very well received. The highlight for youth showing livestock was the new “Parade of Champions.” It was an excellent evening allowing many youth to share in the spotlight showing off their hard work. If you missed it this year you will want to be sure and attend in the future! Congratulations to Denise Martin in winning her round at the fair in Pro vs Con. This allowed her to prepare a meal using goat meat against a professional chef on stage. We know Denise always does an excellent job!

Try Something Different In Your Home, On Your Plate and On Your Farm!

Kentucky State Fair Champion

K

GPA takes great pride in supporting youth showman. One way to do so is to provide belt buckles to the Kentucky youth that win the Dairy Showmanship, Commercial Doe, and the Market classes.

Denise Martin as the winner of the 2018 KY State Fair Pro vs Con goat cooking contest. This year marks the first year goat has ever been used on the Gourmet Garden stage! Denise used goat provided by Martin Meadow Farms. We look forward to seeing everyone at the annual meeting on October 27 in Frankfort. Reid Redden, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist from Texas A & M will be the keynote speaker. Thank you for your continued support of the Kentucky Goat Producers Association, Shawn Harper President, KGPA

Picture is of Jackson Jeffries winning KY Proud Champion Commercial Doe 2018

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!

6 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 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

Calendar of Events SEPTEMBER

20th Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting; Mercer Co. Ext. Office; 6:30 pm potluck & 7:00 pm meeting 25th Graded Sale - Paris, KY 27th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY

OCTOBER

8th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY 11th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 11th Jessamine County Sheep and Goat Meeting, Jessamine Co. Fairgrounds; 7pm 16th Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn 16th South Central Goat & Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren Co. Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) 18th KSU Goat Third Thursday 18th Fort Harrod Goat & Sheep Association Meeting, Mercer Co. Ext. Office, 6:30pm potluck & 7pm meeting 20th Graded Sale - Springfield, KY 23rd Graded Sale - Paris, KY 25th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 27th Kentucky Annual Producer Conference, Frankfort, KY

NOVEMBER

13th Central KY Sheep & Goat Association, Marion County Extension Office 7pm 17th Graded Sale - Springfield, KY 20th Graded Sale in West Kentucky Auction Barn 20th South Central Goat and Sheep Producers Meeting, Barren County Ext Office, 6:30pm (CT) 27th Graded Sale - Paris, KY 10th 13th 13th 13th  15th 18th 18th  

DECEMBER

Graded Sale - Richmond, KY Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY Jessamine County Goat and Sheep Association, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm Fort Harrod Goat and Sheep Assoc. Meeting; Mercer Co. Ext. Office; 6:30 pm potluck & 7:00 pm meeting 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)

NOVEMBER

8th Graded Sale - Bowling Green, KY 8th Jessamine County Sheep and Goat Meeting, Jessamine County Fairgrounds; 7pm 3-16th NAILE 12th Graded Sale - Richmond, KY

KGPA and KSWPA 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. Having a mentor could be the difference between a new producer thriving or diving! Consider becoming a mentor so that you can make a difference in someone's life. Together we can continue to strengthen and grow our industries.

kysheepandgoat.org/ become-a-mentor 2017-18 KGPA Board of Directors

President

Shawn Harper - Benton, KY sharperfarms@yahoo.com

Vice-President

Denise Martin - Magnolia, KY

martinmeadowfarms@gmail.com

Secretary

Beth Johnson, Parksville, KY cowdocj@att.net

Treasurer

Kay DeMoss, Lexington, KY

kaydemoss1@windstream.net 2017-18 KGPA Board Members

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

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

• Kenny Fenwick, New Haven, KY

To list your goat event among the Upcoming Events please send information to kyates@kysheepandgoat.org Please be sure to include date, location, & time.

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

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

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

> > Visit us at www.kysheepandgoat.org

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 7


TENNESSEE SHEEP PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Hello from Tennessee!

following the meeting. Fifty-one animals were sold which was an increase over last year’s sale. Plans are being made to possibly hold a spring meeting as well. For more information, visit www.tnksa.com. Our annual Tennessee Sheep Producers Association meeting is scheduled for November 30-December 1 at the James E. Ward Ag Center in Lebanon, lots sold for a total of $179,650 and Tennessee. We are planning a great averaged $1,197.67 compared to 112 lots and $1,329.46 in 2017. High session so certainly plan on joining selling ram came from Dale Carter us. Check on details and agenda at (GA) and brought $3,200. Top ewe www.tennesseesheep.org as we get was from Circle H Livestock (KY) closer to December. Best wishes for a great fall and and brought $2,800. enjoyable upcoming holiday season. The Tennessee Katahdin Sheep Association held their 2nd annual meeting in Murfreesboro this month. Deborah Joines, A show and sale was also held President TSPA

I

hope this note finds you caught up with all farm chores and relaxed in your evening chair. It’s been a great growing season in most parts of our state even with a few dry spells. Plentiful grass makes for fat ewes in great shape for fall breeding and also for stockpiling pastures. Hoping everyone has their last cutting of hay up and ready for winter. We’ve had a busy year in sheep with several breed associations holding annual meetings. The American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society held their Southern States Show and Sale in Cookeville July 27 & 28, 2018. One hundred and fifty

TSPA – UPCOMING EVENTS Date • Details • Location • Website October 1-15 TDA Ag Enhancement Aps Due Ellington Agriculture Center - Nashville, TN – www.tn.gov/taep November 3 Fiber in the Boro Lane Agricultural Park - Murfreesboro, TN – www.fiberintheboro.com Nov. 30 - Dec. 1

TSPA Annual Meeting Ward Ag Center - Lebanon, TN – www.tennesseesheep.org

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

8 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 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


TENNESSEE SHEEP PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

2018 Annual Meeting November 30 – December 1, 2018 Ward Agriculture Center Lebanon, TN Details to follow: www.tennesseesheep.org 2018 TSPA Board of Directors

2018 TSPA Board Members

President/ ASI Rep.

• Steve Alsup, Lascassas, TN –

palsup@dtccom.net

• Dwight Loveday, Louisville, TN –

hloveday@tennessee.edu

• Reyes Rich, Moss, TN –

ginnyridge@gmail.com

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

Vice President

Robert Walker, Alpine, TN

robert.walker@westforkfarms.com

Secretary/ Treasurer

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

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

rmnps@bellsouth.net

• Kevin Durett,Cottontown, TN –

kevin.durrett@ymail.com

• Thomas Greenlee, Rutledge, TN –

jgreenl4@utk.edu

> > Visit us at www.tennesseesheep.org

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 9


Buck Collection

by Terry Gipson, Ph.D., Langston University

I

n the last article (HoofPrint, Summer 2018– Volume 30, Issue 3), artificial insemination was discussed; however, before artificial insemination can occur, a buck collection has to take place. A collection is simple but needs to be conducted properly to ensure a quality product. 10 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

The first step of a buck collection is the physical examination of the buck and his reproductive system. Evaluation of testicular size (circumference) and consistency, and the examination of the sheath and penis are important parts of the external examination. Scrotal circumference is highly correlated to testicular weight which in turn is highly correlated to sperm production. Generally, each gram of testis produces 15 million sperm per day. Total sperm production for both testicles averages 6 billion a day. Palpation of the testicles can determine consistency. Testes should be firm with a slight spongy feeling. A mushy testis or enlarged epididymis could be a sign of infection or other abnormality. The second step in a buck collection is the collection itself. The collection of buck semen is accomplished, most commonly, by the use of an artificial vagina (AV). The AV uses warmth and pressure to stimulate ejaculation. It is about 8 inches in length and has an inner diameter of about 2½ inches. It has an inner latex liner. A latex rubber collection cone is placed in the AV and a graduated collection tube is placed on the end of the cone. If a thicker-walled silicone collection cone is used, then the initial water temperature should be about 10°F warmer than with a thinner latex collection cone. For best results, a female in estrus (heat) is restrained and the buck is allowed to mount. A doe in estrus will usually stand for the buck and emits an odor when in heat that arouses the buck, which gives a better quality ejaculate. The buck is allowed to go through his normal courting behavior and is not restrained. The buck is encouraged to perform a few false mounts, the first of which the collector will examine the penis for any abrasions or adhesions by grabbing the sheath and deviating the penis. These false mounts will also increase the ejaculate volume. If a doe in estrus is not available, a doe or a wether can be used but results may vary according to the personality of the buck. Generally, it takes two people in close proximity to the buck to perform a collection; one to restrain the doe and one to direct the penis into the AV. The natural inclination of the buck is to shy away from people in close proximity. Proper training will overcome this natural shy behavior and also will overcome the buck’s hesitancy to ejaculate into the AV. The time required to properly train bucks varies and depends upon the personality of


Assembled artificial vagina (AV) the buck. Some bucks that are acclimated to human presence and tolerate human touching may need no training. Typically, exposure to a simulated collection event, complete with teaser animal and AV, 2 or 3 times per week with 2 or 3 events per day will provide satisfactory results in 2 to 3 weeks for even the shyest buck. For the shyest, most difficult buck, it is necessary first to habituate the buck to human presence. This first step is to restrain a doe in estrus and have the buck fitted with a breeding apron. On repeated mountings, the collector moves closer and closer to the buck without touching the buck. After the buck becomes accustomed to the collector’s

Estrus female with buck close proximity, the collector gently touches the side of the buck. The next step is for the collector to gently grab the sheath and deviate the penis. Now the mating apron can be removed, and the AV used. If at any point in the process, the buck hesitates or stops, the collector should revert to the previous step in the process until the buck is completely habituated. If time for training is not permitting or a buck absolutely refuses the AV, then collection can be accomplished via electroejaculation (EE); however, this is not the preferred method of collection. If the collector is not well-trained in EE, this method can result in a very unpleasant

Components of an artificial vagina (AV)

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Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 11


AV buck collection process with two handlers. experience for the buck, maybe even painful, and the ejaculate will be less than desirable. EE generally results in a greater volume of semen but having a lower concentration of sperm than ejaculates collected with an AV. Thus, EE collections have an increased volume of seminal plasma, which may reduce the resistance of sperm to cold shock and decrease the post-thaw survival rate of frozen semen. Further, EE collections tend to be contaminated with urine. Limited comparisons of fertility showed that the conception rate at first insemination was 17% higher when semen was collected with an AV than with EE. However, other reports have not found a significant difference in fertility with semen collected by these two different methods. Regardless of collection method, the collection tube containing the ejaculate should be protected from direct sunlight and cold temperatures. Semen quality is the third and last step in a buck collection. Immediately after collection, semen should be placed in a water bath at 98°F in order to prevent cold shock. 12 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

In general, semen quality can be divided into two broad categories: a) the number of sperm cells collected and b) the viability of the collected sperm cells. The number of sperm cells can be readily determined as it is the product of the ejaculate volume times the sperm concentration. The volume of the ejaculate will generally be between 0.5 and 1.5 ml and can easily be measured using a graduated collection tube attached to the AV. The average buck ejaculate usually contains between 1 and 6 billion sperm cells. The accurate measurement of semen is important when semen is to be used in artificial insemination or processed for freezing. The concentration of sperm can be determined by the use of a microscope and hemocytometer, photoelectric colorimetry, or spectrophotometry. The concentration of the ejaculate is a function of several parameters. They include the degree of sexual preparation of the buck, the age of the buck, the time of year the collection is made, the amount of sexual rest before collection, the health of the buck, his nutritional state,

inherent sperm storage, and the production capacity of the buck. Semen volume and concentration are important factors in determining the number of straws of semen that can be produced from one ejaculate. Assessing sperm viability (motility and morphology) is a much more difficult task. Motility is defined as that percentage of the sperm that swim in a more or less straightforward direction and can be determined by examining a drop of semen, first undiluted for assessing gross motility and then diluted so that individual cells can be evaluated for progressive motility. Morphology is the examination for proper shape, especially noting the percentage of sperm with abnormal shapes of the head and tail. Morphology requires the use of a sophisticated microscope fitted with either phase-contrast or differential interference optics. After an ejaculate has been properly collected and evaluated, it is ready for processing either for freezing or for artificial insemination using fresh semen. Dr. Terry Gipson, earned his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from the University of Missouri and Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics from the University of Illinois. Since 1998, He has been the Extension Leader at the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute of Goat Research at Langston University.Â


Perfect for Gift Giving! sale dates • moon signs • due dates & more

2019 KY SHEEP & GOAT MANAGEMENT CALENDARS

will be available soon! KGPA & KSWPA members receive a calendar with new memberships and renewals for 2019. Additional calendars can be purchased at

www.kysheepandgoat.org

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We Care for Kids Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 13


High-Tech Sheep and Goat Breeding Reid’s Ramblings:November 20, 2017 by Reid Redden

L

ast month, I wrote about performancebased genetic selection. This topic is a rather complex concept to understand. Lets expand some on this. Specifically, I’m talking about the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) and estimated breeding values (EBVs). If you have any experience with the beef industry, you probably have heard of EPDs (expected progeny differences). For sheep and goats, NSIP performs the same services as beef breed associations but NSIP produces EBVs. They are very similar to EPDs. Multiply an EPD times 2 to get an EBV. EBVs are incredibly complex to calculate, but simple to use. They are calculated by measuring the difference in an animal’s performance from the average of the animals it is raised with. Also, an animal’s EBVs are influenced by the performance of it is relatives and their correlated traits. And EBVs are corrected for factors that are not genetic, such as type of birth, age of lamb at weaning, age of dam, etc. In essence, this program finds animals that are above and below average and predicts how much above or below average the animals are compared to breed average. NSIP is a program used by sheep and goat ranchers selling breeding animals to commercial ranchers. These breeders collect performance data on their animals for traits important to their customers. This data is used to calculate EBVs on their livestock. They then market breeding animals based on their EBVs. For instance, if Ram A has a weaning weight EBV of 10 (lb) and Ram B has a weaning weight EBV of 0 (lb). The offspring of Ram A would be 5 pounds heavier than the offspring of Ram B. To calculate this, measure the difference in EBVs between the two rams, then divide by 2 because an offspring only gets half the genetic potential from sire. Note: most EBVs are in metric units. In the example above, if a ram sires 50 lambs annually for 3 years, 150 lambs that are 5 pound heavier at weaning would result in an additional 750 pounds of lamb sold. At current market prices ($2.00/lb), this trait alone could generate $1,500 of additional profit. 14 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

Below are a variety of traits that can be measured and EBVs calculated. Ranchers should identify the traits most importance to them and seek breeders with rams that excel in these traits. Personally, I buy rams that have high EBVs for reproduction and parasite resistance!

Growth Traits:

Birth Weight (Bwt) EBV (kg): Weight at birth. Weaning Weight (Wwt) EBV (kg): Weight at weaning, ~60 days of age.

Parasite Resistance:

Fecal Egg Count (Wfec or Pfec) EBV (%): Fecal egg count at weaning or postweaning. It takes time to understand this information. Don’t get discouraged if you feel overwhelmed with data at first. It took me many years of being around EBVs to get a good handle on how they work. Also, I had to stop thinking that I could look at a ram and tell which was the best. Not to discredit visual appraisal, livestock should be structurally sound. But a ram must have good EBVs before I even give it a second glance.

Maternal Weaning Weight (Mwwt) EBV (kg): Weight at weaning from milk production and maternal instinct. Postweaning Weight (Pwwt) EBV (kg): Weight after weaning, ~120 days of age. Yearling Weight (Ywt) EBV (kg): Yearling weight, ~365 days of age.

Reproduction:

Number of Lambs Born (NLB) EBV (%): Lambing rate or prolificacy Number of Lambs Weaned (NLW) EBV (%): Weaning rate or lamb survival

Carcass Traits:

Loin Eye Muscle Depth (Pemd or Yemd) EBV (cm): Loin muscle depth at 6 or 12 months of age collected via ultrasound. Fat Depth (Pfat or Yfat) EBV (cm): 12th/13th rib fat depth at 6 or 12 months of age collected via ultrasound.

Wool Traits:

Fleece Weight (Ygfw) EBV (%): Yearling greasy fleece weight. Fiber Diameter (Yfd) EBV (um): Yearling wool fiber diameter. Staple Length (Ysl) EBV (mm): Yearling wool staple length.

Much more information about this topic is available at http://nsip.org. You can also find breeders that use this technology on the webpage. Unfortunately, there aren’t many NSIP breeders in Texas. This was a major focus of at the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo (Aug. 18th/19th). There was ram sale specifically for performance-tested rams. Hopefully, it motived the Texas sheep and goat industry to start using this technology. If used properly, this technology could have an enormous impact on the genetic potential of our sheep and goats. Let me know if you have any interest in NSIP as a seedstock producer or commercial buyer. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel are more than willing to help. To provide feedback on this article or request topics for future articles, contact me at reid.redden@ag.tamu.edu or 325-6534576.


KENTUCKY Annual Producer Conference October 27, 2018

9:00 p.m.– 3:00 p.m.

Kentucky State University Research Farm CONFERENCE AGENDA

(est) 8:30-9:00 a.m.

Registration

Main Track Welcome National Industry Trends – Reid Redden Association Meetings Lunch Options for Performance Testing for Goats & Sheep How EBVs Can Improve Your Flock – Reid Redden What to do while you wait for the vet – Dr. Beth Johnson Door Prizes/Adjourn

1:00-2:30 p.m. 2:30-3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.

SRPS Track SRPS Module 9: Nutrition (Nutrient Requirements, Body Condition Scoring)

1:00-2:30 p.m.

FAMACHA Training Pre-registration required & $15 fee

9:00 a.m. 9:30-10:45 a.m. 10:45-12:00 12:00-1:00 p.m.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker Reid Redden,

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

Cost: $25/person or $40/ couple (children 10 & under free) Lunch included.

Online Registration Deadline – Oct. 20, 2018

www.kysheepandgoat.org SHEEP & WOOL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


tales from

Fall 2018

The Kentucky Fiber Trail

Alpaca Awesomeness at River Hill Ranch by Sarabeth Parido

What do you as a producer do with your fiber (ie: send it off to a mill/ process it yourself etc)?

A

s our Tales from the Trail tour continues, we visit River Hill Ranch, located in Madison County, Kentucky. River Hill Ranch uses restoration agriculture techniques to grow "alpaca awesome" clothes. Founding rancher, Alvina Maynard, spent six years in the Air Force before switching to the Air Force Reserves and motherhood with a hefty side serving of running a business and fiber farm. Alvina chose alpacas in 2009 because they were weird and so is she (her words!).

Are you originally from Kentucky? If not, what brought you to Kentucky? If so, what is it about Kentucky that made you stay?

No; Alvina thankfully married into Kentucky. I’m originally from Southern California. I met my Clark County-native husband while serving on Active Duty. At the time, my heart belonged to Colorado. We searched for years for the perfect piece of land there that we never found, all the while visiting family in Kentucky. It wasn’t long before Alvina fell for the Bluegrass, with our long growing season, rainfall, rich history, and welcoming agriculture community. Kentucky Fiber Trail ※

1

We found the perfect piece of land within minutes of family. I am grateful for the fantastic support we have in Kentucky, from our government and education institutions to our neighborhood and visiting consumers that appreciate our products.

We keep approximately 50 pounds back that we hand process ourselves or in partnership with local artisans. One example is Blue Fiber Arts’ Denise Coonley: using a FeltLOOM, she creates wearable art with incredible color and texture. Alvina enjoys dye work, spinning, and weaving alongside daughter Aidyn. The rest of our clip goes to domestic manufacturing companies that can achieve greater economy of scale. The North American Suri Company is a fiber broker in St Louis; some comes back to us as fine yarns to be woven into our scarves while some gets freighted overseas to be made into fine handknotted rugs. The New England Alpaca Fiber Pool operates like a bank: we have an online account that tracks how much fiber we’ve submitted to them, which is deducted as we order finished products manufactured from it. New Era Fiber in Gallatin, TN uses 3-D CAD knitting machines to print garments from our harvest. We happily support all these American artisans and companies for the fine way they convert our harvest into the quality products we offer in our gift shop.


How much work goes into your farm and fiber production?

A ton. From spring through fall, we move electric fence, minerals, and stock tanks almost every day to keep the herd on fresh grass. This not only helps the animals, but helps the grass and soil, allowing the grass time to regenerate and cutting down on the amount of chemical de-wormers we need to combat parasites. In the winter, we throw five to eight bales of hay per day and put out straw for deep bedding. On a good day, that’s the minimum. On other days, the herds break through fences/gates (we have some that can open gate latches), water freezes, invasive species start taking over our forest and fields, alpaca births need assistance, and thunderstorms send trees over fence lines. On those days we laugh through the crazy.

How much fiber knowledge did you have before starting to raise your own fiber animals?

Zero. My background is in Law Enforcement. But my passion for the environment, my children, animals, and community service, coupled with the heart of an eternal student have served me well in my fiber ranching adventures.

What was the most valuable resource for you as you were getting started?

The Suri Network. This breed association for the Suri alpaca was KEN T

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invaluable in the networking and resources they provided to start on the right path. Through the conversations generated at the annual Summer Symposium, I was able to define what success looked like for my farm and how my goals fit within the national strategic goals.

If you had the chance to do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently?

I would’ve researched regenerative agriculture techniques extensively and would not have installed permanent fencing apart from the ranch perimeter.

If someone came to you and asked you for your best piece of advise about getting started in fiber farming, what would that be?

Don’t try and do everything and don’t do what everyone else is doing. As with any business, you need to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Work your strengths, outsource your weaknesses, and find your niche where a demand isn’t being met. River Hill Ranch is passionate about facilitating an intimate connection with nature and reversing global warming by sequestering carbon in the soil with regenerative agriculture. They offer a variety of alpaca textile goods as well as tours, summer camp, and workshops. You

can find more alpaca awesomeness on their website, or locally at the Lexington Farmer’s Market.

www.riverhillranch.us 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 four 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.

To join or travel the Kentucky Fiber Trail visit www.kentuckyfibertrail.com 2 ※ Kentucky Fiber Trail


Weaving Art with Agriculture along the Kentucky Fiber Trail

by Sarabeth Parido

T

hrough the last year, with a grant made possible by the KADF, we have been building The Kentucky Fiber Trail. The trail is both virtual and physical, and as of September, we have 18 points of interest on our interactive map available on our website – www.kentuckyfibertrail. com. Visitors to our site can find details, directions and links to each trail member. With many of our members hosting farm tours and farm stores, patrons to our site can connect to many Kentucky fiber farmers in their local area.

Kentucky Fiber Trail ”

3

Sheep and alpaca producers currently make up the majority of our membership on the trail. In the next year though, we hope to expand our membership to fiber goats and rabbits. This will give our trail patrons even more variety of fiber with which to connect. We would also like to see more local retailers have a direct connection with the producers who raise the animals that make our products. This direct connection will give retailers and their customers a deeper connection to what they purchase. In May, the Kentucky Fiber Trail hosted twenty classes at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival- including workshops on e-commerce, farm management, fiber art specific classes and fiber processing classes. We had 127 students attend these classes, and we are currently working on adding wool processing classes to the Small Ruminant Profit School. A producer training program offered by the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office. Our next big event will be Market

Day at the Berea Artisan Center in November. We will be advertising statewide to introduce the Kentucky Fiber Trail to the public, and inviting local retailers to participate. Visitors to the Market will be able to meet our trail members, purchase goods, and find more information on local fiber producers and where they can find them close to home. The Market Day will give our members a place to showcase their products in a central location, at the beginning of the holiday season. What a great time and opportunity to introduce The Kentucky Fiber Trail to the public. Overall, our launch of the Kentucky Fiber Trail has been met with enthusiasm. We are looking forward to our Market Day in November and hope to see everyone there. 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 four 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.


Australian Wool Prices Hit Record High by Julie Stepanek Shiflett, PhD

I

t is a good time to be in the wool business. Australian wool prices keep climbing, and U.S. wool prices closely follow its international lead. The Australian Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) averaged 1,990 Australian cents per kg clean (1,481 U.S. cents per kg) during the week of August 10, marginally higher than before its three-week summer break and 28 percent higher year-on-year. When expressed per lb., the EMI averaged Australian $9.05 per lb. and US$ 6.71 per lb. Australian wool price averages in U.S. dollars gained 7 percent in 2016, another 23 percent in 2017, and yet another 21 percent in 2018 to U.S. $6.71 per lb. clean (about $3.36 per lb. greasy, unscoured). Due to differences in wool preparation, U.S. wools typically bring 75 to 85 percent of Australian wool prices. In the U.S. wool market, June and July were relatively quiet for many growers. This spring; however, prices for Fleece States wool out of Washington, Oregon, and California averaged $4.23 per lb. clean for coarser 27 micron wools and $6.02 per lb. for finer 20 micron wools. As will be explained later, wool growers receive a greasy--or raw-wool price which is about half the clean wool price. Fleece States Wool Prices (WA, OR, CA), $ per lb. clean % Change Year-on-year

Micron

Spring 2018 (March-June)

20

$6.02

31%

21

$5.91

39%

22

$5.68

42%

23

$5.35

39%

24

$5.11

42%

25

$4.44

49%

26

$3.93

NA

27

$4.23

83%

Source: USDA/AMS, ASI This spring the relatively finer U.S. Fleece States wool were about 30 percent higher year-on-year and the coarser wools were up to 80 percent higher in light test. Kentucky Fiber Trail ”

5

Light test means that sometimes is tough to track wool prices of a particular micron if there are not a lot of trades to establish prices. In the U.S. Fleece States, micron differences amounted to about a 5 percent price premium, or discount. On average, wools one micron finer can bring anywhere from 10 cents to 50 cents per lb. clean more per lb.

Tight International Supply Forecasted to Support Prices

High Australian wool prices are primarily due to a drought-induced tight supply and strong demand. In the next year or so, tight wool supplies in Australia will likely continue to support higher prices. The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee forecasts that Australian shorn wool production in 2017/18


www.kentuckyfibertrail.com will reach 338 million kg greasy, down nearly 1 percent year-on-year (4/2018). Growing conditions have been challenging, which has resulted in lower fleece weights. The Committee’s first forecast for 2018/19 is for shorn wool production to be 333 million kg greasy, a further fall of nearly 2 percent due to lower fleece weights per head and lower number of sheep shorn. The Committee reported: The contraction of Australian wool is unfortunately coming at a period of strong wool market conditions which could have provided growers an incentive to retain sheep, if not for the drought, (4/2018). There is some concern that Australian raw wool prices are getting too high. “There will be demand destruction at current price levels but supply concerns mask any impact to date. We expect this situation to play out in the short term. The risk of the market fatiguing increases as we move forward into the new season,” (Weekly Market Report, 8/10/2018).

Wool Exports Up Year-on-year

While wool shearing winds down late spring in many parts of the U.S., the wool export season is just beginning. May wool exports were up year-on-year by about 37 percent, but then down 12 percent in June from a year ago. Raw wool exports totaled 1.5 million lbs. in May, up 153 percent year-on-year. Total wool textile exports were 6.8 million lbs. in May, unchanged from a year ago. Within this category, wool apparel was up 19 percent to 3.0 million lbs. and wool yarn, thread, and fabric was down 1 percent year-on-year. The U.S. also exports smaller volumes of wool home furnishings and wool floor coverings. One reason that wool exports were up sharply in May yet down in June was perhaps the uncertainty surrounding possible upcoming tariffs placed on U.S. wool exports to China. Tariffs on U.S. wool by our largest wool buyer, China, would reduce returns to Chinese and U.S. wool exporters. Reportedly, about 91 percent of the 545 products China is placing a tariff on are from the agriculture sector, (BBC News, 7/2018). The tariffs are an immediate concern, but a secondary effect is that business uncertainty in China might mean Chinese wool mills suspend expansion plans and play the market

very cautiously which could hurt future U.S. wool exports. Perhaps the sharp year-to-year fall in June’s U.S. wools exports is already a sign of market jitters on the part of the Chinese. Economic forecasters agree that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will negatively affect Chinese growth. Any downturn in Chinese growth could also negatively affect raw wool demand and global wool sales because Chinese consumers are a sizable market for Chinese woolen goods.

Defining Wool Value: Yield

Several key wool properties determine wool’s value including average fiber diameter-or micron--and length. But first, yield must be determined. Many U.S. wool buyers trading internationally will buy wool on a clean basis, which is not the same as the value of the raw wool clip--straight off the sheep or lamb. Buyers will look at wool’s micron and length— among other factors—and determine a clean price. This clean price is, in turn, a function of yield. That is, actual prices paid to growers for grease wool is a function of yield. Yield is what defines the amount of useful fiber than can be retrieved from a known weight of greasy, or raw, wool, (ASI, 2015). Wool in its raw form can include impurities such as vegetable matter (such as straw, seeds, burrs, and twigs), dirt, and wax that is removed during processing, or scouring (ASI, 2015: 1113). Most U.S. wool yields 45 to 55 percent, but some can yield up to 60 percent, (ASI, 2015: 1113). The higher the yield, the higher the return to the grower. In general, yield can be estimated to some accuracy by the breed of sheep. Dorset, for example, often have 50 to 65 percent yields, while Southdown have 40 to 55 percent yields (ASI, 2015: 1113). However, external factors also play a role in yield determination. Yield will vary across growers and across growing seasons. Some wools are kept very clean through prudent grower management practices. Similarly, some winters are very dry with less snow cover which means wools are dirtier when sheared. The greasy price is what is returned to growers. For example, the clean price for 25 micron wool in Fleece States this June was $4.58 per lb. If a yield of 58 percent is assumed, the grease price is $2.66 per lb. greasy ($4.58 multiplied by 0.58). If the clean wool price is quoted delivered to the wool warehouse or wool pool, as often is the case, then the wool

grower will have to deducted transport and other handling charges from this greasy price. Thus, the greasy price received by the grower will be lower than the calculated $2.66 per lb. greasy. A yield of 50 percent is often used to estimate a greasy price from a clean price--by dividing clean prices by one-half--, but actual greasy prices will depend on actual yield. Most wool traded wool today calculates yield by using the International Wool Textile Organization’s (IWTO) Schlumberger Estimated Commercial Top and Noil Yield. The Schlumberger formula predicts the amount of wool top and noil (further processed wool) that can be combed from raw, greasy wool. It assumes a certain percent moisture, percent vegetable-matter presence, and an allowance for wool grease. In the end, actual yields are determined by cleaning (scouring) core samples from wool. The U.S. wool market is currently very strong which gives growers a chance to increase sheep incomes. The stronger the wool market, the larger the missed opportunity. Julie Stepanek Shiflett, PhD consults for the American Sheep Industry Association. She also consults independently, developing economic impact studies, market analyses, and feasibility studies for farmers and ranchers. Julie received her PhD in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and currently raises Boer …goats in western Colorado.

References

American Sheep Industry Association, Inc. 2015. Sheep Production Handbook. American Sheep Industry Association, Inc. No date. “Wool Pricing.” Accessed at http:// d1cqrq366w3ike.cloudfront.net/http/ DOCUMENT/SheepUSA/Pricing.pdf on 8/15/18. American Sheep Industry Association, Inc. No date. “Yield Determination.” Accessed at http://d1cqrq366w3ike.cloudfront.net/http/ DOCUMENT/SheepUSA/Yield.pdf on 8/15/18. Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. April 2018. “Wool Production Forecasts.” British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News. July 5, 2018. “How a US-China trade war could hurt us all.” Accessed at https://www.bbc.co.uk/ news/business-44706880 on 8/15/18.

6 ※ Kentucky Fiber Trail


Health & Management

Breeding Soundness Exams

by Dr. Brett Kroeze

*Reprint from HoofPrint - Summer 2013

B

reeding soundness exams (BSEs) are a very useful tool in today’s sheep industry. It allows you to differentiate between the fertile rams and the sterile rams before you put them out with the ewes. There is nothing more devastating

than having a ram mark ewes and then finding them all re-cycling back later. BSEs are even more useful when trying to push the breeding season up. Rams, depending on the breed, will have seasonal infertility during the summer months where their sperm production is extremely low or nonexistent. There can also be heat induced infertility where there is sperm present but they are all dead. BSEs allow you to determine if the ram will be capable of settling ewes. BSEs do not give you an indication of is libido and physical ability to mate. This is something that the client must observe in the first part of the breeding season. 22 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

Steps of a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) Step One: When doing a BSE we first look at the ram and ensure he is in good body condition and good physical health through a thorough physical exam. We make sure that he is going to have enough body reserves to be able to make it through a breeding season. We look at the feet and legs to ensure that they are sound, free of signs of foot rot or foot scald, and well trimmed. We also look to make sure there are no injuries present.

An excellent buck with ideal body condition and structurally sound going into breeding season.

Step Two: The next step is to palpate both testicles to make sure that their size and shape is symmetrical and normal. We make sure there are no soft spots, hard spots, or enlargements on either testicle. A measurement is taken of the testicles to ensure that their size is up to par. Step Three: The next part of a BSE is to get a semen sample. We do this by first putting the ram on his rear end. This makes it easier to exteriorize the penis. We look for any active lesions or old scars in the prepuce and penis. One of the most common abnormalities would be pizzle rot. Next we wrap the end of the penis with a gauze cloth to keep the penis exteriorized. We place the ram on its side and then use an electro-ejaculator to get a semen sample. Step Four: Finally we look at the sample under a microscope. First, we determine the swirling effect of the sperm, which is an indication of the motility and concentration. Then, we look at the individual sperm cells to make sure that the morphology is normal. We also look for white blood cells which is an indication of inflammation and/or an infection.


Gross motility Motility Morphology

Excellent Rapid Swirl

Very Good Fast Swirl

Good Slow Swirl

> 70% > 90%

> 60% > 80%

>40% >60%

Satisfactory Generalized Oscillation > 30% > 50%

Unsatisfactory Poor Oscillation Less than 30% Less than 50%

Microscopic exam comparison chart for sperm sample motility and morphology Results – Upon completion of the exam, we classify him as excellent, very good, good, or satisfactory. If there are any abnormalities on palpation or in the microscopic evaluation of the sperm we classify him as unsatisfactory. If there is inflammation or infection we will treat with an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, and suggest retesting in 30-60 days. If there is low sperm concentration or poor motility we suggest retesting in 30-60 days. Re-testing in 30-60 days is based on the time it takes for the sperm cell to develop through the entire process. This allows time for healing or full development if it is early in the season. At the re-check we will look for improvement, if there is no improvement it could be that the ram is sterile. Summary – A good sound mature ram can breed between 50-100 ewes in a 60 day breeding season. A good ram lamb can breed up to 25 ewes in a breeding season. It is important that you measure the scrotal

circumference, as this is an indication of the ram’s capacity. A ram lamb 8 to 14 months

8 to 14 Months

Size Smaller than 28 cm 28 to 36 cm Larger than 36 cm

Rating Questionable Satisfactory Exceptional

Older than 14 Months Size Smaller than 32 cm 32 to 40 cm Larger than 40 cm

Rating Questionable Satisfactory Exceptional

Testicles may be 2 to 3 cm smaller in the off season

should be greater than 28cm and a ram older than 14 months should be greater than 32cm. In summary the BSE is an exam to determine if the ram is a good potential breeder. It is something you want to do prior to breeding season and not immediately before. This will allow time to re-test or find a different ram. It is a good idea to use a marking system to ensure that the ram is capable of physically breeding ewes. The BSE does not guarantee you will get lambs on the ground, but is useful management tool in selecting which rams to use. Dr. Brett Kroeze, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic is a 2012 graduate of Iowa State Colllege of Veterinary Medicine. His primary interests are in large animal medicine and production. He brings his family values of hard work and commitment to providing outstanding veterinary services to our area clients.

Breeding Soundness Exam on Bucks by Dr. Beth Johnson, DVM *Reprint from HoofPrint - Summer 2013

A

s described in the preceding article, a breeding soundness exam should be performed on your buck preferably 30 days prior to breeding season or prior to purchasing a breeding age buck. The parameters used for evaluating a buck are: 1. Scrotal Circumference measurement: Scrotal circumferences in bucks have not been published but it is recommended that the scrotum should measure at least 26cm in yearling bucks and a measurement of 29-32 cm is desirable.

2. Palpation of the testicles 3. Lameness score 4. Body condition assessment: It is very important that the buck not be too fat as this may lead to higher body temperatures and decreased fertility. Also avoid poor body condition due to parasitism or abnormal testicles. 5. Presence/absence of disease: Bucks should not be exhibiting signs of disease such as “abscesses”, foot rot, and/or interdigital dermatitis. 6. Semen evaluation: To collect semen in bucks one can use a teaser doe and collect the buck with an artificial vagina or you can use an

electroejaculator designed for bucks/ rams. With goats, the buck is usually tied up with a halter or collar and the procedure performed. If available a chute with a head catch can also be used for electoejaculating. Once a sample is obtained it is extremely important to keep the semen warm and protected from light and perform a microscopic exam immediately after collection. Beth Johnson, DVM , 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 30-4 Fall 2018 I 23


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er 2017

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inee azin Magaz inant Mag uminan Rumi mallll Rum Sma The S

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From genetics, internal parasites, and showmanship, to lambing, kidding, and vaccinating, HoofPrint’s experts deliver the timely information you need to succeed.

Visit kysheepandgoat.org to sign up! or for more information, email: info@kysheepandgoat.org

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AND ELECTROLY TES BREEDING GENETICALLY TUCKY SHEEP 7 KEN 201 NG AKI SPE & FIBERThFESTIVATSL GH eS Sm Which Is the Best HIG HLI ma all ll R Ru um mi

Hoof Print

NEWS TO EWES

AGES STOCKPILING FOR TER FOR FALL AND WIN

Ram in the Sale?

Volume 29

Fall 2017

inant Ma Maga agaz azziiine ne

ARE YOU PR

EPAR FOR THE NEX T DISASTER ED IN YOUR ARE A? SELECTING A REPLACEMENT

notypes

Ewe and Doe –Phe

ATE KIO TRI-ST SUMMIT

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SMA

EEP & GOAT 2016 KY SH REPLACEMENT SALE FEMALE

GREETINGS AN D SALUTATIONS FROM THE AMERICAN INS TITUTE FOR GOAT RES EARCH

SELL 'EM LIG

KY Sheep & Goat Development Office, Inc. P.O. Box 4709 | Frankfort, KY 40604

tales from

NOW IN EVERY ISSUE

The Kentucky Fiber Trail

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 • $40,000 given for special projects to help producers increase marketing efforts throughout the state since 2012 • $10,800 spent in promotion of sheep & goat products in 2018 • $3,000 given to conduct parasite research

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 about the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-off Program visit www.kysheepandgoat.org/Check_off.html 24 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

HT AND SELL 'EM HEA VY


Looking for sheep farmers

from Kentucky or surrounding states who can supply 150 lambs or more annually to join the Four Hills Farms supply network. • Premium, guaranteed year round price and market. • Lambs must meet our pasture raised, grain on grass, standards • Buying lambs 110-130 lbs • Licensed and bonded, FHF has been raising and marketing lamb for 15 years • For price and contractual information,

Call us at 859-325-5188

WE VALUE LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS Four Hills Farm • Jim & Lynn Mansfield Salvisa, KY • 859-325-5188 jim@fourhillsfarm.com • www.fourhillsfarm.com

We’re here for what’s next. 800-237-7193 ext. 10 - sheepandgoatfund.com

The NLPA Sheep and GoatFour Fund assists the Hills Farm ad.indd 1 U.S. sheep and goat industries by financing projects that strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and goats and their products. It is a valuable tool to expand your operation and take it beyond the farm gate. Learn how you can benefit from the fund at sheepandgoatfund.com.

Invest in equipment and business development Facilitate flock/herd expansion Improve marketing and product quality

Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 25


Health & Management Why Use a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory? by Michelle Arnold, DVM

U

nexpected or unexplained illnesses and deaths of farm animals are unavoidable occurrences for all producers at some point. Whether it is one animal affected suddenly or perhaps many animals developing symptoms of disease in a short span of time, producers are understandably concerned about the cause, finding the best effective treatment and preventing this in the future. The local veterinarian is by far the best resource for this information and should be the first person contacted to examine any affected animals and will select an appropriate treatment. However, in cases where death is rapid or disease seems to be spreading or in cases where treatment is not working, veterinarians often turn to a diagnostic laboratory for help confirming a diagnosis and assisting in development of a plan for treatment and control based on test results. Much useful information about an individual animal and health issues in the herd can be gleaned by performing a necropsy (the animal equivalent of a human “autopsy”) on animals that die on the farm. The UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Lexington (Website: vdl.uky.edu ) and the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville (Website: https://breathitt.murraystate.edu/ ) are both full service laboratories serving the veterinarians and producers across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Both labs have excellent facilities for all types of testing, receiving and handling deceased animals, and competent pathologists to perform complete necropsies. During the necropsy, the pathologist will first look for abnormalities they can see with their eyes; this is called “gross necropsy” and may give an initial indication 26 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

of the cause of death. Samples are then taken from all of the organs as well as blood and other body fluids and submitted to different laboratory sections for specific testing. In addition, sections of each organ (liver, lung, heart, kidney, brain, etc.) are cut into thin slices that are processed and placed on glass slides for examination under the microscope (histopathology). It is under the scope, at the cellular level, that pathologists most often identify the cause of death by recognizing the characteristic patterns of tissue damage caused by a certain disease. Then, with the aid of confirmatory tests, a diagnosis can be made and a plan can be formulated to control and hopefully prevent the problem in the remainder of the herd. An example of the usefulness of a veterinary diagnostic lab is when a farm experiences multiple reproductive failures. Reproductive loss due to abortion, stillbirth, mummification, resorption of a fetus or the birth of live but weak offspring can occur on a herd/flock basis and affect many susceptible animals in the same season. Investigating these disease outbreaks is important in order to halt the spread of the problem but also to make future management decisions such as vaccination choices, antibiotic usage, and how to handle new additions to the herd. The following illustrates the steps involved in gathering samples and the information needed in an abortion outbreak to maximize the chances of a diagnosis. In the event of an abortion, ideally every aborted fetus should be submitted

It is important to understand that autolysis (rotting) begins immediately after death and progresses rapidly which makes interpretation of tests and other findings very difficult if not impossible. Dead animals should be in the lab no more than 12-24 hours after death, the sooner the better especially when the weather is hot. If timely submission to a diagnostic laboratory is not possible the herd veterinarian can examine the body and take the necessary samples to send to the lab (a “field necropsy”). to a diagnostic laboratory but realistically it needs to be done when the incidence is greater than 2% over the lambing/kidding period and/or clusters of abortions occur. The aborted fetus and placenta should be double-bagged, kept cool (not frozen), and taken to a diagnostic laboratory as quickly as possible-the fresher, the better. Remember many of the organisms that cause abortion in sheep and goats are “zoonotic” which means they have the ability to cause disease in people. These organisms are present in all types of abortion material (fetus + placenta +


fluids) so always wear gloves when handling samples. Pregnant women should not, under any circumstances, come in contact with aborting ewes or does, or the clothes worn by those working with them. Blood should be drawn from the ewe or doe experiencing the abortion and half of it placed in a blood tube (purple top tube) and half in a serum tube (red top tube). Both tubes should be labeled with the individual identification of the dam then submitted with the abortion material. A second serum (blood in a red top tube) sample is often needed 3-4 weeks after the original serum sample in order to compare the results of the two tests and look for an increase in antibodies against a specific disease organism. Unfortunately, many samples sent to the laboratory yield no results due to decomposition (unrefrigerated tissues greater than 24 hours old-especially in warm weather) or when incorrect/contaminated/ insufficient samples are submitted. If you cannot get the fetus and placenta to a diagnostic laboratory, your veterinarian can collect and ship the necessary representative samples. After handling the abortion samples, thoroughly wash hands before eating or drinking. Always send a complete history containing the following information: 1. A description of the herd or flock. How many ewes/does on the farm, how many in this specific group and how many abortions have occurred? Include the ewe or doe’s age and her lambing/ kidding history. If multiple abortions in the herd or flock, are all ages of dams affected or just young females? 2. A list of all vaccines, dewormers, and medications given and when they were administered, at least in the last year. 3. The date and stage of pregnancy the abortion occurred and include the expected due date. Was there anything abnormal or unusual noticed on the placenta or fetus? 4. Is there any history of previous abortions in the herd or flock, including previous seasons? 5. Has the dam shown any signs of illness during the pregnancy or at the time of the abortion? Have there been problems with sickness or weakness in newborns? 6. Summarize the diet currently being fed. Include a best approximation of how much and what type of feed (grain) is offered, forage (hay/pasture/

silage), and trace mineral the affected animals are actually consuming daily. It is exceptionally important to note any recent changes to the diet and when the changes were made. Is water from a pond, creek or stock tank? Is it city water, well water or pond/creek water? 7. Note when any new additions joined the herd or flock, including purchased replacement females, bucks/rams, or sale barn animals. Also note if any animals have been on the show circuit and, if so, when they returned to the farm. 8. Is there recent history of contact with other animals? Fenceline contact with neighbors’ animals? Are there cats, dogs, rats, and/or wildlife in contact with your herd/flock or their feed? 9. Are there any junk piles, burn piles or old barns accessible to the herd or flock? At the diagnostic laboratory, the necropsy will be performed and tests ordered based upon the initial findings and the history submitted with the animal. Test results will come out as they are completed and are typically shared with the referring veterinarian until a final report is issued. It can take as long as 2 weeks or longer to generate the final report if tests need to be sent to outside laboratories but most are finished quickly. Questions about the report can be addressed by the local veterinarian or by the staff at the diagnostic laboratory. Ultimately, the goal is to understand what caused the problem and formulate a plan to prevent it from ever returning to the farm. Sickness and death loss are an unfortunate but unavoidable occurrence on all farming operations. Submission to a veterinary diagnostic lab for disease diagnosis allows producers to make adjustments in management when possible to improve overall flock or herd health. Michelle Arnold, DVM is an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky in the Clinical Title Series. She is housed in the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Lexington, KY and has served as the Ruminant Extension Veterinarian since 2010. Previous to returning to her roots in KY, she was in private veterinary practice for 20 years and was a partner in a Holstein dairy then a commercial cow/calf and stocker operation in TN. She has two sons, Briscoe and Brody, both of whom attend the University of KY.

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Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 27


Health & Management

Watch OUT ! for those Pretty Plants, & Noxious Weeds!! !

by Beth Johnson, DVM

Treatment involves the intravenous administration of sodium nitrite (10-20mg/ kg) and sodium thiosulfate given at the rate 500mg/kg body weight.

T

he Southeast region of North America has an abundance of forage and grasses that provide an excellent nutritional feedstuff for the small ruminant species that consume them. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad and there are many toxic/poisonous plants that may cause intestinal upset, neurological disease, cardiac signs and even death when consumed. This article will attempt to familiarize the producer with some of the poisonous plants their animals may encounter, as well as, the symptoms and treatments available.

Poisonous plants fall into one of several categories depending on the toxic compounds they contain and the internal organs they affect. Cyanogenic Glycosides: Many trees in the family Rosaceae (pictured in Figure 1)(Choke cherry, service berry, peach, apple, wild cherry, etc.) and the Poaceae (Johnson grass, Sudan grass and many other grasses) have the greatest number of important cyanogenic plants affecting animals. These cyanogenic glycosides are capable of causing hydrogen cyanide (HCN), commonly called Prussic acid poisoning, in animals. The quantity of cyanogenic glycosides in plants varies with the stage of growth, time of year, soil mineral and moisture content, and time of day. Two major examples of this are 1) the extremely high in the cyanogenic glycosides and very palatable wilting leaves of the wild cherry tree, and 2) the broad leaf Johnson and Sudan grasses after a hard frost. In general, plant material containing more 28 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

Figure 1. Cherry tree than 200ppm (20mg/100g of plant) has high potential for poisoning. Johnson or Sudan grass (Sorghum spp.) with levels > 500ppm HCN are highly toxic to ruminants. Clinical signs of HCN poisoning in ruminants can begin within minutes to hours of eating large amounts of cyanogenic plants. The onset of signs can be accelerated if the animal drinks water after eating the plants as hydrolysis speeds up the liberation of HCN from the glycosides in the rumen. Sudden death of the animal is often the only observed sign. If observed early enough, apprehension, dyspnea, open mouth breathing, ataxia, frequent urination, and dilated pupils, may be observed prior to death. Any stress on the animal exacerbates the signs and hastens death. The mucous membranes and venous blood may be bright cherry-red in color, but as the animal becomes anoxic, cyanosis is likely to develop.

Nitrate Poisoning Many plants including barley, wheat, rye, corn, sorghum and Sudan grasses, and common annual weeds such as pig weed and Russian thistle can all accumulate toxic levels of nitrates. Application of nitrate fertilizers or drainage from fertilized fields and contaminated water sources can also be a source for nitrate. Drought conditions also promote accumulation of nitrate in plants. Nitrate itself is not overly toxic, but when the rumen microflora convert it to nitrite it becomes highly toxic. Cattle, sheep and goats are the species most commonly affected by nitrate poisoning, with the fetus in utero being highly susceptible. Nitrite ions rapidly oxidize hemoglobin in red blood cells, forming methemoglobin, which cannot transport oxygen. When over 40% of hemoglobin is oxidised to methemoglobin, clinical signs of poisoning develop. Death occurs as methemoglobin levels reach 80%. Sudden deaths are common but if observed early enough sheep and goats may exhibit a rapid weak pulse, muscle tremors, tachypnea, brown mucous membranes, excessive salivation, staggering gait, disorientation, and frequent urination prior to coma and death. Cold water with added oral broadspectrum antibiotics can help decrease nitrate reduction to nitrite by rumen microorganisms. Diluted vinegar given orally via stomach tube has similar beneficial effects. Methylene blue has been used as a treatment but availability of this


Figure 2. Oleander bush

Figure 3. Taxus spp. “Japanese Yew�

Figure 4. Water Hemlock plant

product has become very difficult in recent years and is not recommended in food producing animals. As a general rule, levels of nitrate over 0.5% in forages and water levels exceeding 200 ppm are potentially hazardous to pregnant animals especially if fed continuously. Forages containing in excess of 1% nitrate dry matter should be considered toxic. A nitrate level of the forage should be checked if there is suspicion that it is high in nitrates prior to feeding hay, silage, etc.

to kill a sheep or goat.

weed has been removed from pastures. I would encourage cultivation of this weed in a flower garden instead of pasture setting for several reasons mentioned above.

CARDIOTOXIC PLANTS Oleander (Nerium oleander): Figure 2 Livestock are usually poisoned when they browse on oleander or when trimmings are carelessly thrown into animal enclosures. Potent cardiac glycosides are present in all parts of the plant. Oleander leaves remain toxic when dry. Cardiac dysrhythmias and heart block may be observed prior to death. Yew (Taxus spp.): Figure 3 This ornamental plant is very common as a landscaping shrub due to its durability and evergreen characteristics. Yews contain a group of 10 or more toxic alkaloids, referred to as taxines. Taxine inhibits normal sodium and calcium exchange across the myocardial cells, preventing depolarization and causing arrhythmias. All parts of the plant, green or dried, are toxic. Livestock are frequently poisoned when fed clippings from cultivated yews!!!! The highest concentration of the alkaloids is generally found in the leaves in winter time. Adult cattle and horses have been fatally poisoned with as little as 8-16 oz of yew leaves or 0.1 to 0.5% of their body weight so you can just imagine how little is required

Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.): Many species of milkweed are found in North America, the most poisonous of which are those species with narrow, Water Hemlock (Cicuta spp.): Figure 4. grass-like leaves. The principle toxins are Native to North America, water cardenolides with digitalis-like properties. hemlock is one of the most poisonous plants In addition to the cardiotoxic effects to all animals. All parts of the plant and of the cardenolides common to most especially the roots contain Cicutoxin that is milkweeds, other glycosides and resinoids rapidly absorbed from mucous membranes identified in milkweeds have direct effects Plants continues on pg. 30 on the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems causing dyspnea, colic and diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures, and head pressing. Milkweeds remain toxic when dry in hay which is extremely important as it is often present in pastures especially as a clump of plants in low lying areas which is incorporated in the hay. The Monarch butterfly requires the milkweed in its life cycle to develop; therefore, there has been a recent push to encourage cultivation of this 4350 Louisville Road plant due to an Bowling Green, KY indication that this butterfly has reduced (270) 843-3224 numbers since this

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Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 29


Plants continued from pg. 29 and acts on the central nervous system to produce rapid onset of ataxia, convulsive seizures and lateral recumbency, dilated pupils and death from respiratory paralysis. Animals consuming a sublethal dose, will recover if not stressed. There is no specific antidote but one may try a cathartic such as activated charcoal and supportive care. Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron: (Figure 5 & 6) There are many species of laurels and most are considered poisonous. The toxic principle is called andromedotoxin. Some of the laurels also contain a glucoside of hydroquinone. Poisoning can occur at any time of the year but is more commonly seen in the early spring or in wintertime when snow covers other vegetation. Sheep, goats, and cattle are commonly affected by grazing all portions of the plant, but particularly the leaves. Symptoms include vomiting, bloating, salivation and abdominal pain as evidenced by straining. Eventually the animals become weak, stagger and become prostrate. Occasionally, pneumonia is present due to inhalation of rumen contents into the lungs during vomiting. It is important to provide oral support through use of a stomach tube due to the risk of inhalation which may occur if oral drenching is performed. Cathartics such as activated charcoal, mineral oil, etc. can be administered. Oak (Quercus spp.): All species of oak have the potential to poison animals, especially those eating large quantities of the young leaves. The principal toxins are gallotannins, found in the leaves, bark, and acorns of oaks. Tannic acid is an astringent causing necrosis of the intestinal mucosa and renal tubules. Goats and wild ruminants are apparently better able to detoxify tannic acid than other livestock because they have a tannin-binding protein in their saliva that neutralizes tannic acid. Clinically, animals become depressed, anorexic and develop intestinal stasis. Excessive thirst and frequent urination may be observed. The feces are hard and dark initially, but a black tarry diarrhea often occurs later in the course of poisoning. Teeth grinding and a hunched back are often indicative of abdominal pain. Severe liver and kidney damage is detectable by marked elevations in serum liver enzymes, creatinine, and urea nitrogen. Icterus, red30 I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I Hoof Print

colored urine, and dehydration are further signs of oak poisoning. Treatment is supportive to provide hydration.

Figure 5. Mountain Laurel in bloom

Figure 6. Rhododendron plant

Figure 7. Bracken Fern plant

Bracken Fern: (Figure 7) The poisonous principle is the enzyme thiaminase which inactivates thiamine (Vitamin B1) in the horse and ruminants. In ruminants, an aplastic-anemia factor causes depression of the bone marrow. Sheep and goats are less susceptible to the toxic effects than cattle and horses. All portions of the plant are toxic whether green or dry. Poisoning by the plant is cumulative and symptoms may not appear until several weeks or months later. Clinical cases are most often seen in the spring or late summer or fall, especially after periods of drought when other forage is short or not available. Animals have shown toxicity from consuming hay containing the dried plants. Horses exhibit incoordination, often standing with their legs spread apart as if bracing themselves. The affected animal arches its back and neck into a crouching stance. Occasionally a fever is present up to 104oF. Prior to death horses may “head press” objects and have spasms with the head and neck drawn backwards. Cattle may exhibit two types of symptoms. The laryngeal form is often seen in younger animals and is characterized by edema of the throat region resulting in difficult and loud breathing. The enteric form may be preceded by the laryngeal form. Affected animals exhibit bloody feces, blood in the urine and excessive bleeding from fly bites. The blood is slow to clot since there is a deficiency of platelets. Death usually occurs within a few days after symptoms appear. Sheep have shown blindness due to degeneration of the retinal epithelial cells after grazing bracken fern. Perilla Mint (Figure 8) This toxic plant contains “perilla ketone” that is known to produce pulmonary edema and pleural effusion in a variety of animals but most often in cattle and horses. Usually seen in the late summer or fall. Affected animals exhibit respiratory distress especially during exhaling and may even grunt during exhaling. During auscultation of the thorax, friction sounds are very common. A nasal discharge as well as an elevated temperature may also be present. Post mortem examination reveals pulmonary emphysema and edema with evidence of the plant and its seeds in the rumen.


Figure 9. Buttercup plant

Figure 8. Perilla Mint plant TERATOGENIC PLANTS Plants that are teratogenic and capable of causing abortions include lupines, locoweeds, tobacco, poison hemlock, rhododendrons and western false hellebore or skunk cabbage. Does may abort hairless kids with pronounced goiter after eating tansy mustard (Descurainia pinnata) in late pregnancy. Most of these plants are found out west, but in the Southeast the hemlocks and rhododendrons are the primary teratogenic plants.

in horses. Photophobia, excessive tearing, and swelling and redness of non-pigmented skin, develop initially before the affected skin becomes necrotic and sloughs. White breeds of sheep often only develop lesions on the ears and face because of the protective fleece covering unless they have been recently sheered. Prior to the development of secondary photosensitization, liver enzymes are elevated, and when the liver is severely affected signs of hepatic encephalopathy may develop.

Poison or Spotted Hemlock (Conium maculatum): Originally introduced from Europe, poison hemlock has become a widely distributed noxious weed in North America. Eight piperidine alkaloids have been found in various parts of the plant. The mechanism of action of these alkaloids is complex effectively blocking spinal cord reflexes. Muscle tremors are followed by neuromuscular blockade and paralysis. Cyanosis, respiratory paralysis, and coma without convulsions precede death. Goats may recover from hemlock poisoning only to develop a strong craving for the plant, which ultimately proves fatal. Pregnant animals that survive the acute toxicity may abort. Lambs born to ewes fed poison hemlock in the 30 – 60th days of gestation develop excessive carpal joint flexure and lateral deviation.

Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium): As common invasive weeds, cockleburs are poisonous to animals owing to the presence of the potent hepatoxin Carboxyactractyloside. The glycoside is present in high concentration in the seeds and the two-leafed cotyledon stage, but declines by the four-leaf stage and is absent in the mature plant. Acute diffuse centrallobular and paracentral coagulative necrosis of the liver are typical of cocklebur poisoning.

HEPATOTOXIC PLANTS/ PHOTOSENSITIZATION Several poisonous plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are absorbed from the digestive tract, are activated in the liver and cause damage to hepatocytes resulting in photosensitization, especially

Buttercup: (figure 9) A non-native invasive weed which can be found in many pastures during the spring. Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.) contain significant quantities of the irritating compound ranunculin and oily glycosides. Clinical signs of buttercup poisoning may be mild burning of the mouth, abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea progressing to weakness, depression, labored breathing, and anorexia. Gross necropsy findings include inflammation and edema of the rumen, congestion of the lungs, liver, and kidneys; excessive fluid in the thoracic and abdominal cavities, and hemorrhages in the left ventricle of the heart. Other common “weeds” or shrubs

that cause toxicities include Pokeweed, yellow jasmine, boxwood, jimsonweed, nightshade, elderberry, crotalaria, coffee weed, among others. Among these more common poisonous plants there are many ornamental plants that are toxic. With the increase in landscaping around houses and farms, many of these are available to sheep and goats that escape their enclosure. As you read this article, it makes you wonder how we are able to keep any of our sheep and goats alive. Fortunately, most animals have an innate ability to avoid the toxic plants. When food gets scarce; however, many of these plants are consumed. Take home message: provide adequate nutrition and hopefully you will never experience a toxicity. Some excellent resources identifying poisonous plants can be found at: https://www.famu.edu/cesta/main/ assets/File/coop_extension/ small%20ruminant/goat%20pubs/ Poisonous_Plants_to_Livestock_ Part_B.pdf https://avmaspeakers.eventkaddy. net/event_data/28/session_files_ published/2014_16103.pdf https://carteret.ces.ncsu.edu/ wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ Poisonour-Plants-of-the-SouthernUnited-States.pdf?fwd=no Beth Johnson, DVM , 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 30-4 Fall 2018 I 31


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Hoof Print I VOLUME 30-4 Fall 2018 I 33


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Profile for HoofPrint- The Small Ruminant Magazine

Hoofprint vol. 30_Iss4 Fall 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_Iss4 Fall 2018  

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