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Hoof Print

Volume 20 Summer 2015

The Small Ruminant Magazine



How Does the Ethnic Market Affect You as a Sheep or Goat Producer?


Alternative Forage Crops

Volume 20 Summer 2015

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. 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. EDITOR / MARKETING DIRECTOR Kelley Yates EDITORIAL BOARD Tess Caudill, Maggie May Rogers Sonia McElroy, Scott VanSickle, Debra K. Aaron, Donald G. Ely, Mark Powell, Denise Martin, Beth Johnson, Kathy Meyer, Jim Mansfield, Dr. Tom Huber, Brent Ballinger


DESIGN & LAYOUT Maggie May Rogers

In this Issue ––––––––

12 KY New Farmer Recruitment Program

Special Features –––––


13 Sheep For Profit School

22 NEWS TO EWES Alternative Forage Crops

PHOTOGRAPHY Phillipe Roca, Debra K. Aaron © Isselee | ADVERTISING Kelley Yates (502) 682-7780

10 Holistic Financial Planning Review

14 Cost of Producing Goats 18 Feeding 10 Ewes for a Year

20 SRPS Makes a Difference 26 KY Fiber Festival 27 TN Fiber Festival

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

Copyright © 2015 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.

16 MARKET MATTERS How Does the Ethnic Market Affect You as a Sheep or Goat Producer?

In Every Issue ––––––––


KY Sheep and Wool Producers Assoc. 6 KY Goat Producers Assoc. 8 TN Sheep Producers Assoc. 31 Marketplace

28 Data Gives Goat Producers a Look at the Whole Package You can’t manage what you don’t measure. 30 Results from Cumberland Goat Conference and Kiko Sale Cover photo provided by Phillipe Roca Roca(c)2015 JD Ranch Kikos, Kentucky

26 & 27


Save The Date!

2015 Annual Producers Conference

October 17, 2015 KSU Research Farm

eweno! Cartoon created by Tonya Fedders, Flat Creek Wool & Pottery




Details and Registration Coming Soon! Visit

Date July 6th July 11 July 16 July 18th July 23-25

Location / Details

KY River Classic Sheep Breeding Show, Frankfort Germantown District Lamb Show, Germantown Wilderness Trail District Lamb Show, London Pennyrile District Lamb Show, Madisonville KY Jr Livestock Expo, Bowling Green

AUGUST August 24-26 August 27-30

KY State Fair Market Lamb Show KY State Fair Breeding Sheep Show

SEPTEMBER Sept. 16-17 TN State Fair Open Show, Sept. 17-27 Gwinnett County Fair Lawrenceville,Ga September 19th Kentucky Youth Livestock Points Banquet, Nelson County Fairgrounds Sept. 26 SRPS First Class, registration due Sept. 1st

OCTOBER October 6 EweProfit II School, C. Oran Little Research Farm, Frankfort October 17 KGPA and KSWPA Annual Producer Conference, KSU Research Farm Midway, KY



KSWPA Membership Benefits • Quarterly issues of HoofPrint Magazine plus the newly designed 2015 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 • 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.

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f you like to sew – knit – crochet with wool fabric or yarn this is the competition for you. There is a category for everybody. To receive information and entry form, please contact Dorothy Vale, State Director at 142 Carolyn Lane, Nicholasville, KY  40356, 859420-3217, This year Kentucky competition will be October 17, 2015 in Frankfort, Kentucky.  Entry forms are due October 1, 2015.  The junior and senior winners from Kentucky will represent Kentucky at the National Competition held in Scottsdale, AZ, January 28-30, 2016.  The adult winner outfit will advance to the national competition.  ALL KENTUCKY CONTESTANTS RECEIVE 2½ YARDS OF PENDLETON WOOL and sewing equipment and sewing notions. The BEST 4-H WOOL OUTFIT at Kentucky State Fair will receive 2 ½ yards of Pendleton Wool.                                                                                                                                         PLEASE SEND to Dorothy Vale, State Director A 5X5 PIECE OF YOUR WOOL AND $4.00 BEFORE YOU START MAKING YOUR OUTFIT TO BE TESTED AT THE OFFICIAL LAB to verify it is at least 60% wool. All contestant’s wool MUST be tested at the official Lab.

American Lamb Board

Need SWAG or recipe materials when marketing your lamb, visit the American Lamb Board for free and/or inexpensive materials!

2015 KSWPA Board of Directors President Jim Mansfield, Salvisa, KY

Vice President Scott VanSickle, Auburn, KY Secretary Kathy Meyer, Paris, KY

Treasurer B.P. Davis, Mt. Sterling, KY

Make it with Wool Chair Dorothy Vale, Nicholasville, KY

> > Visit us at

2015 KSWPA Board Members Alex Leer, Paris, KY Frank Berry, Lexington, KY Hannah Nilsson, Windsor, KY Mary Brown, Lexington, KY SHEEP & WOOL PRODUCERS Bill Decker, Waddy, KY ASSOCIATION Warren Adcock, Campbellsburg, KY Bob Leer, Paris, KY Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 5



President’s Letter

Happy Spring Fellow Goat Producers, The Kentucky State Fair is right around the corner. The KGPA Booth will be set up offering information to fairgoers about raising goats. We also will be selling our new T-Shirt and hats. All proceeds go towards supporting our youth activities. Come on down and check us out. Goats of all breeds will be represented in the market, dairy and breeding shows. Our youth will be given plenty of opportunity to learn about goat production and show off their knowledge during the Kentucky Department of Agriculture sponsored market and dairy goat skill-a-thon and judging competitions. The KGPA is raising money again this year for “Bucks for Kids”. Every year the Champion and Reserve market goat is auctioned during the Sale of Champions at the conclusion of the market shows. Bucks for Kids adds to the money received by the youth from the sale. Donations are being accepted please contact a board member if you are interested in helping. To show our support for the Kentucky youth involved in goat projects, the KGPA is awarding belt buckles to the Kentucky Proud Champions in Dairy Goat Showmanship, Market Goat and Commercial doe classes. We are also going to be serving goat bacon at the opening day commodities breakfast. This is our third year and it is wonderful to show the movers and shakers of our state the wonderful quality and flavor goat meat offers consumers. When you come to the fair take a walk down towards the midway, past the west wing and hang a right. The commodities tent is set up offering the best of beef, pork, dairy and lamb dishes to tickle your taste buds. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Kentucky State Fair! Denise Martin, President - Kentucky Goat Producers Association

Dear Goat Guru, During my last kidding season, I lost some kids to black vulture attacks. Is there anything I can do to deter them? Sincerely, Bye Bye Birdie Dear Bye Bye Birdie, Black vultures have continued their migration North over the past decade making their presence known. Unlike their cousins who only feed on carrion, the black vulture has been known to attack small animals and newborns who lack defensive measures. They usually attack in larger groups by distracting the mother followed by other members of the group attacking the newborn. According to Fish & Wildlife Services, the black vulture is a federallyprotected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Landowners and livestock producers must obtain a depredation permit from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to legally kill them. Otherwise, they must use non-lethal deterrent methods to protect their livestock and property. Producers can apply for a free KFBF Livestock Protection Depredation Sub-Permit by calling 502-495-7738. Because producers are not allowed to kill the birds without a depredation permit, we are very limited in our ability to control their attacks. I have several guard dogs that protect our livestock and they are a definite asset when it comes to protecting the newborns against the black vulture. Not only do the guardian dogs stick close to the livestock they chase the birds off if they even get close. Once again, one cannot say enough about Livestock Guardian Dogs! If you have questions concerning predation by the black vulture you may want to contact the USDA Wildlife Services in your area. They should be able to assist you further in control methods &/or permits.

>> To ask the Goat Guru your question, email

JOIN KGPA Today! Membership Application

Your $30 membership provides:

• 4 issues of the Hoof Print Magazine plus the newly designed 2015 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 • And much, much more!

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Visit 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.


Save The Date! 2015 Annual Producers Conference

October 17, 2015 KSU Research Farm


Calendar of event items can be sent to with date, location and time. Northern Kentucky Goat Producers Association Meeting – First Tuesday of every month 6:00pm @ the Kenton County Extension Office - 10990 Marshall Road

AUGUST Date Location / Details KY State Fair – Lousiville, KY August 20 Commissioner of Ag Commodity Breakfast August 20-23 Dairy Goats, August 21-22, 24-25 Meat Goats August 25-30 Sheep August 27 4-H & FFA Sale of Champions


Details and Registration Coming Soon! Visit

Sept. 4-5 Bluegrass Performance Invitational Premier Buck and Doe Sale, Lakeview Park, Frankfort, KY Sept. 11-12 Oklahoma Hills Conference and Kiko Sale, Goat Hills Farm, OK September 19th Kentucky Youth Livestock Points Banquet, Nelson County Fairgrounds Sept. 26 2015 Myotonic Goat Registry National Show, Harrison County Fairgrounds 41 S. Capitol Ave, Corydon, IN

OCTOBER Oct. 9-10 Kikofest 2015– Cumberland County Community Complex Crossville, TN th

What’s Going On?

KGPA Youth Memberships


GPA has updated their Youth Membership Program. Be sure to visit for detail!!!

2015 KGPA Board of Directors President Denise Martin, Magnolia, KY Vice-President Angie French, New Haven, KY

Treasurer Beverley Devins, Perryville, KY

Secretary Dr. Beth Johnson, Parksville, KY


Kentucky Proud Champion Buckles

nce again this year the KGPA wants to honor our state fair Kentucky Proud Champions! Compete for one of the 5 belt buckles available. See you at The 2015 Kentucky State Fair!

KGPA Board Positions!


f you are interested in being a board member of the KGPA, be sure to attend the 2015 Annual Producer Conference. We will be taking nominations for a variety of positions. Information on board seats and how to apply will be coming soon!

2015 KGPA Board Members • • Shawn Harper, Benton, KY, • Brent Ballinger, Bardstown, KY, • Shelia Duncan, Hardyville, KY, • Ray Graves, Perryville, KY • Connie Gray, Cadiz, KY • Sonia McElroy, Milton, KY

> > Visit us at

• Debbie Reed, Murray, KY • Vincent Thompson, Elizabethtown, KY

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 7


2015 Tennessee Sheep Shearing School

Doug Rathke demonstrates shear maintenance and blade placement as students look on.


he 2015 Shearing School was held on April 24 & 25, 2015 at the Middle Tennessee State University Campus in Murfreesboro, TN. The school was taught by Mr. Doug Rathke professional shearer and instructor. Fifteen students attended the school which was a collaborative effort by the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association, Middle Tennessee State


July 13 - 15 July 23 - 25 July 30 - Aug. 1 December 4 - 5

Rathke demonstrates proper shearing technique.

University, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Assisting Rathke with the school included Dr. Warren Gill, MTSU, Mark Powell, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and veteran sheep shearers Caleb Fritz and William Rick. The class began on Friday with Rathke teaching proper equipment selection and care, correct set up of the hand piece, and techniques


in blade sharpening. Students then received hands on training for shearing sheep and techniques in handling sheep. The students then paired up and started shearing on their own, many for the first time. The second day of the class was a full day of shearing for the students with some hands on shearing instruction by Rathke.

Details • Location • Website

TN Sheep Expo – TN Tech University - Hyder Burks Pavillion, Cookeville, TN • Southern States Dorper Breeder Course, Show ,and Sale – Tennessee Tech University - Hyder Burks Pavillion, Cookeville, TN • Small Ruminant Conference – UT Knoxville, Knoxville,TN • TSPA Annual Meeting – Ward Ag Center, Lebanon, TN •

JOIN TODAY! TSPA Membership Application Annual Dues:

Adult: $30.00

Junior $10.00

Name: ____________________________________________________________ If you are interested in a committee please select below: _____  Wool _____  Youth _____  Jr. Expo _____  Sale _____  Production Education _____  Membership/Revenue _____ Publicity _____ Annual Meeting

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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


Hello Sheep Friends,

I hope you’re still getting good rain and that spring lambing went well for those of you who wait until the grass starts growing. Though I’d like a little more rain in May, it’s been some fantastic working weather here in Maury County the last few weeks and like you, we’ve been extraordinarily busy. I’m not a huge fan of a three week dry spell in May though. Our own lambing season did not come without a few growth learning curves. A more experienced shepherd friend told me that you’ll want to keep ewes in groups no larger than 200 when lambing in a rotational pasture system. He also said that you can expect to take a year or two to work out the problems with bought in sheep who are not used to your management style, pasture, bugs etc. I’ve found both of these bits of advice to be true this spring for our operation and will be glad to fill you in on the details at the next TSPA meeting. I think one of the most important functions of the TSPA is to facilitate the sharing of ideas amongst producers, both what worked and what didn’t. In any case, lessons learned have been noted for next year, curves straightened (as much as possible), and we’re looking forward to watching them grow through the summer! The TSPA has also been busy as an organization this spring. In April, we attended “Ag Day on the Hill” at our state capitol. This is an important opportunity for us as sheep producers to stand up and be counted along with other agricultural groups and to remind our state law makers and the general public of the work that we do. I’d like to extend a special thanks to Grace Powell who brought her show ewe in to town to

2015 TSPA Board of Directors Sam Kennedy, President & ASI Representative Columbia, TN Ed Bowman, Vice President Gray, TN Mark Powell, Secretary/Treasurer Watertown, TN

meet and greet folks and to Dee Wolters who donated a beautiful sheep quilt for the silent auction. Both helped to make the event a great success. In addition, we conducted our annual shearing school featuring Doug Rathke as instructor. This year’s class included 15 participants, and I heard that there were several returning students whose skills are ready for hire! Along with other livestock industry groups, the TSPA helped sponsor Pick TN Product’s “Fill Your Grill Contest,” a very creative social media campaign and contest from our friends at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture designed to promote local TN meats. I know that there were quite a few lamb producers who signed up to participate and hope that our involvement will help promote overall awareness of the quality lamb available in our state. As always, we welcome any feedback on these events or others the membership would like to see us involved in. I’d like to remind you also of two events coming up this summer. First is the annual TN Sheep Expo in July. It’s always an exciting time for shepherds to gather and good opportunity to support our young sheep producers. The second event is the TN Small Ruminant Conference to be held at the end of July in Knoxville. The team at UT and TSU Extension are really putting together an outstanding program and I think it’d

2015 Board Members

Allan Bruhin Sevierville, TN

Jessica Shanks, Lenoir City, TN

Chris Wilson Jonesborough, TN

Mark Shedden Knoxville, TN

Stevan Alsup Lascassas, TN

Scott Payne Columbia, TN

Dwight Loveday Louisville, TN

be worth the travel for a little sheep get away weekend for those from out of the area. Lastly, I’ll make a few speculative comments on the national sheep news lately which, if you read your Sheep Industry News, you’d know has largely been centered on H-2A herder rules and grazing rights on public land. On the surface, neither of these seem to be our issues in the East, but I think their outcome will affect our eastern market. Fully half of American sheep graze on public lands at some point in their life, and a lot of them are cared for by guest workers from other countries who have both the willingness and expertise to live in remote and wild areas with the sheep they tend (check out “Guacho Del Norte” documentary). Should western producers lose those political battles, they will also lose half of their production capacity. Smart lamb buyers and packers are watching this and know they will have to source sheep from elsewhere to stay in business. This could represent an enormous opportunity for sheep producers in the East to grow since we have a lot of unused production capacity. Another alternative pointed out to me by a Texas producer is that the packers go under for lack of consistent lamb supply and the remaining sheep out West get shipped to the East, flooding our ethnic market and the higher lamb prices we have enjoyed over western producers in recent years. Again, all of the above scenarios are just novice speculation, but I find it interesting and thought you might to. I think national issues are worth paying attention to and we should support our western friends in what ways we can. As I’ve said before, our success in the sheep business and the success of lamb on the whole in the US are linked to theirs. As always, please keep me updated on sheep happenings in our state and feel free to share if you’d like to write in or get involved with an event. I hope the summer is treating you and your flock well. Keep spreading the sheep good news! Sincerely, Sam Kennedy

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 9

HOLISTIC Financial Planning Review by Don Campbell


3. Spending your money more wisely. This is accomplished by identifying the weak link in each enterprise and then sorting our expenses into Top Priority Investments, Liabilities, and Maintenance categories. 4. Monitoring. We develop a plan that satisfies us. We then have 12 opportunities to monitor, control and replan if necessary so that we reach our objective: profit.

he steps to holistic financial planning are straight forward and simple. They are shown in the graphic. You have all the knowledge and skill to do a financial plan. Where most of us struggle is to have: 1. the motivation 2. the self-discipline, and 3. the time management to actually do a financial plan.

A motive is a thought or feeling that makes a person act. Motivation is to induce, to act. You have control over your motives (thoughts and feelings) and your motivation (your decision to act). Self-discipline is doing what is right or best, not what is easiest or to your liking. Are you ready to meet the challenge of self-discipline? Time management is the third requirement for financial planning. Financial planning is important, but is often not perceived as urgent a task as something like watering the livestock. The results of a financial plan are: vision, perspective, balance, discipline, control, and limited crises. Would results like that be beneficial to you? The biggest benefit of financial planning is peace of mind: knowing where you are today, where you will be a year from now, and knowing that you are creating the future you desire. Holistic Financial Planning may be different than other planning methods you have used in the past. The major differences are: 1. Paying yourself first. This involves setting the profit you desire and then planning to make it happen. 2. Working in the future. Since the future hasn’t happened we can influence and change it.

Don’t let the fact that you have never completed a plan intimidate you. Make a commitment to yourself that you will do a plan this year. Set a date for completion of your plan. Review the material from your course or take a course. The steps are laid out in detail in the Holistic Management Handbook and Holistic Financial Planning Manual. You can download the manual for free on the HMI website – http:// holis t ic ma nagement .org/ blog/f reeholistic-management-financial-planningmanual/. Want to do a plan this year? CONGRATULATIONS! Below are steps to use when starting a plan. Before putting anything on paper, look for a logjam in your operation. This is a reflective step. Is there one overriding issue that is constantly preventing you from moving towards your holistic goal? If you find a logjam you need to address it and plan the time and money necessary to do so. If you don’t have a log jam move on. Step 1 Analyze Analyze your existing enterprises and any new enterprises you are considering using the gross profit analysis (sidebar). Step 2 Determine Net Worth Your starting net worth is a list of all your assets including cash minus your liabilities. The difference is your starting

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Gross Profit Analysis

Gross Profit Analysis is a simple and effective form of Enterprise Budget Analysis that helps you determine the profitability of an enterprise as well as explore the different production options that may improve profitability for a given enterprise. You use this tool to help you determine your enterprise mix and which of the enterprises contribute the most to covering overhead expenses. You determine Gross Profit by taking all direct income for an enterprise and subtracting all direct/variable expenses. You can then better know your gross profit per unit or per acre to best utilize the resources you have. This will allow you to select enterprises that have a positive gross margin. Be sure to test your decisions toward your holistic goal. You are now ready to begin the steps to financial planning.

net worth. It is often helpful to keep items that you aren’t likely to sell very often at a relatively low, constant value over a period of time. This would include land and livestock. The danger in not doing this is that you may be showing a positive net worth but all you are really showing is the inflation of your land. Net worth only has value when you are starting or discontinuing a business. Step 3 Plan a Year’s Income. How can you do that when you don’t know what prices will be? Don’t let uncertainty in the market deter your decision to plan. The more uncertain things are, the more important it is to plan. When projecting income, there will always be uncertainty, and the further out the projection, the greater the uncertainty.

operate debt free.

Step 8 Complete an Ending Net Worth. An ending net worth is a list of all your assets and liabilities at the end of the planning year. You compare the starting and ending net worth. If the difference is positive and close to what you planned, you move to Step 9. If the difference in net worth is negative or lower than desired you don’t quit- you replan. Remember you are working in the future. Since the future hasn’t happened you can change it. Replan until you get the result you desire. Don’t be discouraged; be committed to your goal of profit.

However, there are a couple of ways to offset this issue. 1) Have the bulk of your income at the start of the year. This works well if you are a corporation and can change your yearend, and if your income is not well spread across the year. In this situation you have real income against projected expenses which is much easier to control. 2) Project 2 or 3 prices and see how things look. Step 4 Setting Your Profit. This is where you make the decision to pay yourself first. Profit is defined as an increase in net worth. Profit is calculated after all your expenses have been paid including your living expenses. Profit is a return on your investment and a return for your management skills. Profit is much more likely to be attained when you plan for it. You are far too important to take what is left at the end of the year. You and only you can determine what profit you desire. Your profit can be held as increased assets, reduced liabilities, cash or any combination of the three. You have the power to hold your profit so that it helps you move toward your holistic goal.

Step 5 Define the Weak Link There are 3 links in our businesses: 1) resource conversion (growing), 2) product conversion (harvesting) and 3) marketing. One, and only one, of these will be the weakest at any given time. You need to determine the weak link in each of your enterprises. Knowing the weak link allows you to sort your expenses into

Top Priority Investments (T), Liabilities (L) and Maintenance (M) categories. Sorting expenses allows you to spend our money more wisely. Not all expenses are equal. T expenses strengthen the weak link or generate new wealth. L expenses are unavoidable and a constant amount of money. M expenses are all the expenses that aren’t T or L expenses. The idea is to spend as much as needed on the T expenses. Don’t worry about the L expenses; it’s a set amount. Be ruthless on cutting and reducing the M expenses. Reducing the M expenses allows us to free up money to invest in the T expenses. Step 6 Plan and Sort Expenses. Planning your expenses is similar to planning your income. You require a date, a volume and a price. Be as detailed as possible. Plan all your expenses on a monthly basis. Write out the details on a worksheet. Step 7 Create a Cash Flow. A cash flow is a summary of monthly income and expense. It tells you whether or not your business will cash flow or if you will require a bank loan. If a bank loan is required, you will know the amount and when you can repay the loan. Borrowed money is a tool. It is not good or bad. A good financial plan will tell you if it is wise to borrow or not. If you decide to use borrowed money, a financial plan will allow you to access more money at a cheaper interest rate. If you don’t want debt, a financial plan will help you

Step 9 Monitor & Control. Monitoring is vital to financial planning. A financial plan without monitoring is of no value. Monitoring involves recording what actually happened as compared to what was planned to happen. Record the difference between the plan and the actual in the difference and cumulative difference line on the cash flow sheet. If the differences are small, you continue on and try to control your plan. If the differences are large, do a replan. Do not become discouraged! Discouragement is a common trap for people. Most people are willing to do a plan, but many get discouraged when a replan is required. The best solution is to choose to be positive. The original plan is good because it was the best you could do at a given time. When a replan is required, it is not a reflection on your planning skills but an indication that something has changed. Your first plan was good; therefore the replan will be equally as good because you are using your knowledge and skills. Remember your goal is to be profitable so, do a financial plan for yourself and those you love. Don Campbell is a beef cattle rancher in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has been practicing Holistic Management for over 20 years and has helped start numerous management clubs as a Holistic Management Certified Educator. He now ranches with is 2 grown sons and their families. He can be reached at:

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 11

KY New Farmer Recruitment Program


n 2010, the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Council was formed to manage the KY Sheep/Goat Checkoff Fund. The checkoff 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 help aid the increase of sheep and goats in the state, the Council developed the New Farmer

Recruitment Program. This $2000, 0% interest loan is for producers who have been in the business for 5 years or less. The loan can be used to purchase breeding stock and must be paid back within two years. Up to 40% of the loan can be forgiven with proof of education hours completed involving goats and sheep. Producers can find more details about the loan and how to apply at html.

Who Manages the Check-Off Funds? Check-Off Funds are overseen by the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Council, which is a seven member board consisting of the following; 2 members appointed by Kentucky Farm Bureau, 2 members appointed by the Kentucky Goat Producers Association, 2 members appointed by the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, and 1 member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture. The committee meets quarterly in January, April, July and October.

The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-Off Program 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. New Farmer Recruitment Program is a 0% interest loan for eligible farmers to add sheep and goats to their farming enterprises. • • • • •

Loan is up to $2000 for 1-2 years Eligible applicants are those that have been in the goat or sheep business for less than 5 years. Funds can be used to purchase breeding stock and/or guardian animals Up to 40% of the loan can be forgiven with completion of approved education Application can be found at To learn more details about the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-off Program visit

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Sheep For Profit School

July 15-18, 2015 • Pipestone Minnesota

School Details

July 15-18th, 2015 Minnesota West Community & Technical College 1314 North Hiawatha Ave. Pipestone, MN 56164

2015 Tentative Schedule

Wednesday (4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) • Registration • Welcome and Introduction • What to Expect • Overview of the Sheep Industry • Get Acquainted Dinner • Economics of Sheep Production • Philosophy of Sheep Management • Five Keys to Profit

Thursday (8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) • Record Keeping • Marketing Lamb and Wool • Facility Requirements • Goal Setting • Develop Personal and Enterprise Goals • Sheep Breeds and their use • Genetic Selection • Building Ewe Flock • Develop Genetic Plan • Body Condition Scoring • Tour Brian Winsel Farm ◊ Sheep Facilities ◊ Ewe Condition Scoring ◊ Feed Management

• Breeding Time Management • Develop a Flock Breeding Plan • Tour Bruce and Karla Gundermann Farm ◊ Sheep Facilities ◊ Record Keeping ◊ Lambing Time Management ◊ Management philosophy

Saturday (Course completed at noon) • Feed Nutrient Values • Lamb Feed Rations • Ewe Nutrient Requirements • Ewe Feed Rations and Managing Ewe Feed Costs • Develop a Feeding Plan


Friday (8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) • Identifying and Treating Common Ewe Diseases • Identifying and Treating Common Lamb Diseases • Preventative Health Programs • Flock Biosecurity • Develop a Flock Preventative Health Plan • Reproductive Cycle of Sheep • Manipulation of Breeding Cycle


$24 individual subscription (included with association memberships)

For more information, email: Subscriptions available to individuals and associations. Ky Sheep & Goat Development Office, Inc. P.O. Box 4709 | Frankfort, KY 40604



on’t miss your chance to attend the 2015 Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program Sheep For Profit School which will be held on July 1518th, 2015 in Pipestone Minnesota. The Sheep for Profit School is only offered once every two years. The Pipestone Lamb and Wool program has an excellent school scheduled, including the tour of two outstanding sheep operations. The Sheep for Profit School is the professional management and business school. The purpose of the school is to help improve sheep management skills; increase the profitability of your sheep operation and form relationships in your business. The school will be intense and combine lecture, group discussion and visits to outstanding Pipestone area sheep operations. Expert instructors with diverse and practical sheep experience will help you define your vision and build a practical plan to achieve your goals. This is a four day investment that will change your sheep operation and how you view the sheep industry.

Full page - $450 2/3 page - $325 1/2 page - $250 1/3 page - $190 1/4 page - $160 1/6 page - $130 1/8 page - $100 Column inch - $25 per col i n.

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

Advertise your products & services in 2015 I Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER


Cost of Producing Goats

Dr. Ken Andries, Ph.D. Kentucky State University College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems.


ne universal fact about any business is that you have to know your cost to know if you are profitable. However, many new livestock producers have no idea of the expected

production cost associated with raising animals. While exact cost will vary between farms and the type of production system, there are basic cost and generally expected values that all producers need to know and control if they are to be profitable.

Basic Costs

Before we start looking at budgets, there are some basic ideas that need to be understood. First, there are both fixed and variable cost in your livestock enterprise. Most people understand that the land, buildings, large equipment, property taxes, and insurance have to be paid regardless of the number of animals you have. These are the major fixed cost. Even if you use the

14 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

equipment, buildings, and land for more than just livestock production, you need to charge the livestock enterprise for its use of these items. For example, if you use half of your land for livestock and the other half for grain, then half of the land cost needs to be charged to the livestock enterprise. The variable costs are the costs that vary depending on the number of animals you have and are often expressed as $/ head. These include feed, veterinary cost, labor, etc. It is important that you put all of the cost of these items used for the goat/ sheep herd in the goat/sheep budget. The two areas most producers under estimate when figuring variable costs are the feed and labor. Many producers forget to include the value of hay they produce themselves, or the cost of producing it, in the feed budget. This is a major error as the hay could have been sold and it cost time, fuel, and other expenses to make. Labor is another item that is often overlooked or undervalued as most producers use their own or family

Figure 1


The Callicrate “‘WEE’ Bander

is well worth the investment.” John Blevins, California


member’s labor that they do not pay for directly. You have to include the value of that labor, at a fair market value, as you would have to pay to replace them if they went to work somewhere else.

Basic Budget

Now let’s look at a basic budget for a 20 goat herd (figure 1). The prices are estimates and the herd size is based on the average herd size for the area. This budget includes land cost as pasture value in the variable cost- this is based on estimated cash rent values for pasture land and a stocking rate of 3 goats per acre of land. While land can and should be included in fixed cost if owned, this is an alternative way to include it in a budget. As you can see in this simple example the total cost per doe is $195 and for the whole herd, the cost is $3,903 per year. Based on this value, and a market price of $2/lb. you will need to market 98 lbs. of kid per doe in the herd to cover your cost. This is the breakeven level of productionyou still have not generated a profit at that point! As a herd there needs to be 1,952 lbs. of kid sold at $2/lb. to cover fixed and variable cost in this budget. While cull animals are also marketed, most will not generate enough to cover all their cost for the year.


With this basic budget in mind, producers need to examine what they

can control through management to decrease the variable cost. We must also remember that decreasing nutrition and health cost can decrease performance. The key is to make sure that your females are as productive as possible, i.e. each is pulling her weight by having and weaning twins that grow well and make progress towards the ultimate goal of being profitable. Evaluate your cost and performance, make sure your supplement program is properly balanced, and make sure the hay you produce or purchase is of good quality. These are things that will help decrease cost without decreasing performance. Dr. Kenneth M. Andries, Ph.D., Animal Science Specialist and Assistant Professor Kentucky State University College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems Dr. Andries was raised on a livestock and crop farm in Louisiana. He did his graduate work at Louisiana and Kansas State Universities majoring in Animal genetics. Dr. Andries has worked in extension since graduation from Kansas State University in 1996. He is currently the Animal Science Specialist and Assistant Professor at Kentucky State University where he is responsible small ruminant extension programming, goat production research, and teaching undergraduate classes.







Callicrate “TheBander is phenomenal.” George Chambers, Carrolton, Georgia



Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 15

Market Matter$ How Does the Ethnic Market Affect You as a Sheep or Goat Producer? by Tess Caudill


he average sheep or goat producer probably thinks very little about marketing, unless he or she has a group of kids or lambs at market weight. Even then, their thoughts on marketing usually involve where can I sell and what are current market prices. Unless you are in the business of direct marketing, the end consumer probably never enters into the equation. Unlike the other red meat industries in the United States, today’s sheep and goat markets depend heavily on the ethnic consumer as the end user of many of our products. I would venture to guess that over 95% of the goats and close to that percentage of the hair lambs raised in the U.S. end up in ethnic market channels. While many wool lambs still wind up in more traditional markets, a large number of them as well are siphoned off to ethnic consumers at lighter weights. So what ultimate effect do ethnic consumers have on kid and lamb markets east of the Mississippi river? Tremendous and here’s why. Twenty years ago there was essentially no meat goat industry in North America. Other than the Spanish and Angora goats in Texas and a handful of brush goats scattered across the Southeast, there were essentially no goats and thus no goat markets. That started to change in the late 90’s with the introduction of the Boer goat, but even then most observers believed there would be no real market for the meat once the breeding stock market stabilized. However, upon closer observation, there were millions of goat consumers ready and waiting right here in the Eastern U.S. that were overjoyed to be able to obtain fresh goat meat verses the frozen imported products. The boom of the Boer goat business combined with an eagerly awaiting ethnic market built the goat industry as we now know it and from which today producers of all breeds benefit.

Very much like goats, hair sheep production is an entirely new agriculture industry in the U.S. hair sheep have boomed in the Southeast in the past 10 years. In fact sheep numbers in general in the Southeast U.S. have significantly increased in recent years all while nationally they have been declining. The increase is pretty much entirely due to the growth of hair sheep in this region. In Kentucky, for example, breeding sheep numbers have increased from 14,000 head in 1997 to almost 50,000 head today. This trend is similar throughout the region, mainly due to the ease of rearing hair sheep especially in hot, humid conditions. Honestly, this type of growth in numbers should have probably crashed the lamb market, however, the smaller frame and lighter market weights of hair sheep make them perfect for the ethnic consumer and they continue to gobble up the ever increasing supply we keep sending them. So what does all this have to do with the traditional fat lamb market? These heavyweight lambs are not entering into ethnic market channels. They end up in white table cloth restaurants and

16 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

upscale grocery stores, right? The fact of the matter is that there are thousands upon thousands of wool lambs that weigh less than 90 pounds that hit the market in the eastern U.S. each year, and very few of them ever see a feedlot or become a fat lamb. This is especially true from January through May when light lamb prices typically reach their peak price for the year. The ethnic market pulls these lambs into their channels to help meet demand when the lamb supply is traditionally the tightest. And by doing this they take thousands of lambs away from the fat lamb market each year which helps control the supply of fat lambs. Less big lambs means higher prices plain and simple. So, no matter what type of small ruminants you raise, the ethnic market affects you way more than you probably realize. In the case of goats and hair sheep, it is pretty much the basis for the entire industry and without it we would likely not have a market and would definitely not be benefitting from the prices we have been receiving as of late. If you have wool lambs you have the option of selling them light and most likely the ethnic market is where they will end up, or you can feed them to 100+ pounds and benefit from higher fat lamb prices because so many were sold light earlier in the year. Either way, the ethnic market is the savior of the sheep and goat business and we are very fortunate to have such a strong and growing market for our products. Tess Caudill is the marketing specialist for the for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and has been instrumental in developing a graded marketing program for goats and sheep. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Kentucky in Animal Sciences and currently raises goats, sheep and cattle in Harrodsburg, KY.



s e t 2 F 01 o ki

Get Ready for Kiko Fest 2015!

Join us October 9th & 10th at the Cumberland County Community Complex in Crossville, TN

Featured Seminars Include:

Artificial Insemination by Dr Maria L. Leite-Browning/ Alabama A & M EPDs by Richard Browning, Tennessee State University Planned Grazing Using the Holistic Approach by Dr. Ken Andries, (KY State University) Marketing Opportunities for Goats by Jerry Lamb, /Rhea Co. Extension Director How to Submit Registrations and DNA through the IKGA

Auction to be held on Saturday at 12 noon For more information please contact: Gary Langlois @ (518)538-4612 • Alex Hosmer @ (706)734-7561 • Darla Dishman @ (931)879-3050 •Nancy Gilleland @ (770)605-2750 • Ann Dunning@ (910)947-1744

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

The NLPA Sheep and Goat Fund assists the 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

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

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 17

Feeding 10 Ewes for a Year Dr. Warren Gill


roviding adequate nutrition for the ewe flock throughout the year is a very important aspect of total flock management. Feed costs make up more than half of the total cost of production, therefore it is important to plan a nutrition program. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate what it takes to feed 10 ewes during the year. However, to determine the needs for more than 10, simply multiply the information by a multiple of 10 to reach a target number. For example, if you have 60 ewes, simply multiply by 6 for your own estimate. Forages provide the nutritional basis of most Tennessee and Kentucky sheep operations. Sheep are ruminants, but they are not little wooly cows! Good sheep producers not only try to maximize the use of forage, but also know the best way to do this is by emphasizing quality forage production. Beef cows can “get by” on lower-quality roughage and pasture but ewes produce more product (wool and lambs) per female so they need better nutrition to make efficient production work. Three of the most critical periods of the year, as far as nutrition is concerned, are before and during breeding, late pregnancy and early lactation. If a ewe is expected to deliver large, strong, healthy lambs and provide a heavy flow of milk, adequate nutrition must be provided before and after lambing. A salt-mineral mixture formulated for sheep should be fed free-choice throughout the year. In

areas where copper toxicity is a problem, use a mineral mixture that has little if any copper. If you are in a selenium deficient area, then you should use a mineral mixture that contains selenium. Sheep should have plenty of clean, fresh water available at all times. During cold weather, keep water from freezing so that water intake is adequate.

graze better pasture or feed them ½ to 3/4 pound of concentrate feed per head per day. Use some caution if flushing ewes by turning them onto lush legume pastures; during years of heavy rainfall, such pastures may contain a high level of coumestrol, a plant estrogen that some suspect may cause delayed conception.

Feeding a ewe so that it rapidly improves in condition from two to four weeks before breeding (commonly known as flushing) may increase the lambing percentage by 10 to 20 percent. However, this increase will not be as great if ewes are already in a high condition before breeding. Ewes that become too fat may not breed at all. To flush ewes, let them

Feeding During Gestation

Flushing the Ewes

Supplemental feed for flushing 10 ewes for 3 weeks = 160 - 200 lbs.

Whether you should give ewes supplemental feed during early pregnancy depends on the availability of roughage in the form of pasture, stubble fields, and stalk fields. If the roughage supply in the fields is not adequate and the ewes are not at least maintaining their weight, feed one

Table 1. The following rations were prepared for sheep based on forage tests from the UT Forage Testing Service. Description Forage Or Commercial Needed, lbs Corn, lbs + CSM*, lbs Feed, lbs 175 lb Ewe, pasture, flushing 175 lb Late Pregnant Ewe, Grass hay 175 lb Lactating Ewe with twins on Average Grass Hay 175 lb Lactating Ewe with twins on Good Grass - Clover Hay

Free Choice
















*Cottonseed meal or other high protein feedstuff

18 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

or two pounds of legume hay per head per day and / or supplemental concentrate. Feed a concentrate ration during the last four to six weeks of pregnancy to provide an additional supply of energy to meet the demands of the rapidly developing fetus. About 2/3 of the birth weight of a developing fetus is gained during the last six weeks of pregnancy. It is usually thought that a ewe should gain from 20 to 30 pounds during pregnancy. Inadequate nutrition during the last six weeks of pregnancy may have the following results: 1) A higher percentage of ewes with pregnancy disease (ketosis) 2) A decrease in birth weights 3) Weaker lambs at birth

4) An increase in infant lamb mortality 5) Slower gaining lambs

6) Lower milk yields during lactation 7) Bony ewes that are difficult to shear

The information in Table 1 will serve as a guide in determining how much feed your ewes will need in late pregnancy. Several different roughages are listed in combination with shelled corn. Supplemental Feed for 10 Ewes during Last 50 Days of Gestation = 750- 800 lbs Hay for 10 Ewes during the Last 50 Days of Gestation = 2000 – 2500 lbs

Feeding During Lactation Lactation places a greater demand on the ewe than pregnancy, and increases the level of nutrients needed. A ewe reaches peak milk production approximately 4 weeks after lambing, and then milk production begins to decrease. Weaning at 60 to 90 days is a common practice with some weaning at 35 to 42 days. During the first 60 days of the lactation period, feed according to the amounts recommended in Table 3 for small and large ewes, nursing singles or twins. Separate the ewes with twins from the ewes with singles and feed accordingly. Keep in mind that the actual amount fed depends on the weight and condition of the ewes and that the feeding value of 2 ½ to 3 pounds of silage is about the same as 1 pound of hay.

By the time lambs are between 1 and 2 months of age, they will be eating quite a bit of the ewes’ feed. You must allow for the lamb’s milk consumption to adequately meet the ewes’ requirements. After the first 60 days of lactation, reduce the amount of feed to the amount the ewes were being fed during late pregnancy. Additional feed at this time will only allow the ewes to put on excess fat and will increase the cost of production. Five or six days before weaning, greatly reduce the feed and water intake of the ewes and remove the protein supplement if one was being fed. This will help to dry the ewes up more rapidly, force the lambs to eat more creep, and get the lambs on feed more easily after weaning. As soon as the ewes can be turned out to pasture full time, no additional roughage or grain is needed as long as there is sufficient pasture or you are on an accelerated lambing program. Supplemental Feed for 10 Ewes during 1st 60 Days of Lactation = 1500 – 2000 lbs. Hay for 10 Ewes during the 1st 60 Days of Lactation = 3000 - 3500 lbs.

Summary: Estimating Supplemental Ewe Feed Needs for 10 Ewes for a Year

• Size – Smaller ewes will obviously eat less, but smaller ewes may produce more efficiently.

• Body condition – Ewes that are in poor body condition (thin) do not breed as well and may not produce enough milk. If you let ewes get in poor body condition it may take considerably more feed to gain back to where they need to be. • Forage quality – The better the forage, the less supplemental feed needed. Many producers can trim supplemental feed needs considerably by providing high quality forages and carefully monitoring body condition. • Weather – Long cold winters sometimes increase feed needs.

Dr. Warren Gill worked for the University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee Extension Services as a cattle and sheep nutritionist for 25 years before going to Middle Tennessee State University to serve as Director of the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience. Dr. Gill is stepping down as director in August to teach and conduct research.

Adding up the supplemental feed needs from the 3 critical periods:

• Supplemental feed for flushing 10 ewes for 3 weeks = 160 – 200 lbs. • Supplemental Feed for 10 Ewes during Last 50 Days of Gestation = 750 - 850 lbs. • Supplemental Feed for 10 Ewes during 1st 60 Days of Lactation = 1500 – 2000 lbs. Total = 2400 – 3000 lbs.

• Hay for 10 Ewes during Last 50 Days of Gestation = 2000 – 2500 lbs • Hay for 10 Ewes during 1st 60 Days of Lactation = 3000 - 3500 lbs Total = 5000 – 6000 lbs

This can give you some idea of how much hay and supplemental feed may be needed in a year for a 10 ewe flock. These numbers are simply estimates based on nutrient requirement tables and may vary considerably depending on such things as:

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 19

SRPS Makes a Difference

by Kelley Yates


verything about SRPS was exactly what we needed!,” explained Pam Urtz, 2015 SRPS graduate. The first session of Small Ruminant Profit School (SRPS) was a huge success with 65 participants from Kentucky, West Virginia and Illinois graduating on March 14, 2015 after completing 24 hours of education on topics ranging from breeds to production plans. SRPS was developed to help new and beginning sheep and goat producers learn the basics of small ruminant production. Like Pam, graduates had a variety of experience levels from 0 to 25 years and over 25% of participants had no livestock at the beginning of the course. Of the participants who did not currently have livestock, 7% started an operation during their participation in the course. “We took the SRPS course in order to learn how to produce healthy goats. Healthy goats equals healthy milk for our family,” Pam explained. Since the course, the Utz family has completed their fencing and facilities, and purchased several goats. The SRPS course consisted of four classes held in four locations throughout the state. The main goals of the program were not only to provide comprehensive classroom instruction, but to teach valuable skills as well. All participants were assigned a personal mentor to help them take the information learned in the course and apply it to their operations. Mentors worked with participants to set business goals, develop or fine tune record keeping systems and develop production plans for the year. Specific skills gained by participants were using FAMACHA as a parasite management tool, body condition scoring to determine nutritional needs throughout the year, and understanding how to select culls from the herd. Mentor, Kathy Meyer of Paris, KY, states, “Using specifications taught in the course, my mentee has just finished fencing her property and is making great strides to starting her own operation.” The 24 hours of education in the course covered a wide range of topics. According to survey results, 32% ranked nutrition and health management has the area in which they gained the most knowledge. Taking this knowledge gained, participants then identified areas in which they could increase their profits through using different feed alternatives, improve overall body condition throughout the year, maximize existing forage bases on their properties and plan lambing/kidding seasons to meet market trends. “Creating a livestock operation that consistently makes a profit is not an easy task,” says Tess Caudill, Kentucky Department of Agriculture Sheep and Goat Marketing Specialist. “Each person has to identify the areas that need the most attention. By learning information and gaining skills, new producers are better able to identify areas of need and work towards a profit more quickly.” An overwhelming majority of the SRPS graduates expressed they would encourage all producers to take advantage of the course. SRPS will be offered again in 2015-2016. The course is now going to consist of five classes, two of which are going to be hands on and offered in Frankfort, KY. Registration is available online at or to register by mail, call 502-682-4172. 20 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

Pam and Robert Urtz vaccinating their kids after taking the Health Management class of SRPS.

SRPS Class topics:

• Industry Trends • Market Trends • Facilities/Equipment • Breeds • Record Keeping • Guardian Animals • Marketing • Parasite Management

• Foot management • Nutrition • Quality Assurance • Body Condition Scoring • FAMACHA • Reproduction • Genetics and Selection • Annual Production Plans

Kelley Yates serves as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office and Editor of HoofPrint Magazine.

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 21


Alternative Forage Crops By Dr. Donald G. Ely Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky Introduction


raditional feedstuffs produce excellent performance, in terms of growth, wool and milk, but they can also be expensive. Sheep are adaptable to a wide variety of diet ingredients and many alternative feedstuffs have proven to be adequate for high productivity. If alternative forage crops can decrease costs of producing growth, wool and milk without compromising performance, then production efficiency can be improved. However, it must be remembered these are only Sheep grazing on a field of turnips. alternatives to staple forage crops. Their primary use is to fill figure 1. nutritional voids encountered by sheep producers whose forage Cereal grains (rye, base is a “cool-season” grass (bluegrass, orchardgrass, fescue, wheat, barley, oats) timothy, bromegrass). This paper describes how and when some can be grazed from alternative forage crops can be used to decrease production December through costs without decreasing productivity. April (depending on geographic region); Crops/Animals brassicas in October/ A broad grouping of alternative forage crops include cereal November/December; grains, brassicas, summer annuals and crop residue. Their use is summer annuals in to fill a nutritional void in the annual ovine diet. If the forage July/August; and crop Inset: Sheep consume the turnip tops, program is based on a “cool-season grass”, maximum forage dry residue in November/ then the tubers. matter production occurs in May/June (spring) and September/ December. October (fall). Voids can occur in winter (January/February), Fig.1 - Nutrient Void Period Sheep early-spring (March/April), mid-summer (July/August) and 1. January/February Gestating ewes late-fall (November/December). Since sheep have evolved as Lactating ewes foragers, strategic use of alternative forage crops is necessary Feeder lambs to ensure consumption of essential nutrients to maintain high 2. March/April Gestating ewes levels of productivity at minimum expense during these critical Lactating ewes periods. Although some forage production may be feasible in all Early-weaned lambs of the “cool-season grass” production areas of the United States, 3. July/August Breeding ewes economics of optimum production may be driven by the specific Early-weaned lambs geographic region environment. Furthermore, only specific Feeder lambs animals should be allowed to use the nutrients provided by the 4. November/December Gestating ewes alternative forage crops produced in the “cool-season grass” Lactating ewes areas. This allowance is based on the nutrient requirements of Breeding ewes the producing animal. The nutrient void period and the sheep Feeder lambs that can utilize alternative forages most efficiently are listed in 22 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

Cereal Grains

Although rye, wheat, barley and oats can fill a production niche for gestating ewes, lactating ewes, breeding ewes or feeder lambs, the high-quality forage produced dictates consumption by animals with the highest nutritional requirements (lactating ewes and feeder lambs). Otherwise, forage produced by cereal grains may exceed the nutrient requirements of the foraging animal resulting in a wastage of nutrients and decreased efficiency of production. To illustrate this point, Tables 1, 2 and 3 show the chemical composition of fresh, vegetative wheat pasture, daily nutrient requirements for 154-lb ewes nursing twins and the nutrient intake when ewe diets contain only pasture forage, Table 1. Chemical Composition of Wheat Pasture Component

As-consumed basis

DM, %

DM basisa

22.00 0.73 6.30

DE, Mcal/kg


CP, %a

100.00 3.31 28.60

0.09 0.42 0.08 0.40 Phosphorus, % a DM = dry matter; DE = digestible energy; CP = crude protein; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus. Calcium, %a


respectively. Ewes, in this example, require 6.2 lb of dry matter daily (Table 2). To obtain this amount, they have to consume 28.2 lb of forage daily. If they do this, they will exceed their daily requirements of digestible energy, crude protein, calcium and phosphorus (Tables 2 and 3). Ewes nursing twins during the first 6 to 8 weeks of lactation have the highest nutrient requirements of any class of sheep. Therefore, consumption of cereal grain pastures in January/February or March/April by animals in any production phase, other than lactating ewes, will exceed their nutrient requirements even more and produce excess body condition, an inefficient economical practice. Granted, ewes can more than satisfy their nutrient requirements from cereal grain forage. In reality, however, they probably will not consume 28 lb of green forage that is only 22% dry matter. Therefore, some supplementation becomes essential, usually in the form of grass hay to slow down the rate of passage of the 22% dry matter forage and shelled corn to provide necessary energy to stimulate maximum milk production. A comparison of the daily cost of feeding lactating ewes a traditional hay-grain diet and a supplemented small grain pasture is presented in Table 4. In this example, using cereal grain forage as the primary dietary component can reduce daily feed costs 2.5 times without Table 4. A Cost Comparison of Two Lactating Ewe Diets Diet


Traditional Table 2. Daily Nutritional Requirements of 154-lb Ewes Nursing Twins (First 6 to 8 Weeks of Lactation) Nutrient

Daily requirement

DM, lba


DE, Mcala


CP, lba


Ca, grama


P, grama 8.1 a DM = dry matter; DE = digestible energy; CP = crude protein; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus.

Table 3. Daily Nutrient Intake When Diet is Solely Wheat Pasture Forage (154-lb Ewes Nursing Twins: First 6 to 8 Weeks of Lactation) Diet Component Forage, lb DM, lb

Amount 28.2 6.2


DE, Mcal



CP, lb Ca, gram

9.3 1.8 11.8

P, gramb 11.3 a Assuming forage is 22% dry matter (Table 1). b DM = dry matter; DE = digestible energy; CP = crude protein; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus.

5.0 lb alfalfa hay


2.0 lb shelled corn

0.14 Total


Alternative forage 1.0 lb orchardgrass hay


1.0 lb shelled corn


Wheat pasture

0.11 Total


sacrificing productivity. Most cereal grains have been selected for winter hardiness, drought tolerance and adaptability to a wide array of soil and climate conditions. The impetus provided by the need to increase cereal grain production has also led to increased forage production, which, until tillering is initiated, provides excellent forage at minimal cost. Their use in winter to cut expensive energy and protein supplementation is obvious (Table 4), but “grazing out� small grains 4 to 6 weeks in March/April can be an economical practice, too, especially for ewes and lambs or earlyweaned lambs. Under optimum conditions, stocking rates can go as high as 5 ewes and their lambs per acre or 10 to 15 earlyweaned lambs per acre. However, to maintain highest forage quality and maximize its use, a rotational grazing system should be installed.


Brassicas have been identified with agriculture since ancient times. Species of this crop are valued for their leaves, News to Ewes continues on pg. 24 Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 23

News to Ewes continued from pg. 23 flowers, roots and seeds, having been used as vegetables, oil crops, fodder plants and ornamentals. Brassicas are classified in the following three groups: 1. Turnips = Common root crops and some rapes with turnip-like leaves. 2. Swedes = Swedes and oil bearing crops. 3. Cabbage = Common vegetable crops plus kale.

Brassicas are distributed through all seasons in cooler and moist climates. While they can be used as winter forage in warmer climates, they are cold tolerant and withstand light freezes. Soil fertility and weed control are critical to brassica production. They are poor competitors early in the growing season. Because of their winter hardiness, however, they have a competitive edge over weeds after frost. Brassicas are excellent candidates for notill systems where thatch helps control weeds. Turnips are the most extensively used brassicas. Because of their adaptation to a wide geographic area, they can be doublecropped behind small grains and interseeded into existing pastures. They “stockpile” well because there is minimal nutrient deterioration as fall growth reaches maturity. Their resistance to moderate frost damage makes them an excellent late fall/early winter (November/December) grazing crop when “cool season” pasture growth stops, resulting a nutrient void. Establishment of turnips in pasture sod is accomplished by using a power-till seeder and a herbicide to control forage growth until turnips are established. Sixty days before the first killing frost, no-till seed into a sod or sow in a prepared seedbed. Apply nitrogen fertilizer at seeding. Obtaining 1,000 to 1,200 grazing days/acre is commonplace, with gains of 20 lb/ewe in a grazing period from October 15 to January. Based on the nutrient composition of turnips (Table 5) and the time of year when they are most productive, gestating ewes are the best fit for turnip grazing. Nutrient requirements of Table 5. Chemical Composition of Turnips Aerial part Component


DM basis





DE, Mcal/kg






CP, %





Ca, %a





P, %





DM, % a



Roots a


DM basisa

DM = dry matter; DE = digestible energy; CP = crude protein; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus.

lactating ewes, breeding ewes and feeder lambs are higher than those of gestating ewes. Therefore, their daily requirements cannot be met with turnips alone. By obtaining 1,000 to 1,200 grazing days/acre (20 lb gain/ewe), the feed cost for gestating ewes grazing turnips is only about $0.05/hd/d. A typical late gestation diet containing 3 lb low-quality hay, 0.5 lb shelled corn and any pasture available in November/December will cost $0.10 to $0.15/ewe/d. To make effective use of brassicas, a strict intensive grazing program must be in force. The sheep will typically consume the turnip tops and indicate to the shepherd that it is time to move to the next area. However, the chemical analysis of the roots (Table 24 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

5) indicates large amounts of nutrients (especially energy) remain in the roots. The sheep must, therefore, be forced to consume these roots before they are moved to a new area if efficient use of the crop is a producer objective.

Summer Annuals

These grasses include grain sorghums, forage sorghums, sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and millet. They are readily consumed and are highly digestible when in the high-quality vegetative stage. High-quality in this instance equals a wide leaf to stem ratio; high crude protein and energy concentrations; and small concentrations of fiber and lignin. For example, young leaf blades approach 75% dry matter digestibility, whereas older leaves are only 50 to 60% digestible. Differences between the nutrient composition of vegetative and midbloom sorghum-sudangrass are illustrated in Table 6. Although these differences are not great, the decreased palatability and nutrient

Table 6. Nutrient Composition of Vegetative and Midbloom Sorghum-Sudangrass Vegetative Component DM, %



DM basis





DM basis a







CP, % a





Ca, % a





P, %





DE, Mcal/kg



DM = dry matter; DE = digestible energy; CP = crude protein; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus. a

digestibility does become significant as the plant matures. The physical characteristics (tall, coarse) of these grasses and their season of growth dictate the type of animals to consume them. If early-weaned or feeder lambs are to graze summer annuals, it is imperative that the available forage always be in the vegetative stage. Based on dry matter production during the 45 day period from seeding to initial grazing, seeding dates need to be staggered and lambs rotated throughout the field. Care must be taken so the rapid growth of the forages (as much as 2 inches per day) does not exceed the consumption rate of the lambs. If the forage does “get ahead”, the lambs will consume only the leaf portion and it will be difficult to keep them confined to the assigned area. If this situation does arise, it will be beneficial to move the lambs to a new vegetative area and allow dry ewes (on a maintenance feeding regime) to clean up the low-quality material remaining. Summer annuals can be seeded after the soil temperature exceeds 60°F. Seed is drilled into disked fields and planted less than 2.5 inches deep. Fertilizer is not necessarily required. One producer in Kentucky grazed 20 acres of a sorghumsudangrass hybrid with 800 dry ewes from June 15 to September 1. He began grazing when the forage was knee high and grazed it to a 4-to 6-inch height. The field was grazed four times, about 3 weeks apart, as follows: Late June: 7d = 5,600 grazing days Mid July: 5d = 4,000 grazing days


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Low in cost per square foot. Protect livestock and equipment. Convenient one-stop shop for structures, fans, curtain, feed systems and more. Natural light saves energy costs. Healthier, cleaner and drier environment. Early August: 5d = 4,000 grazing days Late August: 3d = 2,400 grazing days Ewes were moved to “cool-season grass” pastures during the interim between grazing bouts. These 20 acres of the sorghum-sudangrass hybrid forage provided 16,000 ewe grazing days between June 15 and September 1. This resulted in a 30% savings of grazing days that would have otherwise had to be provided by permanent “cool-season grasses” during the nutritional void of July/August. Unfortunately, summer annual grasses are nitrate accumulators. Nitrate toxicity is most likely to occur with heavy nitrogen fertilization and low light intensity (cloudy); reaches a maximum at the prebloom stage; and declines with age. The risk of prussic acid toxicity is also high when animals graze sorghum summer annuals during severe dry periods or after frost.

Crop Residue

Large amounts of nutrients often remain in the field after harvesting corn, milo, soybeans, etc. Additionally, alfalfa fields usually contain a high concentration of nutrients after frost. Scavengers are needed to harvest these residue nutrients. The reputation of sheep as superb scavengers makes them ideal animals to utilize crop residue. It has been estimated that 50% of the nutrients are left in the field after corn is harvested. The bulk of the nutrients will be energy, in the form of fiber (cellulose). Therefore, use of mature sheep, with low daily nutrient requirements, make efficient use of this residue. Even soybean residue has provided up to 200 grazing days/acre for ewes in mid-gestation in November in Kentucky. Lactating ewes, breeding ewes and feeder lambs can also be used as



scavengers, but they will need grain supplementation to meet their daily nutrient requirements. Alfalfa remaining after frost provides large amounts of both energy and protein. Because of this nutrient composition, alfalfa is a cost-effective alternative forage crop.


Alternative forage crops fill short-term nutrient voids in the annual management programs for sheep that are based on “cool-season grasses.” Originally, one might surmise one or two voids during the year. However, upon more critical analysis, alternative forages might be used most of the year – cereal grain forage in winter and early spring; summer annuals in July and August; and brassicas or crop residue in the fall and early winter. If more expensive traditional forages, like “cool-season grasses,” are required in shorter time sequences of the year, increased efficiency can become reality. The second part of the efficiency question is the sheep. Some phases of annual production require a higher concentration of daily nutrients than alternative forages are able to provide. On the other hand, some forages produce more nutrients than are required in other production phases. To obtain the most positive results from alternative forages, the daily nutrient requirements of the sheep must match the nutrient production of the forage. Dr. Donald G. Ely, professor in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 25

6Kentucky Sheep & th


Fiber Festival

by Kelley Yates


he Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, held May 16-17, 2015, had a record weekend! Despite the rain, the diehard fiber enthusiasts made their presence known. With 70 vendors from all over the country, many types of fiber were represented. Booths were beautifully filled with all the colors of the rainbow and products ranging from raw fleeces to knitted sweaters, soaps, lotions and pottery. Workshops were also offered to teach a variety of knitting, felting and weaving techniques. Sheep shearing demonstrations were offered both days and were quite the attraction. Many festival goers took time to Hug A Sheep, which took donations for the local FFA Chapter. The 2016 Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival will be held May 21-22, 2016 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, KY.

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The Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival 2015 by Kim Caulfied


and spinners and other fiber artists tend to have one thing in common: passion. We love to fondle fibers. We collect yarns. Sometimes this is almost like an addiction, but none of us wants to be cured. Our fibers give us pleasure, and help us express our creativity. So we set up support groups (called fiber guilds) where we gather to reinforce each others fuzzy feelings. But sometimes we need more. Lots more! The Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival is an annual joy. Fiber lovers from many states come to Dickson, Tennessee every year over Memorial Day Weekend to play. We admire various fiber animals, drool on fleeces, try out new yarns, and go home exhausted and inspired. This year was no exception. This year, the rabbit breeders organized a wonderful fleece show and sale. This was open to fleeces from all fiber animals, not just rabbits. There were a variety of entries from several species. They also held a competition for handspan yarns, and for items made from handspan. These classes, too, were open to entries made with wool, or other fibers besides bunny. Their shows raised a lot of public awareness about the variety of fibers available, and the possibilities they inspire. There were venders from several states again this year. Local shepherds were well represented, selling our raw fleeces and processed wool. There were also people selling alpaca fibers and yarns, cotton sliver and yarn, a wonderful variety of luxury fibers, hand dyed fibers and yarns, spinning wheels, looms, knitting supplies and patterns, and so much more. This year’s classes were equally diverse and interesting. Students learned how to pick a fleece, how to start spinning on a wheel or drop spindle, how to felt, creative knitting and weaving techniques, and much more. The most common complaint I heard was that it simply was not possible to be in two places at the same time, and there were so many tempting classes on offer. So, what will I take next year? After two days of intense work and play, it was all over. The crowded buildings

emptied out and trucks and trailers were loaded. After such an intense weekend, it was hard to say goodbye to friends. Still, there’s always next year. Why don’t you come, too? 2016 Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival May 27-28, 2016

Kim Caulfield is a passionate wool lover. She is equally fascinated by hand spinning and the commercial wool industry. She runs a cottage industry wool processing mill, and she and her mother, Jane, raise a flock of around 150 Romneys, Cotswold and Shetlands near Cornersville, TN.

Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 27

Data Gives Goat Producers a Look at the Whole Package You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

by Terri Queck-Matzie


hose now famous words of famed American businessman Lee Iacocca ring especially true for the goat industry as it strives to meet steady consumer demand. “The use of data in goat production becomes more and more critical as we look ahead at ways to improve,” says Dr. Kenneth Andries, Assistant Professor at Kentucky State University. “It’s the best way to realize value.” Andries has enrolled Kentucky State’s 100-head research herd in the National Sheep Improvement Program to reap the benefits of data collection and management on the larger scale. “We do breed comparisons (primarily Boer, Spanish and Savannah) of meat goats,” he explains. “Until NSIP, we made genetic selections from

on-farm performance only. Now we have the benefit of NSIP Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs).” Using a small number of U.S. goats combined with a database of Australian goats, NSIP calculates EBVs for a number of economically significant heritable traits. “It’s a more accurate method than actual records,” says Andries. Estimated Breeding Values are a progeny performance prediction based on individual pedigree data compared to breed average. A 2.2 EBV for weaning weight, for instance, indicates an animal’s offspring will likely weight 2.2 pounds more at weaning than breed average. NSIP calculates several EBVs for goats, including 10 that are considered by Andries to be economically crucial. Those include maternal traits, number of kids born and weaned; birth, weaning, post-weaning and

yearling weights; as well as carcass traits like loin eye depth and parasite resistance. “Parasites are a significant production problem,” says Andries. “There’s real room for improvement here.” NSIP provides an EBV for fecal egg count, a statistical genetic predictor of an animal’s resistance to infestation. Growing Goats and the Industry Weight and daily gain can be up to 40 percent heritable, making accurate databased predictions significant factors in breeding decisions when meat goats are sold per pound per head. “It you can improve the weaning weight and number of animals weaned, you’ve made each doe more efficient,” says Andries. He says his flock has seen an increase of weaning weight and number of kids weaned per doe since selecting for EBVs. He says there are those who avoid

Bluegrass Performance Invitational September 4th & 5th • Frankfort, KY Sale will feature approximately 65 ANIMALS from the TOP PERFORMANCE TESTING herds in the country. CONSIGNORS (* are KY based farms) *JD RANCH KIKOS - Jarred Dennison • *MILL CREEK RANCH LLC - Brent Ballinger *CHEY-VIEW KIKOS - James Kendell & Dana Barnes *LITTLE GREEN PASTURES FARM - Randy Majancsik RED RANCH GOATS - James & Angie Loos PJM GOATS- PJ Murphy • ADAMS FAMILY KIKOS - Craig Adams • B BAR W KIKOS - Wes & Beverly Pinneo • JUST KIDDIN CAPRINES - Phillip Wilborn HOOSIER HILLS KIKOS - Pat Larr and Betty Joubert

Don’t Miss the Guest Speakers!

Ken Andries Ph.D., of Kentucky State University, & Richard Browning Ph.D., of Middle Tennessee University.

For more information visit: or Contact Jarred Dennison, 502-875-8857 • 28 I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I Hoof Print

The goats at Kentucky State University are part of the National Sheep Improvement Program’s database, providing genetic performance data to help in breeding decisions. multiple births in favor of larger kids. “But if you wean more kids, you’ll wean more total pounds. That single kid is heavier, but not twice as heavy.” The heritability of fertility and number born are more difficult to quantify because data is kept categorically ((pregnant or open or 1, 2, or 3 kids born) rather than as a single trait. Still number of kids born can be 15 percent or more heritable. Many economically important traits are influenced by environmental factors, limiting heritability to 30 percent or less. And Andries says goat performance data is further complicated by a simple lack of data, particularly in the meat goat sector. (Dairy goat production keeps data specific to milk production.) Because of that lack of information, sheep data is often applied to goats. “Until the goat industry starts collecting and utilizing data, we will continue to have these issues of sheep and cattle data being applied resulting in a decrease in our overall knowledge of the differences between the species,” says Andries. The issue of goats having their own data is one key reason for more goat producers to enter programs like NSIP, according to Andries, as is increased accuracy of available data. More U.S. producers entering the program means they can rely more on U.S. data instead of Australian, further decreasing the statistical effects of environmental factors. That has benefits for both the commercial and purebred industries. “For the purebred breeder, it means an

increase in the value of sales,” says Andries. “It will enable more sales at higher value when animals come with EBVs that identify progeny potential.” For the commercial producer, using breeding stock chosen for quantified results means more herd productivity, and the economic benefits that come with it. And that’s a benefit to overall industry. The number of goat producers throughout the U.S. has held steady, even increased in the past few years, despite herd reductions in the Southwest due to drought. Consumer demand continues to increase. “Demand is not going to go down,” adds Andries. Fifty percent of goat meat consumed in the U.S. is imported. “There will be continued demand for domestic goat meat - if we can produce it.” He says it is important for producers to not become distracted by encouraging market conditions. “All too often they’re willing to look at options when profits are tight, but when they’re making money, it’s easy to say ‘why make the extra effort?’” “But now is exactly the time to focus on improvement,” he continues. “It’s time to accept the challenges of getting more efficient and making long term progress, so we can continue to improve and survive.” More information on the National Sheep Improvement Program can be found at www.

Terri Queck-Matzie, Freelance Writing, Graphic Design and Photography 520 4th Street Fontanelle, IA 50846 Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 29



he National Kiko Registry hosted the Cumberland Meat Goat Conference and Kiko Sale on Memorial Day Weekend at the Hyder-Burkes Ag Pavilion at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville Tennessee. The conference portion of the weekend included experts from across the country that addressed topics designed to help meat goat producers improve their herd management and increase the profitability in their operations. Speakers included Dr An Peischel, the original USA importer of Kiko goats; Terry Hankins, editor of Goat Rancher magazine; and veterinarians Dr Dave Sparks and Dr Fred

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Brown. All of the speakers actively raise Kiko meat goats. Free lunches were served on Friday and Saturday featuring a wide variety of goat meat dishes. In addition, participants enjoyed a Friday evening social event where buyers, sellers and event speakers mingled and shared information about their respective farms and participation in the meat goat industry. The highlight of the weekend was the Kiko Sale on Saturday afternoon. 36 Kiko consigners from across the country consigned 103 entries to the sale. The entries were comprised of open does, bred does and does with kids by their side as well as a limited number of Kiko bucks. Horsefly Valley Farm of West Union, Ohio consigned the high selling buck. The high selling doe with kids by side was consigned by Nip-N-Tuk Kiko Meat Goats of Culleoka Tennessee. Triple M Kiko Goats of Cicero Indiana consigned the high selling bred doe. The high selling open doe was consigned by Mill Creek Ranch of Bardstown Kentucky. The total sale proceeds from the 103 consignments equaled $115,025.00. Actual sale prices ranged from $400.00 to $7,500.00. The National Kiko Registry is the largest and fastest growing Kiko registry in the United States with approximately 450 members. More information about the organization is available on the NKR website at

MARKETPLACE American Dorper Sheep Breeders Society, Inc. 573-696-2550 •

HoofTrader KY Sheep & Goat Development Office • 502-682-7780

Bluegrass Livestock Marketing Group

International Kiko Goat Association

Bluegrass Performance Invitational 502-875-8857 BluegrassPerformanceInvitational. com Callicrate Bander 1-800-858-5974 FarmTek Fodder Pro 1-800-201-3414

Kentucky Goat Producers Association Kentucky Sheep and Goat Check-Off Kentucky Sheep & Wool Producers Association Ketcham’s

Fastrack 1-800-727-0716

MountainView Machine 605-253-2018

Febus Farms 859-734-9035

National Kiko Goat Registry

National Livestock Producers Association 1-800-237-7193 ext. 10 Paris Stockyards 859-987-9945 TN Sheep Producers Association TN Small Ruminant Grazing Conference Brehm Animal Science Bldg, UT Ag Campus 423-775-7807 United Producers, Inc. 270-843-3224 University of Kentucky sheep/sheep.html goat/goat.html

State Graded Sheep & Goat Sales 2nd & 4th Thursdays of every Month

Cattle Sales every Tuesday at 1:00pm 4350 Louisville Road Bowling Green, KY (270) 843-3224 Hoof Print I VOLUME 20 SUMMER 2015 I 31

P.O. Box 4709 Frankfort, KY 40604-4709

HoofPrint- vol.20 Summer 2015  
HoofPrint- vol.20 Summer 2015  

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