Monday, June 29, 2015

84 Bucks Start Maryland Test

Eighty-four (84) meat goat bucklings started the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test on June 26. The test is conducted at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville.

The purpose of the test is to evaluate the performance of meat goat bucklings consuming a pasture diet with natural exposure to internal parasites, primarily the barber pole worm. The top-ten bucks will be selected primarily on the basis of growth performance (ADG), parasite resistance (fecal egg counts) and parasite resilience (FAMACHA© scores and need for treatment).

A sample of this year's test bucks.
This year's test bucks were provided by twenty-four consignors from twelve states:  Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. There are ten new consignors to this year's test. Fifteen consignors  have previously consigned bucks.

This year's bucks are all Kiko or Kiko-influenced. This is the first year in which no fullblood Boers were consigned; only some crosses are in the test. Upon arrival, the bucks ranged in weight from 31.6 to 71.8 lbs. and averaged 49.0 lbs ± 8.4. The median weight was 47.8 lbs. FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 2.2 ± 0.7. The median score was 2.0.

After a 13-day adjustment period, the bucks will be evaluated for 84 days. They will be handled every two weeks to determine body weights, FAMACHA©, body condition, coat condition, dag, and fecal consistency scores. Individual fecal samples will be collected bi-weekly. While on test, the bucks will be managed as a single herd. They will be rotationally grazed among six ~2 acre paddocks planted in a variety of cool and warm season annual and perennial plants. They will be fed a daily supplement of soybean hulls, 0.75 lbs. per head per day.

To follow the progress of this year's test, visit the blog at http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

NEW DESIGN: Maryland Small Ruminant Page

The Maryland Small Ruminant Page (www.sheepandgoat.com) has been redesigned using wix.com.

The Maryland Small Ruminant Page was created in 1998 to serve as an informational portal for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in small ruminants. The site was developed and is solely maintained by Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist for University of Maryland Extension


The home page of the web site is still www.sheepandgoat.com, but all other pages have new web addresses or have been eliminated. The web site no longer contains pages of links, related to subject matter. Nowadays, the easiest way to find  links is to google by keyword(s).

www.sheepandgoat.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Successful Maryland Wool Pool

The Maryland Wool Pool sold 29,643 lbs. of wool, brought to the pool by 58 consignors. The pool shipped 78 bales that weighed an average of 390 lbs. Last year's pool packed 29034 lbs. of wool into 112 bales.

Grade Pounds
Choice (fine) 48
Medium white face 9793
Non-white face 300
Coarse 5013
Short 14489
Total 29643

Special thanks is extended to the 30 volunteers who assisted with this year's pool. Volunteers are what  makes the pool successful and profitable.

Emily Chamelin is the wool pool manager. Contact her at aeriedairy@yahoo.com. if you have any questions or suggestions for the wool pool. The pool is sponsored by the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association.

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Maryland Wool Pool

The 58th Annual Maryland Wool Pool will be held Wednesday, June 17, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland.

Three lines will be set up to accept wool. Consignors with wool baled in square bales will be pulled out of line to unload at the third line. The other two lines will accept loose wool. Consignors are expected to unload their own wool. Any help consignors can provide at the pool will be most appreciated.

Prices are slightly up from last year. The pool has been purchased by Chargeurs.

Grade Price per pound
Choice white face $0.95
Medium white face $0.88
Non white face $0.80
Coarse white face $0.78
Short $0.72

The price you receive for your wool will be the above price minus a deduction for wool pool expenses (usually between 5 and 8 cents per pound). Maryland Sheep Breeders Association annual dues of $25 will be withheld on wool sales over $40.

Black and gray wool and wool from hair sheep or hair sheep crosses will not be accepted. Wet wool cannot be accepted. Any producer bringing wool in nylon square packs weighting 300 pounds or more will receive a 5-cent per pound bonus payment for their wool. A replacement wool pack will be issued with each pack containing 300 pounds or more.

Smaller lots of wool can be delivered in plastic trash bags or loose in your vehicle. Never use polypropylene feed bags, and avoid using burlap bags. Wool delivered in polypropylene bags will be refused, and wool delivered in burlap will be deducted 3 cents per pound.

Sheepman Supply Company (in Frederick) will be collecting small lots of wool to take to the pool in the week leading up to June 17. Please contact them at 1 (800) 331-9122 for more information.

For more information about the wool pool, contact the manager Emily Chamelin at (443) 244-2702 or aeriedairy@yahoo.com.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Multi-State Skillathon Winners

Youth from several states took home awards from the Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon held recently at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

The first place senior was Matt Ferrari from Virginia. Maggie Goodmuth from Howard County was second. Charlie Sasscer from St. Mary's County was 3rd. The first place senior team was the Montgomery-Howard team, composed of Maggie Goodmuth, Lauren Dallas, and Jennifer Brigantae. The second place team was a team from  Virginia.

Top individuals (L-R):  Matt Ferrari, Hannah King, and Jessica Martin
The first place intermediate was Hannah King from North Carolina. Kallam Latham from Frederick County placed second. Madison Shaw from Pennsyvlania was 3rd. The first place intermediate team was the Virginia team composed of Ryleian Travers, Hayley Seabright, Cyle Dehaven, and Chet Boden. Frederick County had the second place intermediate team.

The first place junior was Jessica Martin from Frederick County. Jordan Kelly from Virginia placed 2nd and Marlie Snyder from Washington County placed 3rd. The first place junior team was the Frederick County team, composed of Jessica Martin, Kiandra Strickhouser, and Caroline Clark. Calvert/St. Mary's County had the second place junior team.

Special awards were given to the junior, intermediate, and senior individuals with the top scores in the stations pertaining to fiber. The junior individual with the top fiber score was Jordan Kelly. The intermediate with the top fiber score was Hannah King. Madison Shaw was a close second. The senior individual with the top fiber score was Jennifer Brigantae from Howard County. In close competition were Ian Sanville from Frederick County and Sabrina Dobbins from St. Mary's County.

Fiber winners (L-R): Jordan Kelly, Jennifer Brigantae, and Hannah King
The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association provided ribbons and premiums to the top 10 individuals in each age group. They provided Festival t-shirts to members of the three top-placing teams in each age division. The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program provided plaques to the top individuals.

This year's Sheep & Goat Skillathon included the following stations:  sheep breed ID, goat breed ID, hay judging, meat ID, feed ID, equipment ID, fleece judging, fiber ID, keep-cull, and a written test.

The Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon is held every year on the Sunday of the Festival. The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is always held the first full weekend of May.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ACSRPC Web Site Redesigned

The web site of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC) has been redesigned. You can view the new web site at either www.acsrpc.org or www.wormx.info.

You should consider the consortium's web site to be your definitive source of information on internal parasite control in small ruminants. The consortium was formed in response to the critical state of the small ruminant industry associated with the emergence of anthelmintic resistant worms. It is a group of scientists, veterinarians, and extension specialists.

www.acsrpc.org
www.wormx.info

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring 2015 Wild & Woolly

The Spring 2015 issue of Wild & Woolly is now available.

Via HTML at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/news/Spring2015.html.
Via PDF at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/news/PDF/spring2015.pdf.

Via ISSUU at http://issuu.com/mdsheepgoat/docs/spring2015.

The Spring issue contains articles about goat's milk, minerals, sheep and goat research, new resources, the 10th anniversary of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test, and upcoming events.

Is goat milk healthier than cow milk?

Mailed copies of the newsletter are available for $10 per year. Send your check (payable to the University of Maryland) to Sheep & Goat Newsletter, 18330 Keedysville Road, Keedysville, MD  21756.

Subscribe to the newsletter listserv to receive an e-mail when a new issue of the newsletter has been published. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to listserv@listserv.umd.edu. In the body of the message, write subscribe sheepandgoatnews.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nomination Period Open for 2015 Buck Test

The nomination period is now open for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. It will extend until June 1. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally.

The test is open to goat producers in any state, who may consign up to five male goats, of any breed or breed cross (with or without registration eligibility) to the test. The goats must have been born between January 1 and March 15, 2015. They must weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 26. Health papers are required.

Bucks grazing in last year's test.
While on test, the goats will be evaluated for growth performance, parasite resistance, and parasite resilience. They will also be evaluated for structural correctness and reproductive soundness and be scanned to determine the size of their longissimus dorsi (rib eye) muslce. The ten top-performing bucks will be recognized.

After a 12-day adjustment period, the goats will be evaluated for 84 days. The test will conclude on October 2. While on test, they will be managed as a single herd. They will be rotationally grazed, among six ~ 2acre paddocks, composed of various cool and warm season perennial and annual plants. They will be supplemented with pelleted soybean hulls on a daily basis, 0.75 lbs. per day or approximately 1.5% of body weight.

The first half of the test (day 1-42) will served as a "growth challenge." The goats will graze "clean" warm season grasses and legumes. The second half of the test (day 42-84) will serve as a "parasite challenge." The goats will graze cool season grass paddocks that have been pre-contaminated with infective worm larvae (by sheep).

2015 Guidelines and Protocol
Nomination Form

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon

The 2015 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon will be held Sunday, May 3, at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. The Festival is always held the first full weekend of May at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.

Registration for the contest begins at 8 a.m. The contest starts at 9 a.m.  Awards will be presented at approximately 1 p.m. A small donation is requested to cover the cost of lunch (pizza and sodas).

A skillathon provides youth with the opportunity to blend knowledge and skills acquired in livestock judging, demonstrations, and care and exhibition of animals into a single activity. It consists of a series of stations where youth are tested on their knowledge and abilities related to livestock. In the Sheep & Goat Skillathon, all stations will pertain to sheep and/or goats.

The skillathon is open to any youth between the ages of 8 and 18. Individuals and teams (of 3 or 4) from any county or state may compete. Youth compete according to their age as of January 1st of the current year. Youth ages 8 to 10 compete as juniors; youth ages 11 to 13 compete as intermediates; and youth 14 to 18 compete as seniors.

The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association provides ribbons and premiums to the top ten individuals in each age division and festival t-shirts to the members of the top three teams in each age division. Additional awards are provided by the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program

Pre-registration of individuals and teams for the 2015 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon is requested by April 28. Teams must be pre-registered. Pre-register by sending names, ages, and team affiliations via e-mail to Susan Schoenian at sschoen@umd.edu or via fax at (301) 432-4089.

For more information, contact Susan at (301) 432-2767 x343 or visit the skillathon web site at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/programs/skillathon/skillathon.html.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

FAMACHA Workshop To Be Held at Festival

Bottle jaw
A FAMACHA©workshop will be held Friday, May 1 at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The workshop will be held in barn 7-9 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.

All aspects of internal parasite control will be covered in the workshop.The 4-hour workshop will consist of 2 hours of lecture/discussion and 2 hours of hands-on activity (FAMACHA© scoring and fecal egg counting). The instructor will be Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist for University of Maryland Extension.

The registration fee is $50 per person, family, or farm. It includes a laminated FAMACHA© card and booklet of reference materials.

Go to the Festival web site to register online.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scrapie Update

 Since the beginning of FY 2015, 29 sheep have tested positive for scrapie; 26 of these positives were from the same source flock. Two goats have tested for positive --both from the same herd. The most recent positive case was confirmed on February 18, 2015.

Since the beginning of FY 2015,12,683 sheep and 3,325 goats have been tested for scrapie. In November 2014, the first positive goat found through slaughter surveillance was identified. Based on the goats sampled at slaughter to date, the prevalence of scrapie in U.S. cull goats is 0.004 percent.

To report a sheep or goat with clinical signs of scrapie, please contact your local VS office.  To learn more about scrapie, the disease, and the national scrapie eradication program visit the APHIS VS Scrapie Website and www.eradicatescrapie.org.

View February monthly scrapie report via PowerPoint

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pasture Management Webinars: Follow-up Survey

If  you participated in the 2015 Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Webinar Series, recently hosted by University of Maryland Extension (Susan Schoenian & Jeff Semler), please complete this short survey. Your answers will help us to improve educational offerings for small ruminant producers.

http://www.surveyshare.com/s/AYAWTGD 

Please complete the survey regardless of whether you participated live or watched the recordings. You may complete the survey at a later time, if you haven't had a chance to view all the videos -- or you are waiting for the YouTube videos, soon to be available via the Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program YouTube channel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Webinar Recordings: Pasture Management

The title of the 2015 Winter Webinar Series was Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers. The webinars were held on consecutive Wednesday evenings in February and March. 

All of the webinars were recorded. They have been minimally edited and made public for viewing. Links to the recordings are available at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/recordings.html#pasture. There are also links to the PowerPoint presentations.
  1. Planning a pasture system
  2.  Pasture plants, including alternative forages
  3. Pasture and grazing management
  4. Pasture nutrition
  5. Pasture health
These and previous webinars are in the process of being converted to YouTube videos. The aforementioned page will have links to the YouTube videos. The videos can also be accessed from the Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so we can get a "friendly" (custom) url.

All webinar recordings and links

Friday, March 20, 2015

Increased Demand at Easter

The demand for kid (goat) and especially lamb increases prior to the Easter holidays. Easter is a Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion.

Hothouse lamb in NYC
Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox Christian churches use different calendars (Gregorian vs. Julian) to determine the date of Easter. Sometimes, the two Easters fall on the same day. Sometimes, they are more than a month apart.  This year, Roman (Western) Easter and Greek (Eastern Orthodox) Easter are only one week apart. Roman Easter is on April 5, while Greek Easter is on April 12.

The demand for kid and lamb is usually stronger for Eastern Orthodox Easter. Eastern Orthodox Christians come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: Greek, Russian, Egyptian, Romanian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Albanian, Ethiopian, Syrian, and American.

The type of lamb or kid preferred for the Easter holiday is usually a "hothouse" lamb or kid.  Hothouse lambs are young, milk-fed lambs weighing between 30 and 50 lbs (live). Certain breeds are more suitable to be sold as hothouse lambs, including Southdown, Dorset, Dorper, Cheviot, etc. Large frame breeds and hair sheep aren't as suitable for the Easter hothouse market, as they don't have as much fleshing at the light weights at which they'd be sold.