In descending order, by date published.
Ewes on vacation should remain healthy, but not become obese. Keeping them in a BCS of 1.5 to 2.0 will not be an easy chore because all they have to do is graze and deposit body fat. Limiting forage dry matter consumption to 2.0% of body weight daily through stocking rate management and rotational grazing is the best way to keep ewes from becoming excessively fat. If ewes have an optimum BCS at the beginning of nutritional flushing, and are flushed correctly, 95 to 98% of the ewes will conceive in a short period of the breeding season and lambing rate can be increased by 15 to 20% above that of less intensely managed ewes.
Reproduction is the beginning of a series of significant events involved in the production of lambs for market. Obviously, the higher the reproduction rate in ewes, the greater the chances of achieving maximum profit. A knowledge of the mating (breeding) habits of the ewe can improve the chances for higher reproductive rates, marketing more pounds of lamb per ewe, increasing the efficiency of labor use, and ultimately increasing the chances of greater profit.
Kentucky has the resources required for successful sheep production systems. The state has a vast forage production potential, under-utilized labor and facilities, and access to a well-established market. Many Kentucky farmers should consider the sheep enterprise and its benefits, particularly if they want to make more efficient use of their forages, labor, and facilities. In developing this enterprise, the following must be considered: feed supply, labor, facilities and equipment, foundation stock, and the production system.
Body condition scoring is a system of classifying breeding ewes on the basis of differences in body fat. While it is subjective, with practice it can be accurate enough to indicate the nutritional status of individual ewes as well as the entire flock. Thus, it allows the shepherd to identify, record, and adjust the feed intake of ewes determined to be thin, in average flesh, or fat. In the long run, this can save money for producers and/or prevent problems attributable to ewe condition.
The information in this fact sheet was developed to provide a quick reference to the most frequently asked questions about sheep and sheep production.
Creep feeding is a technique of providing feed to nursing lambs to supplement the milk they consume. Creep-fed lambs grow faster than noncreep-feds and are more aggressive in nursing ewes. This aggression stimulates greater ewe milk production which, in turn, increases creep feed intake because these lambs will be bigger at a given age. Typically, the creep diet is a grain-protein supplement mixture and is made available in an area constructed so lambs can enter, but ewes cannot. Some situations when it may be economical to creep feed are described in this document.
Authors: Debra Aaron, Les Anderson, Darrh Bullock, Roy Burris, Dwayne Edwards, Don Ely, Bob Harmon, Jimmy Henning, Bruce Hightshoe, Terry Hutchens, John Johns, Garry Lacefield, Kevin Laurent, Jim Matthews, Kyle McLeod, Jim Randolph, Monroe Rasnake, Patty Scharko, Keith Schillo, Scott Shearer, Larry Turner, Dwight Wolfe, Steve Workman
Authors: Richard Barnheisel, Mike Barrett, Morris Bitzer, Bill Bruening, Lowell Bush, Dottie Call, Mike Collins, Mark Coyne, Maelor Davies, David Ditsch, Charles Dougherty, Dennis Egli, Don Ely, Larry Grabau, J.D. Green, John Grove, Jimmy Henning, Jim Herbek, Don Hershman, John Johns, Doug Johnson, Fred Knapp, Garry Lacefield, Eugene Lacefield, Bill Maksymowicz, Jim Martin, Lloyd Murdock, Gary Palmer, Bob Pearce, Todd Pfeiffer, Tim Phillips, Chuck Poneleit, A.J. Powell, Monroe Rasnake, Charles Slack, Scott Smith, Robert Spitaleri, Norm Taylor, Dennis Tekrony, Bill Thom, Charles Tutt, Dave Van Sanford, Ken Wells, David Williams, Bill Witt