Production

    Sheep Production Guide - A sheep enterprise can be ranch size or it can fit into a few acres. It can be a full-time occupation, but it also is well suited for diversified and part-time farmers, or it can be expertly handled by the spouse or younger members of the farm family.This guide outlines management practices to help successfully raise sheep.

    Sheep: Sustainable and Organic Production - This publication introduces concerns and practices specifically related to sustainable sheep production. Topics covered include breed selection, controlled grazing, pasture lambing, alternative health management, and innovative marketing of meat and wool products. A list of further resources is also included.

    Dairy Sheep - The sale of sheep milk or milk products is often more profitable than selling only lamb or wool. This publication explores the dairy sheep business and helps producers decide whether it is a viable option for their farms. Regulations governing the industry are discussed. The publication also addresses production issues, animal health, stock selection, and nutrition issues surrounding dairy sheep. References and resources follow the narrative.

      Breeds, Reproduction & Lambing

        Artificial Rearing of Lambs on Milk Replacer Diets - With multiple births, the weakest lamb usually is selected for artificial rearing on milk replaces because it is less capable of competing at the udder. Make the decision to remove the lamb from the ewe as soon as possible after birth. This eases the lamb’s training period and enhances lamb survival.

        Body Condition Scoring - Throughout the production cycle, sheep producers must know whether or not their sheep are in condition (too thin, too fat, or just right) for the stage of production: breeding, late pregnancy, and lactation.

        Nutrition for Lambing - Do you have your ewes nutritionally prepared for lambing and lactation? Early planning and implementation of a nutrition program for your ewes can decrease problems later. In relationship to lambing, two phases of the ewe’s biological cycle need special dietary consideration.

        Sheep Breeds - Selection for wool type, flocking instinct and other economically important traits over the centuries has resulted in more than 200 distinct breeds of sheep occurring worldwide. Modern breeding schemes have also resulted in an increasing number of composite or synthetic breeds which are the result of a crossing of two or more established breeds.

        Tube Feeding Neo Natal Small Ruminants - This publication gives a complete overview of the topic of tube feeding neonatal lambs and kids. Relevant anatomy, indications, and techniques are presented. Photographs illustrate the techniques discussed. Information about colostrum, biosecurity, sanitation, and passive transfer of immunity is included as well.

          Nutrition & Health

            Feeding Sheep - Nutrition plays a major role in the overall productivity, health, and well-being of the sheep flock. Because feed costs account for a large cost of production on sheep farms, it is important that producers consider nutrition management a top priority.

            Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats - Parasites commonly found in sheep and goats can be divided into two general categories: external (skin) and internal (organ) parasites.

            Nutritional Management of the Sheep Flock - Feed for the ewe flock represents the largest production cost in a sheep enterprise. This means over-nutrition and using costly feedstuffs and ingredients is expensive and undesirable. At the same time, under-nutrition is also expensive due to lost productivity. Therefore, it is important to develop a nutritional management program for your flock that optimizes production while minimizing feed costs.

              Other Sheep Resources

                Maryland Small Ruminant Information - Information portal for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in small ruminants.

                American Sheep Industry Association - ASI is the national organization representing the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers located throughout the United States. From East to West, farm flocks to range operations, ASI works to represent the interests of all producers.

                NetVet: Small Ruminants - Veterinary guide online for sheep, health, genetics, farm, pets/other, and commercial.