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Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program
Set to Begin Fall 2000

Livestock Update, May 2000

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, Virginia Tech

The Virginia Sheep Producer's Association will begin a new commercial ewe lamb development program and sale beginning fall 2000. The purpose of the program is to provide a source of quality replacement ewes with documented health, management, and genetics for Virginia commercial flocks. The program will be conducted at the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station, located at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern. Commercial ewe lambs (born September1999 to April 2000) will be delivered to the station in early September. Ewe lambs will be provided a complete ration to provide optimum growth and reproductive performance during the development program. Ewes will be allocated to breeding groups based on age, weight, and breed. A stringent health program will be implemented prior to and during the development program. Ewes will be mated to purebred rams, which have all been tested on the 2000 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. Rams will be placed with the ewes October through mid-December. Breeding dates will be recorded on all ewes, and pregnancy status will be determined on all ewes in late December. A sale will be held in early January, and ewes will be sold in consignor groups of approximately five ewes. All VSPA members are eligible to consign ewes to the program. A minimum of five ewes per consignor is required. Rules and regulations as well as consignment forms will be out

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