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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
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Sheep Update

Livestock Update, October 2000

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, Virginia Tech

2000 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Sale Results
The 25th Annual Virginia Performance Tested Ram Lamb Sale was held at the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station near Steeles Tavern on Saturday, August 26. A total of 56 rams sold for a record average price of $406. Top-selling ram was a Suffolk consigned by Virginia Tech and sold to Bobby Shockley from Hillsville, Va., for $950. The high-selling Dorset consigned by Wolford Farms of Wytheville, Va., sold to Mark Johnson of Leesburg, Va., for $600. There were four Hampshire rams which sold for $525, consigned by Wilson Stock Farm of Rural Retreat, Va., and Auville's Hampshires of Mt. Sidney, Va. Rams sold to buyers in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia. Sale results by breed were as follows:

 Sale Average
12 Fall Dorsets$377
14 Winter Dorsets$252
23 Suffolks$485
7 Hampshires$507
56 Total Rams$406

The Virginia Ram Lamb Performance Test is sponsored by the Virginia Sheep Producer's Association.

Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program Begins
The Virginia Sheep Producer's Association has initiated a new commercial ewe lamb development and marketing program for 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 is being conducted at the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station, at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Steeles Tavern. A total of 97 commercial crossbred ewe lambs were delivered to the station on September 6. Ewe lambs are being developed on grass with supplemental grain mix provided to optimize growth and reproductive performance during the development program. Ewes have been allocated to breeding groups based on age, weight, and breed. Ewes will be mated to purebred rams, which have all been tested on the 2000 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. Two Suffolk and two Dorset rams will be utilized, with approximately the same number of ewes mated to each ram breed. 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 via ultrasound. Ewes will be sold Saturday, January 6, 2001, at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg. For more information, contact Scott Greiner at (540) 231-9163.

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