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Sheep Update

Livestock Update, December 2003

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

4th Annual Virginia Commercial Bred Ewe Lamb Sale to be held January 10, 2004
The Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program was initiated to provide a source of quality replacement ewes with documented health, management, and genetics for Virginia commercial flocks. This unique program integrates genetics, nutrition, and reproduction for proper management of replacement ewe lambs. This educational, management, and marketing program is being conducted at the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station, located at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern. A total of 79 commercial crossbred ewe lambs (various crosses of Dorset, Suffolk, and Finn breeding) were delivered to the station on September 9. 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 are being mated to purebred rams, which have all been tested on the 2003 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. Two Suffolk and one Dorset ram are being utilized as service sires, with approximately the same number of ewes mated to each ram breed. Rams will be placed with the ewes from early 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. Bred ewe lambs will be sold Saturday, January 10, 2004 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg. Ewes will be sold in groups of 3-5 based on breed, service sire, and pregnancy status/due date. For more information, contact the Virginia Sheep Producers Association at 540-231-9163.

2003 Virginia Fall Bred Ewe Sale Results
The 2003 Virginia Sheep Producer's Association Fall Bred Ewe Sale was held Saturday, October 25 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg. All yearling and mature ewes were confirmed pregnant via ultrasound prior to the sale. Ewe lambs were offered as exposed or open. A total of 55 ewes sold for an average price of $341. Sale results by breed were as follows:

  Ewe Lambs Yearling Ewes Mature EwesAll
Dorset   4 $231 6 $242 10 $238
Finn 2 $200     2 $200
Katahdin   2 $200 6 $275 8 $250
Southdown 2 $250     2 $250
Suffolk   1 $500   1 $500
Wether Dams
2 $500
18 $354
1 $325
2 $563
4 $475
1 $250
1 $950
5 $310
2 $288
5 $615
27 $364
All Breeds 24 $345 14 $370 17 $312 55 $341

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