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Sheep Update

Livestock Update, December 2005

Dr. Scott P. Greiner Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

2005 Virginia Fall Bred Ewe Sale Results
The 2005 Virginia Sheep Producer's Association Fall Bred Ewe Sale was held Saturday, October 29 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 44 ewes sold for an average price of $291. Sale results by breed and age were as follows:

  Ewe Lambs Yearling Ewes Mature Ewes All
Cheviot 2 $225 2 $225
Hampshire 1 $535 1 $535
Southdown 2 $258 2 $258
Suffolk 6 $367 3 $547 9 $427
Crossbred 25 $317 6 $455 2 $388 33 $347
All Breeds 35 $317 10 $491 2 $388 47 $357

6th Annual Virginia Commercial Bred Ewe Lamb Sale January 7, 2006
The Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program will be held Saturday, January 7, 2006 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The commercial ewe lamb program was initiated to provide a source of quality replacement ewes with documented health, management, and genetics for Virginia 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 Agriculture Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern. A total of 95 commercial ewe lambs were delivered to the station on September 12. Breeds represented include Dorset, Suffolk, Katahdin, Finn and Texel. 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 evaluated through the 2005 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. Two Suffolk, one Dorset, and one Katahdin 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. Ewes will be sold in groups of 2-5 based on breed, service sire, and pregnancy status/due date. For more information, contact the Virginia Sheep Producers Association at 540-231-9163.

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