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Sheep Update

Livestock Update, November 2007

Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Sheep Specialist, VA Tech


Virginia Tech to Host VA-NC Shepherd’s Symposium January 12, 2008

The annual Virginia-North Carolina Shepherd’s Symposium will be held Saturday, January 12, 2008 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.  The one-day program will include educational and hands-on workshop sessions with a variety of production, management, and marketing topics.  A lamb lunch will be included.  The evening prior, open meetings of the Virginia Sheep Producers Association and the Virginia Sheep Industry Council will be conducted.  Program details and registration materials will be available in mid-November.  For more information, contact Scott Greiner at 540-231-9163.

Virginia Bred Commercial Ewe Lamb Program Sale January 12, 2008

The Virginia commercial ewe lamb development and marketing program is conducted 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, located at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern.  A total of 80 commercial ewe lambs (born January through April, 2007) were delivered to the station on September 11.  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.  Breed composition of the ewe lambs includes 18 head of Katahdin, 6 St. Croix crossbreds, 23 Suffolk or Suffolk-Hampshire, 11 Suffolk x whiteface, 15 Dorset and 5 Finnsheep and Finn crosses.  Ewes are being mated to registered rams, which have all been evaluated on the 2007 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test.  One Suffolk, one Dorset, and one Katahdin ram are being utilized as service sires.  Ewes will be exposed from early October through mid-December.  Breeding dates will be recorded on all ewes, and pregnancy status will be determined in late December via ultrasound.  Ewes will be sold in conjunction with the annual VA-NC Shepherd’s Symposium on Saturday, January 12, 2008 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.  Bred ewes will be sold in groups of 2-5 head, based on genetics and expected lambing date.  For more information, contact Scott Greiner at 540-231-9163.

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