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Sheep and Goats. Sheep & Goat Overview. • Both originated in Europe and the cooler regions on Asia. • Both are important ruminants in temperate and tropical agriculture. • Provide fibers, milk, meat, and hides. • Versatile and efficient, especially for developing countries.

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sheep goat overview
Sheep & Goat Overview

• Both originated in Europe and the cooler regions on Asia.

• Both are important ruminants in temperate and tropical agriculture.

• Provide fibers, milk, meat, and hides.

• Versatile and efficient, especially for

developing countries.

• Sheep – numbers have declined in the

U.S. (less than 0.2% of total farm revenue in U.S.)

ovis aries sheep
Ovis aries: Sheep

• New Zealand, Australia, and Saudi Arabia - highest per capita consumption of lamb, and goat meat.

• U.S. consumes < 1 lb./person of lamb (boneless wt. basis).

• China, Australia, India, Iran and Sudan – leading sheep producing countries.

Suffolk

sheep and goats4
Sheep – Ovis aries

Tail down

Grazers close to soil (short tender grasses and clovers)

Distant and aloof

Distinct philtrum

Curved horns

Goats – Carpa Hircus

Tail up (unless sick)

Natural browsers on top of plants (twigs, vine, shrubs)

Curious and independent

Distinct odor as they mature

Straight horns

Sheep and Goats
grazing
Grazing

Cattle, sheep, & goats are often grazed together because they utilize different plants

– Goats graze browse (tender

twigs & leaves from brush &

trees) and some forbs

(broad-leafed plants)

– Sheep graze short grasses

and some forbs

– Cattle graze tall grasses and

some forbs

  • Dorset

Cheviot

u s sheep industry
U. S. Sheep Industry

• 56 mil. in 1942; ~ 6 mil. in 2004

• U. S. relies on imports to supply limited demand for lamb.

• Most U. S. sheep growers have small flocks (50 or fewer) and raise sheep as a secondary enterprise.

• About 23% of sheep born in western U.S. are lost before they are marketed (predators and weather are main problems).

reasons for decline in sheep industry
Reasons for Decline in SheepIndustry

• Less demand for wool.

• Declining demand for lamb in consumer

diets.

• Increased difficulty in obtaining/keeping

reliable herders to manage flocks.

• Increased competition for public-owned

rangeland.

• Predators.

attributes of sheep ewe milk
Attributes of Sheep (Ewe) Milk
  • Sheep milk is highly

nutritious, more than cow milk. Vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium

  • Sheep milk: $ almost four times the price of cow milk
  • Specialized dairy breeds: 400-1,100 lbs milk/ lactation.
  • Ewes are milked once or twice per day.
sheep cheese
Sheep Cheese
  • Most of the sheep milk produced in the world is made into cheese.
    • Feta (Greece, Italy, and France), Ricotta and Pecorino Romano (Italy) and Roquefort (France)
  • The U.S. annually imports

75 million pounds of cheese made from sheep

milk.

  • Fresh sheep milk is rarely consumed
sheep breeds
Sheep Breeds

• Meat Breeds or Medium wool

– Mainly used for meat production

– Are predominant in the U.S.

– Include Dorset, Suffolk, and

Hampshire

• Fine Wool Breeds

– Highest quality Merino from Spain and Rambouillet from France, predominant breed in Australia is the Merino

• Long wool

• Hair breeds

sheep reproduction
Sheep Reproduction

• Breeding season occurs mainly in the fall.

• Estrous cycle: 16 to 17 days

• Gestation length = ~147 days (varies).

• Recommended breeding age: 1 yr.

• Multiple births are highly desirable (twinning).

• Weaned at ~ 3 to 4 months

• Other important economic traits include growth rate, wool production, and carcass merit (quality grade and yield grade).

jaw defects are highly heritable
Jaw Defects are Highly Heritable

Brachygnathism: parrot mouth

sheep management
*Sheep Management*
  • Clostridium diseases (vaccines)
    • Enterotoxemia (Type D) (Overeating Disease/ pulpy kidney disease) - Clostridium perfringins type D
      • Vaccine: Type CD - T toxoid: vaccinate ewes 1 month before lambing and 6, 10 wks lambs
    • Hemorrhagic enteritis, bloody scours - Clostridium perfringins type C
    • Tetanus - Clostridium tetani: vaccinate ewes 1 month before lambing/ tx with antitoxin during castration and tail docking
  • • Scours (E. coli) – ‘watery mouth’ in 2-4 day old lamb (Hygiene)
    • Prevention: Lambing barn sanitation and creating a clean, dry environment for newborn lambs
  • • Footrot – Bacteroides nodosus (animal's hoof); and Fusobacterium necrophorum (normal inhabitant of soil manure)
    • hoof trimming, vaccination, foot bathing and soaking. Zinc sulfate is considered to be the most effective foot rot treatment. Footrot is highly contagious.
  • • Soremouth (lambs) – contagious ecthyma, scabby mouth, pustular dermatitis, orf (most common skin disease in sheep and goats), zoonotic
    • Pox virus, vaccine (previously exposed herd)
  • • Parasites
sheep management14
*Sheep Management*
  • Management. Practices:
    • Feeding
      • Extra feed before lambing: 0.5-1.0 lb (per fetus) grain/day
      • Creep feeding: introduce young lambs to solids
    • – Tail docking, castration of males
    • Elastrator (pg 493): 3 -7 days old
goats capra hircus
GoatsCapra hircus

Toggenburg)

• Concentrated

primarily in India, and

China (other contributing

countries include Pakistan,

Sudan, and Bangladesh).

• Texas ranks 2nd

in the U.S. for total

number of goats.

goat milk
Goat milk

• Goat milk is also

used to feed many

other animals (most mammals

including wild animals) usually

they are bottle feed.

• Goats will fairly easily adopt

lambs and a goat will even jump

up on bale of hay to allow a foal

to nurse.

importance of goat industry
Importance of Goat Industry

• Most are found in developing countries

• Supply meat and milk

• Major by-product – skins

• Almost all of the dairy

goats in the U.S. are found

in small herds

goat reproduction characteristics
Goat Reproduction Characteristics

• Gestation Length – 150 days

• Estrous cycle – 17 to 21 days

• Age at puberty – 120 days to over 1 yr.

• Breeding age ~ 9 months

• Breeding season – late summer, early fall, or winter

• Adult size:

– 130 lb avg. for Does

– 160 lb avg. for Bucks

meat goats
Meat Goats

• Origin: South Africa, Middle East, and

Australia.

• Boer goat: superior growth rate and lean

meat yield.

• Ethnic consumer market has the highest

demand for goat meat

goats
Goats

• Meat Breeds: BoerGoat

– White with brown head from

South Africa

• Milk breeds: Nubian,

Toggenburg, Saanen,

Oberhasli, Lamanche,

Alpine

– Heavy milk producers per

body size vs. cattle

production per body size

• Hair breeds for Mohair

(Angora) and Cashmere