Feedstuffs Slide Show

Ever wander what type of hay to feed and what other feedstuffs you can use to supplement the forage you have?

This Slide Show by Jeff Semler of University of Maryland small ruminant program gives a general over view of commonly available feedstuffs for your sheep, goats and cattle. Click on the Link below to access the slide presentation.

                                                            Feedstuffs

Prolapse in the EWE

Genetics appears sometimes involved as some breeds can be more susceptible, and also some individual breeding lines can seem at particular risk.

by Suzanna Bell, Veterinary Investigation Officer, AHVLA Aberystwyth

Vaginal prolapses can occur in ewes up to 55 days before lambing, but more commonly in the last four weeks of pregnancy, or shortly after lambing. An incidence of one per cent in flocks is common with some flocks experiencing rates of more than two per cent.

Vaginal prolapses increase the risk of ewe death but can also result in abortion/stillbirths, difficulty with lambing (dystocia) and new-born lamb deaths. The timing of cases seems to coincide with the relaxation and softening of the soft tissues and bones of the birth canal, initiated by hormone changes during late pregnancy.

Genetics appears sometimes involved as some breeds can be more susceptible, and also some individual breeding lines can seem at particular risk.

Suspected factors that could increase the risk of vaginal prolapse in ewes:

1.Fat deposits in the birth canal further slackening the soft tissues: both genetics and over-feeding could influence.

2.Hormone imbalance: thought to be genetically influenced in some cases. Mouldy feed might in some cases affect the hormone balance due to the presence of toxins that are similar in action to hormones.

3.Possibly hypocalcaemia (low calcium): although many cases have normal calcium levels.

4.A short docked tail: this may weaken the muscles/ligaments attaching to the tail bones.

5.Lambing difficulties in the previous pregnancy.

Previous vaginal prolapse: 40 per cent of ewes will prolapse again in subsequent pregnancies.

Increased abdominal pressure is also believed to be a major causal factor in combination with one or some of the above factors:

1.Large pregnant uterus (womb): multiple foetuses within the uterus is associated with a much increased risk, suggested as a five times increased risk for twins and even up to eleven/twelve times the risk for triplet bearing ewes.

2.Large amounts of intra-abdominal fat: over-conditioned, over fed ewes. Particularly if the condition score is greater than four.

3.Rumen distension: from feeding bulky feeds, an excess of dietary fibre or gas build up secondary to acidosis/grain over-load.

Other suggested predisposing factors in some flocks include:Lack of exercise: prolapses occur more commonly in housed than outdoor flocks, longer periods lying down may also influence.

Poor body condition: condition score of less than 2.

Lying on steep slopes: sheep tend to lie with the head uphill and gravity may encourage a prolapse in some cases.

Develop a plan with your veterinary surgeon to reduce the risk of vaginal prolapse to the minimum.

Finnsheep for the Farmstead

– Finnsheep mature earlier than most other breeds

– Finnsheep ewes naturally cycle out of season

– Finnsheep ewes naturally produce larger litters (2-3/litter) than competitive breeds

without flushing for increased ovulation rates.

– Quality Finnsheep possess better wool traits than other breeds known for high

reproductive abilities allowing farmers to shear a premium, saleable wool clip.

– The single coated Finnsheep fleece possesses better crimp, luster and handle than all

other short-tailed breeds, allowing a much more diverse use of the wool by a larger

variety of markets.

– The docile, friendly temperament of the Finnsheep makes them one of the easiest

sheep breeds to safely work with (children, adults and seniors).

– The Finnsheep is a polled breed, providing additional safety for handlers, preventing

the sheep from getting their horns stuck in fencing and eliminating the risk of

infections or infestations of the horn.

– The naturally short tails of the Finnsheep require no docking

– The Finnsheep crosses well with most other breeds, improving wool, temperament

and production traits in the cross-bred flock

– Scrapie resistant genetics are available within the Finnsheep breed.

– Finnsheep ewes possess excellent mothering abilities

– Finnsheep ewes receiving proper nutrition produce an abundant supply of milk for

typical Finnsheep litters (2-3 lambs/litter).

– Finnsheep meats are leaner as Finnsheep deposit fat around their organs, not

throughout their muscle tissue, providing a healthier meat for the consumer.

Lambing Tipi

We have these in our lambing jugs during January and February lambing:

Even on the coldest night it can be up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in these with two or three lambs snuggled up tight.

Materials List

*I sheet of 3/8 or ½ inch plywood

* 4 8 foot long 2×2

*75 1 ½ inch deck screws

* 2 lightweight 1 ½ inch hinges with screws

* 10 3 to 4 inch deck screws

Assembly

Always remember to put the screws in from the plywood side through to the 2×2 framing.

1. Measure the long sides of the two triangles and cut 4 pieces of 2×2 to fit that length. Screw the 2×2 in place flush with the edges of the plywood pieces.

2. Measure the length between these 2x2s along the bottom and top edge of the plywood. Cut 2×2 to fit those spaces and screw into place.

3. Place the “front sections” on the floor right side up and attach the access door at the center seam with the two hinges.

4. Hold the solid back section and the two sides sections up in place and measure the distance between the framing at the top and again at the bottom. Cut 2 pieces of 2×2 to fit each space. Center one piece that you just cut at the top and another at the bottom back and secure the extra set to your front section.

5. Secure the “Back” wall to the side walls by screwing plywood to the framing of the side walls. At this point you have a 32 sided structure. Place the front section in place and screw to the framing as you did the back. Take one long deck screw and screw into the framing at top and bottom at each joint. Your Lamb Tipi is complete.

6. You can place a safety heat lamb on the top of the tipi to provide extra warmth on those cold winters, early spring nights.  

Solace Farmer

I am blessed to be a farmer and a shepherdess who shares my life with three generations here in the Pacific Northwest.  My days are filled with caring for my family, land and animals. Over the years I have been mentored by many knowledgeable and creative individuals and feel it is only right that I share the wisdom and skills that my life has grown around. 

My goal is to pass along my experiences in the hopes of brightening your day, encouraging your creativity, and possibly saving the lost arts of living a self-sufficient life in harmony with our world. 

I will cover many topics including Farming, Cooking, Gardening and the Fiber Arts to name a just a few. 

The products of our farm will be listed in our Farm Store and I hope to eventually to be able to put together some tutorials. 

Thank you for stopping by and spending a moment or two with me.

Welcome to Solace Farm

We raise Finnish Landrace Sheep (Finnsheep), Border Leicester Sheep, Boer Goats, Hereford cross cattle, and Duroc/Hampshire Pigs.  Our Animals are part of our everyday life as well as our livelyhood. We are located in the Pacific Northwest at the edge of the ponderosa forest just west of the Rocky Mountains near Spokane, WA.

 Our farm is based on the concept of holistic farming and permaculture.  We raise and feed all our animals organic hays and grains grown by ourselves and other small family farms in our community.

This farm produces Fiber for spinning, felting and weaving.  We also sell handspun yarns and do custom spinning for your projects as well as create artisan made items from our hands to your home.

We are a family committed to the agricultural concept of the FAMILY FARM being the best way to produce the products our society needs while being careful stewards of our environment and good caretakers of the animals entrusted to our care.

We breed and sell quality seed stock from our farm with special discounts for 4H and FFA members.  Please email with any questions about animals available for purchase or if you experience any difficulty with this site.

Associations we are members of:

American Border Leicester Association

Finnsheep Breeders of America

American Boer Goat Association

The Livestock Conservency

Washington Farm Bureau

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