Two Sheep 2011 Studies Released
May 2, 2014

The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) posted the third and fourth reports from the Sheep 2011 study: Part III: Health and Management Practices on U.S. Sheep Operations, 2011, and Part IV: Changes in Health and Production Practices in the U.S. Sheep Industry, 1996-2011. The Sheep 2011 study was conducted in 22 of the nation's major sheep-producing states, covering 70.1 percent of U.S. farms with ewes and 85.5 percent of the U.S. ewe inventory.

Some highlights from Part III:
  • Small and medium operations had a higher expected lambing rate (1.53 and 1.47, respectively) than large operations (1.23).
  • Nearly all operations (92 percent) had a U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-assigned flock identification number.
  • Overall, producers on 84.8 percent of operations were either very or somewhat familiar with scrapie. Of these, about half (47.3 percent) implemented genetic selection for scrapie control, and of these almost all (98.8 percent) used replacement rams genetically less susceptible (RR alleles) to scrapie.
Highlights from Part IV:
  • In 1996, only 1 percent of U.S. sheep operations owned hair sheep, compared with 4.6 percent in 2001 and 21.7 percent in 2011.
  • Ownership of sheep primarily for meat production increased from 60.7 percent of operations in 2001 to 81.6 percent in 2011.
The reports are available at www.aphis.usda.gov/nahms.