Around the States

Around the States

Ohio

Four Sessions REmain in Sheep & Goat School

The Southeast Ohio Sheep & Goat School at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Caldwell, Ohio, has four (of six) sessions remaining for sheep producers looking to learn more about the industry, sheep health and more.

More than a dozen students met at the research station on the evening of March 8 to discuss calendar-based management, identifying and keeping a market, and lambing and kidding. The first session touched on lambing issues and offered students the opportunity to challenge themselves with four different lambing situations that they might be faced with at their own operations.

For some, the school is a chance to learn from scratch, while others are using is simply as a refresher course after years as sheep producers.

Upcoming sessions include:

• May 10: Safe Systems, including predator prevention, parasites, pathogens and wool care.

• July 13: FAMACHA, Facilities and Forages, including FAMACHA training, handling facilities, water systems and fencing, hay testing and forage options.

• Sept. 6: Reproduction, including synchronization, artificial insemination, semen testing and pregnancy checking.

Participants can sign up for each session individually, allowing them to pick and choose the topics that might be of interest for their operation. To learn more, visit Noble.OSU.edu or email Christine Gelley at gelley.2@osu.edu.

Florida

Valais Blacknose Introduced in U.S.

The Valais Blacknose Sheep Association of North America announces the successful launch of a “breed up program” for introducing the breed to North America. The first generation of lambs are being born in 2018.

For centuries the Valais Blacknose sheep were found only in Switzerland on the remote snow-covered peaks of Valais. Although the sheep are believed to have existed since the 15th century, it became a breed recognized by the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association in the mid 1960’s because of it’s unique markings. Considered a rare breed in Switzerland – numbering less than 14,000 sheep – several hundred were exported to the United Kingdom in 2014. Accustomed to a harsh mountain climate, these sheep have adapted easily to a variety of climates across Europe.

The Valais Blacknose signature markings include a black face and ears, long fluffy white fast-growing fleece that covers their faces, legs and bodies, black spotting on knees and hocks and horizontally spiraled horns in both sexes. The wool is considered ideal for carpets, bedding and felting. Valais Blacknose sheep are a naturally docile, friendly and inquisitive breed of sheep, making them the perfect pet. They love a cuddle and are easily trained to lead. Their unique appearance, lovely nature, together with their rarity, makes them quite an attractive new sheep for United States breeders.

The first Valaise Blacknose frozen semen was imported to the U.S. in 2017. The Blacknose Sheep Association North America was formed in 2017 under the auspices of the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society UK to support the introduction of the breed to the United States. Frozen semen from Highland Valais Blacknose Sheep farm is available through the Teton Valais Sheep Company. For more information, contact the Teton Blacknose Sheep Company at info@tetonvalais.com, TetonValais.com or 561-309-1402.

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