Intro to small ruminant enterprisesPresentation Transcript
An introduction to small ruminant enterprise$ SUSAN SCHOENIANSheep & Goat SpecialistWestern Maryland Research & Education Centersschoen@umd.edu – www.sheepandgoat.com
Introduction Sheep and goat enterprises What you need to raise sheep/goats Breed resources Getting started Economics Presentation topics
Monogastric Simple stomach Pigs and poultry (and people) Ruminant Cud-chewing 4 compartment stomach.- Cows, sheep, and goats Pseudo-ruminant (3 compartment stomach)- Alpacas and llamas Hind-gut fermenter Fermentation occurs in the caecum and/or large intestine Horses and rabbits Classification of farm livestockBy their digestive systems
Economic Profit Tax advantages Lifestyle Self-sufficiency produce own food, fiber Landscape management Why raise sheep and/or goats?
Less acreage required Less investment Ease of handling Multi-purpose Reproductive efficiency Grazing behavior Niche demand for products Complement other farm enterprises Pros and cons: PROS
Small industry. Lack of infrastructure. Lack of mainstream demand for products. Fencing requirements. Labor requirements. Predator risk. Pros and cons: CONS
Similar production practices and inputs. Same diseases. Similar niche and ethnic demand for products. Similar constraints to production: the 3 P’s. Prices Predators Parasites Sheep vs. goatsMore similarities than differences
Differences SHEEP GOATS Grazer Prefer forbs Graze close to ground Grow faster Produce better milk More genetic diversity Strong flocking instinct and group mentality Traditional enterprise Browser Prefer shrubs Top-down grazer Grow slow Produce more milk Less genetic diversity Curious and independent New and growing industry
Meat Dairy Fiber Landscape management Agri-tourism Sheep and goat enterprises
Primary income is from the sale of live animals for meat and/or the sale of meat. Most popular sheep and goat enterprise. There is a demand for many different kinds of lambs and goats. Marketing infrastructure is already in place. Meat production
Dairy production Primary income is from the sale of milk, cheese, and/or other dairy products. In most states, operation must be certified grade A or B to sell food products. Usually requires own product development and marketing.
Fiber sales comprise a significant portion of the income from the enterprise. Wool Mohair Cashmere Alpaca Must direct market to make a profit. Fiber production
Land improvement on your own farm. Fee-based grazing“Turn-key” operation Animals Transportation Fencing Care Greatest economic potential ! ? Landscape management
Agri-tourism : trophy hunting Sell stock for trophy hunting or operate your own hunting reserve. Usually hair sheep rams.
Feed Fencing Housing and shelter Feeders Watering system Labor What do you need to raise sheep and goats?
Pasture and browse Hay Grain Alternative feedstuffs Feed resourceThe largest cost associated with raising livestock is feed.
Purpose To keep livestock contained To keep predators out To control grazing and manage livestock Three kinds Perimeter or boundary Interior or cross Heavy use areas Fencing Possible cost share from NRCS (EQUIP program) for rotational grazing.
Multi-strand, high-tensile, electric. Woven wire with extra barbed and electric offset wires. Barbed wire Adapt existing fences. Perimeter fencingYour first line of defense against predators.
Permanent Semi-permanent Temporary, electric Smooth wire Polywire, tape, or rope Electric netting Interior fencingFor rotational grazing and animal management.
Outdoor lots Holding areas Working corrals Net wire Metal gates Solid panels Livestock panels Non-electric Heavy use areas
Purpose Animal management Isolation area Feed storage Equipment storage Human comfort Needs vary by Climate Production system Timing of lambing and kidding Availability of natural shelter. Personal preference Housing and shelter
Do grazing animals require shelter? Maybe not, but if they have access to it, they will usually use it. They “appreciate” protection from bad weather.
FeedersFor supplemental feeding
Ample feed storage protects your investment in feed and allows you to make bulk purchases. Annual hay requirements ¼ to ⅓ ton per animal Hay storage 180 to 240 ft3 per ton Uncovered hay deteriorates rapidly in quality. StorageFeed and equipment
Water Hand Buckets Troughs Tanks Tubs Automatic waterers Possible cost share from NRCS (EQUIP program) for pasture watering systems.
Daily care of animals Twice daily milking Annual shearing Pasture management Lambing and kidding Parasite control Hoof trimming Labor
Purposemeat, milk, or wool Usesire or dam Wool or coat typefine, medium, long, carpet, or hair (shedding) Othertail, prolificy, minor, rare, heritage Sheep breeds (~50 in U.S.)
Classification of U.S. sheep breeds
Grow wool with the smallest fiber diameter. Their wool is the most valuable in the commodity wool market. They are best adapted to hot, dry climates. They are hardy and long-lived, gregarious, and less seasonal in their breeding habits. 50 percent of the world’s sheep population are fine wool based. Fine wool Rambouillet, Delaine Merino, Debouillet, Booroola Merino, American Cormo Rambouillet Merino
Medium wool dual-purposeColumbia, Corriedale, East Friesian, Finnsheep, Panama, Polypay, Targhee Crosses between fine and medium wool. Whiteface sheep raised for meat, but have better quality wool than the medium meat-type wool breeds. A few specialty breeds East Friesian – dairy Finnsheep – prolific Polypay – 4 way cross East Friesian Columbia Finnsheep Polypay
Grow wool that is intermediate in fiber diameter and staple length. Excel in meat production (growth and carcass). Mostly of British origin. Most popular : Suffolk, Dorset, Hampshire, and Southdown. Comprise 15 percent of the world’s sheep population. Medium wool (meat)Cheviot, Dorset (polled and horned) North Country Cheviot, Hampshire,Oxford, Shropshire, Southdown, Suffolk, Texel, Tunis Suffolk Polled Dorset
Long woolBorder Leicester, Coopworth, Cotswold, Lincoln, Perendale, Romney, Wensleydale Romney Grow wool that has the largest fiber diameter, staple length, and yield. Their wool is popular among hand spinners. Best-adapted to high rainfall areas with abundant forage. Lincoln Romney
Their bodies are covered by hair or a mixture of hair and wool that is naturally shed. Do not require shearing or tail docking. Possess some unique characteristics: Caribbean-typeResistant to parasites (worms) Romanov - very prolific 10 percent of the world’s sheep population. Growing in popularity in the U.S. and other western countries. Katahdin and Dorper most popular. Hair (or shedding) sheepAmerican Blackbelly, Barbados Blackbelly, California Red, Dorper, Katahdin, Romanov, Royal White, St. Croix Katahdin Romanov
Minor breedsBlack Welsh Mountain, Blueface Leicester, California Varietated Mutant, Clun Forest, Gulf Coast, Icelandic, Jacob, Karakaul, Navajo-Churro, Scottish Blackface, Shetland, Wiltshire Horn Blueface Leicester Vary in the type and quantify of wool they produce. Vary in characteristics. Possess some unique characteristics Double-coated Carpet wool Four horns Rat tails Solid black color Persian lamb skin Many are heritage breeds. Karakul
Classify according to purpose . . . Dairy Meat Fiber Miniature (small) Goat breeds (~20 in U.S.) Boer
ADGA recognized Swiss Saanen Alpine Toggenburg Oberhasli Nubian La Mancha Nigerian Dwarf Other Sable (colored Saanens) Golden Guernsey Mini dairy goats Dairy goat breeds Saanen Alpine Toggenburg Oberhasli Nubian La Mancha
Angora CashmereMore of a fiber type than a breed PygoraPygma x Angora CashgoraCashmere x Angora Fiber goat breeds Angora Cashmere Cashgora Pygora
Pygmy (meat) Nigerian Dwarf (dairy) KinderPygmy x Nubian Mini SilkyMyotonic x Nigerian Dwarf ? Mini dairy goats Nigerian Dwarf x standard dairy Mini goat breeds Pygmy Nigerian Dwarf
There is a great deal of variation among sheep breeds; less among goat breeds, especially meat. There are no “perfect” breeds. All breeds have strengths and weaknesses. There is usually as much difference within a breed as between breeds. Sheep and goat breeds Saanen
Mating animals from different breeds or breed types. Maximizes performance and profitability Hybrid vigorCrossbred offspring are superior to their purebred parents Breed complementarityUse breeds in their appropriate roles Crossbreeding Systematic, not random Boer x Kiko x Alpine
If you want to show breeding stock If you want to sell purebred and/or registered breeding stock To produce a specific type of fiber. To produce a consistent type and quality of fiber. To preserve a rare or heritage breed. When to raise purebreds Southdown
Get pastures and facilities ready before buying your first sheep or goats. Start small and gradually increase size of herd. Start with healthy animals. Ewe lambs/doelings vs. mature females. Spend more money on ram and buck. Getting started
Reputable breeders Dispersal sales Performance and production sales Consignment sales Local salebarn Free Sources of breeding stock
Web-based directories www.sheepgoatmarketing.info Breed associationshttp://www.sheepandgoat.com/goatbreedassoc.htmlhttp://www.sheepandgoat.com/sheepbreedassoc.html West Virginia Shepherd’s Federation http://www.sheepwv.org/ MPWV Meat Goat Producers Associationhttp://www.meatgoat.biz West Virginia Market Bulletinhttp://www.wvagriculture.org/market_bulletin/market_bulletin.html Virginia sheep and goat clearinghouse listshttp://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/livestock/ Lancaster Farminghttp://lancasterfarming.com Where to find breeding stock
EconomicsCan you make any money raising sheep and/or goats? Yes or No
Business planning Enterprise budgeting File a schedule F Record keeping Make decisions based on science and economics. Control costs Production efficiency Smart marketing How to make a profit
Know your costs! Feed least-cost rations. Shop around for feed ingredients. Balance your own rations. Maximize forage resource. Do you own vet work. Cull non-productive and problematic animals. Control costs
Feed balanced rations. Aim for a 200% (or more) lamb/kid crop. Select for lbs. of quality lamb or goat weaned. Cull animals that fail to raise a lamb or kid. Manage to breed ewe lambs and doe kids to lamb or kid by the time they are 12 to 15 months of age. Use performance tested rams and bucks. Production efficiency (meat)
Aim for the highest “net” price, not necessarily the highest price. Evaluate direct marketing as a means to increase profitability. Consider marketing alliances with other like-minded producers and/or entities. Choose one or two target markets. Don’t let higher market prices compensate for poor production efficiency. Smart marketing