St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

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St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Ebenezer » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:41 am

St. Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

FRIDAY- JUNE 15, 2012

9 am Visit University of KY, Sheep Unit in Versailles, KY. Versailles is about a 45 minute drive from the reserved hotels. I can get directions for anyone not staying in Louisville, the night of June 14th, so they can meet us at UK. Dr Don Ely and staff will give us a tour, answer questions and he will give a few short lectures on any topic we wish. I have had a few requests, such as testing for Ram soundness and information a feet issues and nutritional discussion.

11:30 Visit Kay Cloyd's Kathadin Farm, Versailles, KY. Kay has been in the business many years and is a knowledgeable shepherd. She has a beautiful, small farm near the sheep unit.

12:30 Lunch in the area.

AFTERNOON-CHOICE OF 2 ACTIVITIES/OPTIONS-we may need to split into 2 groups, depending on what attendees wish to do. There is a chance we could do both, but it may present too long of a day for some people.

CHOICES: "bourbon and horses" are KY biggest industries, so I thought it would be nice for visitors to get an idea of what goes on in KY, as businesses.

1. Visit WOODFORD RESERVE DISTILLERY. They offer a free tour. I can arrange for a group guide, when I have a estimate of how many people would like to see a distillery. Woodford Reserve is Versailles. It will be an easy drive back to Louisville that afternoon.

2. Visit the University of KY Equine farm. It is also in this area. They bred thoroughbreds on this farm and do equine research. It is in "Horse Country", near the KY HORSE PARK and a scenic drive from UK's Sheep Unit. It will be a free tour by Frank Berry, who works for UK. He is also a sheep enthusiast, and is a wealth of information about sheep, even though he is now working with horses. Elizabeth Arden, perfume tycoon, donated this farm to the University of KY, many years ago.

Depending on the tour times at Woodford Reserve, we could do both events and still be heading back to Louisville before dinner. It is all interstate driving, so the commute is easy.

Evening: Possibly make reservations for a large group dinner somewhere near the hotel or people can do their own thing. There are numerous places to eat in the area, Outback, O'Charleys, Cheddars, Stoney River to name a few chains, but there are about 20+ places within 1-2 miles of the hotel.


9 am St Croix business meeting @ Hemmer Hill Farm and tour of the farm.

11:30 am Lunch and social time, at the barn. We have a covered area, in case of rain, where we can seat a large group (I have about 30+ chairs, but I can borrow more if necessary)
Planning on a "buffet catered lunch", that maybe we can share the cost. I am thinking, sandwiches, salads, cookies and canned drinks & water. I will have coffee & lemonade. We can firm details, when we get a better idea of number of attendees.

1 pm Drive to Bloomfield/Bardstown, KY to visit Matt & Kelli Morgan’s farm. They are a young couple who raised St Croix and cattle. They grass feed and are very nutritional conscious. They have a few hundred acres and do a good job with rotational grazing. Kelli is a MD and Matt is a DMD. Matt is very interested in genetics of sheep.

Open/Free time: Bardstown, KY is a historical little town in KY. It is the home of "My Old KY Home". There are many quaint antique shops, good restaurants, a cathedral, more distilleries and Bernheim Forrest. If people want to do "tourist" stuff, there is plenty to keep them busy.


I have rooms blocked at 2 hotels, within 5-6 miles of the farm.

1. Hilton Garden Inn @ $119/night. It is in a nice shopping area, walking distance stores and dining places.
2. Hampton Inn @ $82/night. A mile or so further from our house, but they have free breakfast.

Both are located on the interstate and easy to find.

We are looking forward to hosting the St Croix meeting.
Joyce & Gary Keibler

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Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Ebenezer » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:36 am

The Association's current newsletter is out with the meeting agenda. If you have interest in the meeting check the website for a copy of the newsletter and for any updates on the tour events. Educational sessions would be beneficial for any breed owner.

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Location: NE of Albany, NY & 1,000 ft from VT

Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby dhibbeln » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:16 am


what's the website?

and if anyone is going to it, contact me off-line.
I'm interested in getting a kentucky cured ham...<i'm thinking of country ham, pink-eyed gravy, buttermilk biscuts and strong coffee> ya, just can't get that stuff driving down the tarroads of rural NY.

dave h.
NE of Albany, NY & 1,543 ft from VT
Dall Hollow Farms
Texas Dalls & they're NOT goats!
home of the "stotting" lambs

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Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Ebenezer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:14 am

Hope this works.

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Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Ebenezer » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:57 pm

I will post the meeting agenda below and I hope that many of the members can make it for the tours and the meeting. The nomination process is open for members willing to be placed on the ballot and to serve, if elected, in a two year term as a director. If you are coming to the meeting, please ask the person before you come if they want to run. If you cannot attend, please send names to one of the officers or send them by a friend. I hope to see you there.

Agenda for the 2012 Annual Meeting of the St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc.
Location: Hemmer Hill Farm near Louisville, KY Date: June 16, 2012 Time: 9:00 AM until 11 AM

Call to Order: 9 AM

Welcome and Introductions

Report of Officers
• Secretary
• Treasurer

Old Business:
• None

Agenda Items
• Association status
• Director nomination process
• Registrar: registration process, payments, service
• Johnes Disease
• Breed Standard: size of color spots and scurs in rams
• Location/Time/Host of 2013 Annual Meeting
• Agenda items added from the floor
o ____________________________________
o ____________________________________
o ____________________________________
o ____________________________________
o ____________________________________
o ____________________________________

Adjournment: 11 AM

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Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Ebenezer » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:03 pm

We had a good two days in Kentucky and my hat is off to Gary and Joyce for setting up such an interested day and a half of tours and learning. On top of that, they hosted the annual meeting at their farm and it was like a vacation spot from the beauty of the setting, the home and barns, the delicious food and the sheep there all there on grass that is too good to be true! I took some notes of the tour at the UK sheep station and I hope that some of you might enjoy it through my piecemeal notes. I hope that the information is close to correct. Corrections are welcomed.

Friday, June 15, 2012
Uuiversity of Kentucky Sheep Farm

The tour was lead by Dr. Don Ely. Sheep unit consists of 110 acres and has 300 to 350 ewes. There are 39 pastures, the layout is “pie shaped” and the biggest pasture is 2.9 acres. Three breeds are there: Hampshire, Polypay and White Dorper. The UK farm unit provides needed feed at a charge and that includes corn silage (watch for mold with sheep due to listeria,) alfalfa haylage, alfalfa hay and orchardgrass hay. Only one original tree was on the sheep unit so shade was an issue. Planted a lot of cheap trees but used “hard trees” such as sugar maple to prevent problem with limb breakage. Trees are protected with round cow panels. Also use permanent and portable shade structures. Perimeter fencing is 9 strand electric with alternating H/G pattern. (I stepped off the post spacing at 15 to 16’) Permanent lanes were 16’ wide. Only one coyote ever got in and it was chased into a pond where it froze. 5 to 7 strands of fencing are probably OK. Interior cross fences are 5 to 7 strand and with trained sheep one to 3 strands are OK. (Later, Andrae’ told a story of recent ewes or lambs that learned to get out and were a problem all of the past spring moving between pastures.)

Three main functions of UK sheep unit: research, teaching (undergrads are urban and sheep do not kick) and extension (producers, Ewe Profits School (Joyce attended). Facilities are “fancy” and have to be: teaching and extension uses.

Worming of sheep at the unit is managed by 3 methods: Famacha, PCV and FEC. Two signs: anemia and edema (bottle jaw). It has to do with breeds, pastures and climate. Had a total resistance problem with dewormers a few years back and went to copper sulfate drench and now select for worm resistance in replacements.

Ewes in the barns: Spring lambers are in the barn 30 to 40 days. Fall lambers are in the barn from October through the first week of December. They have student housing at the unit to provide care of the sheep during lambing, etc.

White Dorpers were added in 2002 to have a hair breed in the program. (We later heard that they were added through a breeding-up program) and they are “like hogs” (I do not remember the context or know what it meant.). They were selected because of the meatiness. White Dorpers were picked over Black Headed Dorpers because they wanted a white breed. Hampshires are the blackface breed and Polypays were added in 1988.

Andrae’ __________, sheep unit manager, and Dr. __________________, presented a ram evaluation for breeding soundness with a 3 YO White Dorper ram that probably weighed 300 pounds. The Hampshire and Polypay rams were taller and probably weighed more that the Dorper. Use a breeding harness or do a BSE; the only ways to know if your ram is doing the job. Change colors every 14 to 15 days. The ram used for example could breed 60 to 70 ewes in the fall (cool weather) in 30 days. Put a yearling ram with 20 to 30 ewes. Put a ram lamb that is less than a year old with 15 ewes. Time of year is important with rams. A ram can be used for 30 day breeding for 3 times per year. 50 to 60 ewes typically are the maximum to put with an older ram. On a BSE use a veterinarian. An on farm ram check is not the same or as detailed as a BSE: check feet, check testicles. Manually be gentle but a “soft” feel is bad, small testicle(s) is bad, lumps and cysts are bad. Measure the circumference. Good feel is “firm”, no fluid, no thickness to skin. The epididymis should be big and feel different that testicles; stores the semen there. Remember that it takes 60 days to produce semen so you need to plan ahead on ram health and feed. Best ram harness is “cross your heart” made for Boer goats. One leg has to step in and you need to figure out how to get it on. Use colors from light to dark: orange, red, green, blue but some of the even lighter colors are hard to see.

A problem with their May breeding and it is hard to get fall lambs. They do not work these ewes too much to avoid losing lambs (embryos).

Inbreeding? Daughter to sire matings are OK with genetically superior rams. Do not get carried away. Concentration of genes is the problem. Selection is assumed to create “better” (did not define the term “better”) sheep in the newest generations. Gene pool to work with (White Dorper and maybe other breeds there?) is/was limited. They have to go back with the same rams. So they linebred some and then outcross for heterosis even within a breed. This ram is a little pudgy and in general a ram for breeding is better being a little thin that a little fat.

How they manage their ewe groups in the barn: 20 ewes per pen. The ewes have their lifetime number paint branded on their backs. Move ewe and new born lambs to jugs. They have heat. Jugging area: They have four sections of 16 jugs. The sheep are left there for 2 to 5 days for bonding, grafting, etc. Infrared heat is best: gets the floor warm. Then move back to same pen of 20 ewes.

Ewes in the barn had lambs weaned on Wednesday. Today is Friday. Grain was cut off a week before Wednesday. Lambs stay in the pasture and ewes moved to these pens. They turned off the water on Wednesday. The water tuned on today. Worst hay started to be fed today. If hot and humid they would not cut off the water. Wean lambs when youngest lamb is 45 days old but eating creep feed. This is an effort to quickly decrease milk production and potential udder problems.

Mastitis: “Bag” (manually check udders) ewes in 40 days after weaning. Handle to feel scar tissue or mastitis. Some ewes are marked to cull now by either a notch on the ear tag or a paint strip down the back for other reasons.

Hoof care: Get hooves “flat” on the bottom. A rocky farm is great for sheep hooves and hard to grow feed. Their white face sheep have more hoof trouble. Some bigger rock has been put in some pens to allow more wear on sheep hooves.

How to trim: Do not grab the hair or wool. Get in a small pen. Use the gates to help you sort. Grab the chin for control or grab the flank and lift but the flank catch is harder on your back. Work the sheep sideways across the pen is fine to move. To tip, bring the sheep against your leg, grab far flank, turn head back, you step back and sheep rolls to you. Do not set the sheep on the direct tailbone: straight-up. Shift to one hip of the other for sheep’s comfort.

They have no foot rot at UK sheep unit. Two types of bacteria cause foot rot. One type of bacteria to cause hoof scald. They have hoof scald during some years but don’t know why it comes and goes. It can be found between the hooves and if you squeeze the hoof the sheep pulls the hoof back. Starts off white but later turns red. It is cured with a footbath of 3 to 4 minutes.

Coughing of sheep at the KU unit: Probably linked to feed but it has been a problem when it causes prolapsed. The sheep did not act sick and they assumed that it was barn cough. Probably a virus but responded to Nuflor. They treated all Dorpers. They have it one time and then seem to be immune.

Pinkeye: A problem in some years. They let it happen and treat very few if possible.

New sheep: quarantine for 30 days or longer with new sheep coming on the farm.

Mixing rams after breeding: pack them together in a small pen for a few days. It is better to keep more than 2 rams in a group.

They vaccinate for sore mouth.

We stopped and looked at a group of ewes grazing a mix of alfalfa and orchardgrass. They are feeding an anti-bloat product since they lost two ewes to bloat after initial turn-in.

Last stop was an old tobacco barn with the current lamb crop (just weaned). The discussion of Dorper and Polypay crosses came up as the Dorper flock was developed by upgrading from Polypay ewes. Most Dorper lambs would be 63/64 Dorper or in that range. Which were the best ewes? The ½ Dorper and ½ Polypay ewes seemed to have been the best due to maximum hybrid vigor. If you offer lambs creep feed, how much total creep feed does the average lamb eat prior to weaning? One pound on the average for the UK lambs. But it teaches them to eat early and they wean easier. Feed is 14% protein with ground corn, soybean meal, ammonium chloride, complete minerals and ____ (best of my memory and notes). Observation: Lambs were fairly uniform but there was the typical spread of looks, muscling and sizes.

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Re: St Croix Hair Sheep Breeders, Inc. Annual Meeting

Postby Lawman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:24 am

Thanks Eddie,

Had a great time and even managed to learn a few things..I appreciate the effort of all those who made it possible and especially the staff of The University of Kentucky and their willingness to give such a good tour of a very impressive facility...Kentucky is beautiful! Looking forward to next year!
Billy Hearnsberger
Joaquin, Texas

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