Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

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Janet McNally
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Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Janet McNally » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:36 pm

I am looking for photos of some fabulous pasture reared lambs to use in my next Graze http://www.grazeonline.com/ article where I will respond to Dr. Kennedy's comment under 'straight talk' in the Pipestone Newsletter http://www.pipevet.com/userfiles/file/n ... 202011.pdf where he said "unless you
are in a semi arid or dry region, lambs on grass generally don’t work. If the worms
don’t get them, coccidia generally will. Our grass here in the Midwest and in the
heavier rainfall areas just doesn’t work without extremely good management
and I question the risk reward value."

I would like these to be lambs that came from the more humid areas of the US, i.e. not desert climate. these should be lambs that are entirely or nearly entirely pasture raised, and should show good healthy lambs with reasonably clean back ends. I will use the best 4 to 6 photos and will give credit (please be sure to include your name, location, breed or cross shown in the photo. you can post those photos here, but I will need a high quality copy emailed to me at: tamaracksheep@hotmail.com . I welcome any comments as to the reason you believe you have been successful with your lambs on pasture or any comments I can quote that you might think are suitable for the article.

I will also address the 'no mineral' comment in the same article.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation for those who help out with this endeavor.

Photos are needed by friday.

Janet
Janet McNally
Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses
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Muleflock
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Muleflock » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:40 pm

AH well, it takes a thief to know a thief and it's not much different when it comes to intestinal parasites and you're a grazer raising market lambs.

Tunnel vision is not good for this industry.
Mark

Terminal Texel ram with commercial Mule ewes
Image

Lambs with ewes at 12 weeks
Image

Image

Weaned lambs at 5 months
Image

5 month carcase. Forage only dam and lambs in West Michigan.
Image

Janet McNally
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Janet McNally » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:51 pm

oooooh I am drooling over those carcasses! tell me about them...breed cross how were they raised....
Janet McNally

Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses

Minnesota

Island Shepherd
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:15 am

Sorry Janet it's hard to type when you are laughing this hard.

We have an average annual rainfall of 48", fog most of the summer, and 70" or more of snow. Is that wet enough for the good doctor? Coastal Maine is rated second only to the Pacific Northwest in precipitation in the US. As you know we have continuously raised sheep here for many generations going back before statehood. I have already talked about overcoming parasites on another thread recently so no need to go through that all again. That is on the mainland where more management can be done. On many of the islands the ewes are gathered twice a year only: 1. shearing and lamb processing in the spring. Lambs get one drench if ness. 2. bring in the fat lambs in the fall. That's it, no "extremely good management". We have no worm problems and have never had coccidiosis, but then again we have never fed any grain. As I have also said before it freaks out many Americans because we do not dock tails because there is no need, they stay clean.

Dr. Mule has shown it all with his pics. On the mainland I could just say ditto except for a more brockle face on the Brit Suff sired lambs. On the islands we get the nice blocky carcasses that are the prime target weight for our markets I have also talked enough about that in the past. I bet that Jeff Rogers in WA will have something to say about this also. We have seen his beautiful lambs and lush grass on here. So there's the wet NEast, Upper Mid, GLKS, and PNWest all represented.

As to: "I question the risk reward value."...No comment... $$$$ 8) $$$$... I appreciate the services that Pipestone has provided over the years but, I'm sorry he is daft on this one.

ID

Lana Rowley
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Lana Rowley » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:23 am

Mark, absolutely beautiful carcasses...wow.
Lana Mockler Rowley
10-7 Ranch
Oregon

Tom Nichols
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Tom Nichols » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:48 pm

Janet,
It would be nice if Dr. Kennedy qualified his statements a little more but I don't think I'd get to worked up about them.

One of the things I like about Graze is the positive aspect of its writers. An article on how producers are using "extremely good management" to raise lambs on grass would be much better than a down and dirty mud slinging.

His similar comments caught my eye last spring and at the time I thought he was way off the mark. But after having visited the Pipestone area last summer I can understand and appreciate his comments. With very little grazing land available in that area and a multitude of crop residues and grain-by-products locally available it makes little sense to subject lambs to a heavy worm burden when ewes could use the limited grazing resource with little to no problem.

Just yesterday, I reread your archived article, Stop Farming Your Ranch", it seems like this topic ties right into that one.

As always, I'll look forward to the article.
Tom
Tom Nichols
Lebanon, Oregon

Island Shepherd
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:13 pm

Tom Nichols wrote:With very little grazing land available in that area and a multitude of crop residues and grain-by-products locally available it makes little sense to subject lambs to a heavy worm burden when ewes could use the limited grazing resource with little to no problem.


No problem if that is the best way to raise sheep in the Pipestone area then finest kind have at it but:

"...he said "unless you
are in a semi arid or dry region, lambs on grass generally don’t work."...

Bottom line is; who cares... If someone wants to discourage people from finishing lambs on grass, that just will just help keep prices up, and mean more market share for us that do.

Oidhche mhath Good night,

Island Dave getting un-worked up

Janet McNally
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Janet McNally » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:49 pm

Hi Tom, I see no need to be slinging mud. But I certainly have had a few private emails asking what gives. It matters little that pasture systems are not very prevalent in Pipestone. What matters is that the Pipestone veterinary clinic has a nation wide reputation and clientele and comments like this can discourage producers from trying pasture rearing lambs when maybe a pasture system might be a very suitable system for that farm. Any system of sheep production requires management. I'm sure to an intensive corn based producer, a pasture system seems to require a high level of skill. I think it is easy to overlook that any sheep production system requires a high level of management in order to make it profitable. My plan is to show a number of examples of successful lamb production on pasture from around the country and then give some tips as to how the parasite and coccidia pitfalls can be avoided.

Janet
Janet McNally

Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses

Minnesota

Janet McNally
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Janet McNally » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:54 pm

I do hope that Jeff Rodgers can contribute a few photos and comments as to what he thinks is key to success. If I recall, he is an organic producer in a very humid climate? that would be a great example.

Janet
Janet McNally

Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses

Minnesota

McMurry
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby McMurry » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:00 pm

Tom wrote;
down and dirty mud slinging

Now, now Tom...
I can remember a time when you did a bit of mud slinging yourself (in my direction) regarding fellow grass based producers who choose to raise a few fine / super fine & ultra fine wool sheep :wink: :mrgreen: :P 8)

-Lets all just take a deep breath and hold hands...- :lol: :roll: :oops:
Andy McMurry

Endeavoring to develop luxury wool producing dual purpose sheep suited to Midwest grazing based commercial production.

http://www.genopalette.com

CDKfarm
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby CDKfarm » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:01 pm

Im not trying to start anything up on here Im still new to this all and trying to learn. Did he really say anything that is false. He just said generally and at least in my area I would agree. Most producers in our area do not rotate pastures or do any management for that matter. They wean the lambs off the ewes and the ewes get kicked out into pasture untill winter. They do not rotate pastures or keep stuff clipped seeded or fertilized. This is not a good environment to be feeding lambs because they are not grazing efficiently. With the weather and everything else I would agree generally it wont work. Thats not to say that it cant be done. Many people on here have great luck grass feeding but this forum is also a minority of the total industry or at least what I have seen in this area.
Also what is so wrong with feeding corn or concentrate based diets to lambs. I would love to grass feed but the bottom line for me is I need lambs to grow and make money. I can feed them out on corn far more economically than I could get set up to grass feed properly. I would say I did okay this year, after all expenses I made over 100 dollars a head per lamb. I keep my hay and corn inputs low enough by purchasing at good times of the year and getting them cheap.
Combine was here today and our corn averaged 196 bushel/acre. With a yield like that and getting enough free hay from custom baling all summer I will be able to keep costs lower than ever for next year. How much cheaper could I grass feed and how much longer would it take me to have a check in my hand. If it is close then I may give it a trial run next year and see how it goes.

Janet McNally
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Janet McNally » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:21 pm

CDKfarm wrote: Did he really say anything that is false.


Yes, he said that raising lambs on grass won't work. There are too many successful grass based operations for that to be a true statement. While corn might be a cheap ration for you, or for others in the corn belt, Dr. Kennedy has a nationwide audience with many people living in areas where corn is not so cheap. In my area a complete ration costs nearly $20/100 lbs.

CDKfarm wrote: He just said generally and at least in my area I would agree. Most producers in our area do not rotate pastures or do any management for that matter. They wean the lambs off the ewes and the ewes get kicked out into pasture untill winter. They do not rotate pastures or keep stuff clipped seeded or fertilized. This is not a good environment to be feeding lambs because they are not grazing efficiently. With the weather and everything else I would agree generally it wont work.


well what you just described in pasture management is akin to feeding lambs a whole corn diet without balancing the ration to prevent calculi, or taking care to introduce lambs so as to prevent acidosis, or not feeding ewes properly for pregnancy or lactation. See, even on the traditional corn based diet, there is a lot of management that is applied, otherwise there will be losses. pasture is no different. You need to apply management if you want to prevent losses. its just that the type of management is different and the problems are different. But the need to actually put forth some effort to manage the flock is important in either system. So it is rather silly to compare a well managed grain fed system to an unmanaged grass based system and be able to make a valid comparison.

CDKfarm wrote:Also what is so wrong with feeding corn or concentrate based diets to lambs.


Who said it is wrong? Why is it that we can never have a discussion about grass based sheep production without someone getting tender toes and feeling like corn based sheep production was somehow criticized? there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding corn. We need to discuss grass based production because some producers either have a very abundant forage supply that cannot be harvested any other way, or can make more money on grass, and it is unfortunate when industry leaders dissuade people from giving it a try.

CDKfarm wrote: Combine was here today and our corn averaged 196 bushel/acre. With a yield like that and getting enough free hay from custom baling all summer I will be able to keep costs lower than ever for next year. How much cheaper could I grass feed and how much longer would it take me to have a check in my hand. If it is close then I may give it a trial run next year and see how it goes.


in contrast the land around here yields 70 bu to the acre, and we have a challenge getting a crop one year in four due to either a late spring or an early winter. I must travel (or pay trucking) for feed mixing services 30 to 60 miles. Pelleting is over 60 miles away and we pay an arm and a leg for trucking. Buying grain seasonally while supplies are cheap requires investment in infrastructure which adds to the cost.

Only you can push that pencil for your operation. I have $18 pasture and turnips cost per lamb from birth to market this year, and this was a very expensive year because my lamb numbers were way down and drought hurt my turnip crop. In a more normal year that cost would have been $12 per lamb. As to your 'free' hay, if you baled it, you have at least $10 to $14 of machinery, fuel, and labor into that hay. I buy my hay for $22 and feed one round bale per ewe annually. I also feed another $26 in alfalfa hay during the last trimester. The lactation and early maintenance costs were included above in the lambs. So that is $48 in winter feed for the dam, plus mineral, or an additional $25 to $30 per lamb depending upon % lamb crop. Total per lamb feed costs (not including minerals) is (normally) $37. A portion of my lambs are retained for breeding but if I sold them all right now (they are ready for market at 5 to 6 months old) at an estimated 80 lbs, I would gross $150 per lamb. So that is a net over feed cost of $113. I certainly could retain them another month on turnips and add another 10 to 15 lbs if I so desire at no additional cost. Another 30 to 40 lbs is possible, but feeding past Dec 15th has its challenges here in MInnesota whether it be a pasture system or grain system.

Janet
Janet McNally

Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses

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Bill Fosher
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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:22 am

I wonder if Dr. Kennedy will resort to the usual retort that I hear from the grass-fed doubters when confronted with Dr. Mark's photos of those carcasses and say there's no way they're grass fed. After all, they have fat cover.

I had one market tell me flat out that they wouldn't take grass-fed lambs. When I told them that was all I had (and he was standing in the shed where I was weighing them) he said, "Well, what are these, then?"
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH

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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:51 am

Image

Image

Image

Image

These are all grass-fed lambs, grown in the Connecticut RIver Valley of Massachusetts (top two photos) and New Hampshire (lower two).

The 50 in the top photo were off to slaughter, and if memory serves me correctly the average live weight was 95 pounds, and the average hot hanging weight was 49.
Bill Fosher

Westmoreland, NH

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Re: Your photos of pasture reared lambs wanted

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:13 am

The management in the above cases did include regular deworming and very careful pasture management including long rotations and use of haycrop aftermath.
Bill Fosher

Westmoreland, NH


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