Ranchers getting fleeced?

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dhibbeln
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby dhibbeln » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:33 pm

[quote="Janet McNallyHe is using a standard 'book' value for lamb (reflecting feedlot lamb I am sure, which I believe includes whole carcass composition), where as he has newer revised nutrient information on grass fed beef. I think what is needed is to come up with some good sound nutrient analysis on grassfed lamb. I have no idea how one goes about making that information 'official' so authors like Cordain would use them. But in short the issue is that these diet authors, who are not meat marketers or producers, but are in the health industry are going to use what ever values they find in a USDA table, and perhaps the lamb industry needs to update these values.
[/quote]

Somewhere in my files i have a research paper that show that lamb in england, grown on pastures with high amounts of plant bio diversity
have more of the stuff you need for omega 3/6 fatty acids then does oily fish. I suspect you've found an important detail in promoting
lamb as a "healthy" protein.

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

gingerl
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby gingerl » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:47 am

[quote="Greg Ahart"]Phil-

I don't disagree with the statement that we need more packers. But we need more sheep to make that happen as is pointed out lower in the post, because there is STILL too much overcapacity at the packer level in the industry at the current time - and that is with the closure of Iowa

I am new and to be honest if I was not being aggressive in trying to find info.I would not get any info on the best approach to raise sheep. I even joined associations, and still really I have no clue what I am doing. If I was not constantly googling things, I would have gone out by now. The sheep industry has a mentors program I tried to join with no success. we have a state and federal funded university near me who I am always contacting with really nothing more then a few leaflets thrown at me, and my business is within a few miles of the place. Want more producers? you need to have more out there to help us new guys, more so then good intentions. I still have no idea when the best market is, or what the best market is, or what the most cost effective feed is.. On my 50 acres what is the best system dry lot or grazing.. It seems no one knows the best parasite control.. Nor the best source to buy supplies.. And what supplies are desperately needed, best parasite control suppliers and best brands etc.New producers have got to be taught the best supporting wholesale vendors.. Also. For a new person to read so much conflicting information, espcially about parasites, and have a viable solution is like throwing dice. I have a sheep producer very close to me I tried to befriend her for info, no luck. So my only source is google and this great forum which has the best info on the net. I also am becoming very weary that there is no profit in sheep. Now I love the sheep, My husband wont stay in a venture that cost us money. Which looks like the sheep are doing now ,with such horribly high feed prices, and we get our hay for free. The grain is ridiculous in price and we just have 21 sheep. 50 pound bags of feed are all over 10 dollars, and that is the cheap stuff which how are we suppose to produce well using bottom dollar feed? I understand all new ventures have learning curves. But this market really is not new people friendly. Especially if the person does not already know a sheep producer.

gingerl
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby gingerl » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:59 am

PS also best vaccinations, when to give them.. My ewes were exposed to lamb by march.. tenetivly I was told a month before lambing but what to use was given to me verbally very fast. Lincoln university is funded to help us new sheep producers. yet I have to kick and scream and at like a child to get any attention. I tried getting info from them 6 months before I got sheep I got sick of not being contacted back so I gave up. After I got the sheep I tried again. I got one phone conversation then a hand full of leaflets thrown at me most of them copies of what was in there.

Polypays4U
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby Polypays4U » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:17 pm

gingerl
You may have said in an earlier post but if so I didn't see it or I don't remember. Where are you located?
Bill Hardman
Uncompahgre Polypay Farm
Delta, Colorado
The western home of productive Polypays.

DonDrewry
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby DonDrewry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:46 pm

GingerL, since you posted you tried working with Lincoln U, I'm guessing you might be near Lincoln, NE. If that's so you're 4-5 hours from Pipestone, MN which would put you in their "long distance" category if you wanted to join the Pipestone Management Program. If you want to raise sheep for profit, I highly recommend that you get advice from this group. They have a "sheep for profit" school, July 10-13 see: http://www.mnwest.edu/index.php/management/lamb-and-wool/sheep-for-profit. See their basic web page at: http://www.mnwest.edu/index.php/management/lamb-and-wool. I will stick my neck out and say, this is the best place you can get advice for raising sheep for profit in the US, "bar none". The closer you are to the "corn belt" management system they use, the easier it will be to adapt your system. However, even if your management program is much different because of different type of land and other resources they can help you with the sheep basics.
Don Drewry

Peg Haese
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby Peg Haese » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:01 pm

Or maybe it's the Lincoln University at Jefferson City, MO? I have been to their Carver Farm, which has a sheep flock. Probably not the LIncoln University in New Zealand, even though that's an ag school.
Peg Haese, PNP Katahdins, far SW Wisconsin USA

gingerl
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby gingerl » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:00 pm

yes it is the university in Jefferson city.. \That class in Minn. looks awesome but the cost for both of us along with rooms and such is too rich for our blood in this economy. :(.

Bill Fosher
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:11 am

GingerL,

The reasons you can't get an answer for "what is the best way to do this" or "when is the best market" is because there is no single right answer.

Part of the fun of having sheep is that every operation is distinct, and has its own set of resources and goals. There are no cookie-cutter answers. What works for me may be a disaster for you, and what works for you might be a disaster for your neighbor.

Some of the questions you're asking, though -- parasite control and vaccination programs -- are really best answered by a veterinarian who is familiar with your local conditions, your management system, and your sheep. Asking an extension agent or college professor to answer those questions puts them on shaky legal ground, not to mention that, again the answer is going to be very different from one operation to the next.

I have no doubt that the pipestone course would be valuable to a newcomer, but you also need to filter all the information through the lens of your own experience and be at least a little skeptical. Remember that the head of Pipestone's Clinic has basically said there is no way to raise lambs on pasture, and there are a lot us out there proving him wrong. Again, they are looking through their lens, which includes access to cheap grain, and lack of access to grazing land because of competition from crop farming. They have a set up that works very well in their area, which if I adopted it in New Hampshire would be a sure road to bankruptcy.

If you look around the world at models where sheep are a successful agricultural industry, you'll find that there's a common thread: sheep are used to harvest resources that would otherwise go to waste, or to add value to low-value commodities. The hill flocks of New Zealand and the UK graze land that is too steep, rough, and inaccessible to be used by much else. Until recently, the feedlots of the midwest and west added value to cheap corn. In other places, sheep are raised on crop residues, grass seed fields, and the like.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH

gingerl
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby gingerl » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:26 am

hi Bill,
I can understand your point, but the universities or at least that one.. is funded specifically to help new farmers. I as a new famer welcome all the help I can get. If my tax dollar is paying for it and I cant get the help.. Sure I get a bit perturbed. In this horrid economy, help equals saved money, which equals staying afloat. As a person new into sheep. I do see a lot of good intentions, with no follow through. I have been in other aspects of farming, and raising animals. I say this one is the most difficult with conflicting info of the commercial side. I also raise bees which there are vast resources to help new beekeepers both hobby and commerical. I guess it is because this venture may be more of a finical risk, I am guessing. I understand there are so many different ways to raise sheep and sell them as you say. But unless one aspect of it.. the commerical one, helps new comers . The rise in operations will not happen as those feel it should, in a timely manner.

DonDrewry
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby DonDrewry » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:03 am

Ginger,

I'm sure there are several people quite willing to provide assistance on this board. Bill's point of you needing to have a filter is very spot on. There's a lot of passion on this board and sometimes the "if it's not my way, it must be wrong" comes through even if it's not intentional. Some thoughts I have for a 25 ewe flock.
- It's going to be hard (not impossible) to profit with that few ewes. The overhead can be really hard to overcome.
- Most small flocks tend to be one of these;
* Pure hobby and breaking even or getting somewhere close to that is the either the goal, or the tolerated result
* Highly specialized with an emphasis on wool, show sheep or genetics (via NSIP) - the specialization allows the producer to get a higher return that sheep that are raising lambs sold in the local sale barn as feeders or slaughter lambs. Show sheep tend to require high management and more capital (how much depends on the breed). NSIP or Lambplan requires more management to collect data and pay for the program fees.

If you don't plan on specializing then watching expenses is so much of the game and the specifics of what is available in your area and already on your farm makes such a difference. In another thread Bill posted straw was selling for about $7 a bale in his area and that was one of the reasons that made winter lambing economically unattractive to him. Earlier this year I could get lots of 10 large corn stalk bales delivered to my farm for $25/bale. If I assume Bill's bales are 60 lbs and my are 1,200, the same weight of bedding in Bill's area cost $1,400, and it has to be stored inside and manually moved 60 lbs at a time. Where, mine could be stored outside (we put them inside), and moved with our skid steer. If you have in your area corn farmers, round balers and a skid steer or tractor with loader to move the bales you to might have such an opportunity. If any of those aren't true bedding costs alone could wreck advice to barn lamb.

I would think a 25 ewe flock could graze at a very low cost during the grazing season if you use paddocks. There are several places to get the supplies for such an operation. Premier Fence in Iowa is a good source. When we were at our peak ewe numbers I would graze 20-25 ewes at the building site that was less than 3 acres I grew up on. I would move the ewes every 2-4 days. The land included a gravel pit so we're not talking prime land. If reduced cost is your goal, then it's hard for me to see an operation lambing anything other than on pasture as that gets the least feed and other lambing expense BUT it also assumes successful predator control. If predators (including neighborhood dogs) are going to your lambs or ewes pasture lambing doesn't pay very well.
Don Drewry

gingerl
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby gingerl » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:35 am

This forum has been my only help to date. Now I did finally talk to someone different at the university and I did get more help. It is just frustrating. Maybe I am a bit nervious on our first lambing. I want this to be sucessful. We do have tractors and quit a bit fenced in with hog wire, we have buildins, our straw is not very expensive, we have alot of farmers near by, corn and beans but they dont open up thier silos for a handful of feed. We know that is an option in the future, we have been looking for a used grinder. We have our sheep on pasture, but are also feeding them because they are young ewes born last year. I can tell most of them have bellies, a couple dont. I did not buy a harness because of conflicting info, and why add to the cost. I did get some feed info and I am going to find a feed company that will work with me. I refuse to pay 10 plus a bag for what is mostly distilled grain dust. I think that is what made a few of my sheep sneeze for a couple of days. Worming hit me hard from the first few weeks of having sheep with a bottle jaw death. So I am a bit nervious about that too. I have treated a few of them since. I look at the aemina from the eyelid. I also got phone numbers to visit sucessful ranches which will be a huge help for us. We really like the sheep , and we really want them to work for us. Now that our cows are hanging at the butchers we have some super pasture ready for them too. I would like to know the best wholesale vender who sells the vacines, and I need one of those tools to casterate band the boys. I will not be docking tails for a while they will be katahdin dorper crosses. I lso will need an ear tag machine and what the best ear tags are. Our ewes are pretty tough and some of them lost thier ear tags. I had to doctor them so they would not be infected. I dont want to use ear tags that get ripped off so easy. We also finally built a shoot. before I was cathing them and riding them like ponies to get them wormed. Some of them are tame enough to just stick it in the mouth, but not all of them.

dhibbeln
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Re: Ranchers getting fleeced?

Postby dhibbeln » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Ginger,

On the bright side, learning to be a shepherd when lamb prices are low, means you have chance at being profitable when prices rise.
I'm new to this game.

Couple observations.

Key is to have best possible nutution during last 4 weeks of gestation, first 8 weeks of lacation.
Sheep during this time have more energy requirements by weight then milking cows.

Don't guess. Find a skilled knowledgeable sheep nutriontist.
I would recommend Bill Keough (see resources section of this board)
He can help you with not only the nutrion issues but provide you with the mineral/vitamin
mix your sheep need for your location and feedstock.

second, cull early and often and keep only those animals who don't cost you time/money.
breed health into to your flock.

third, relax and let the sheep do all the work. they've being staying alive for along time
in spite of all of our stupid human tricks.

regards,
dave h

Regards,

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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