another nsip type sale?

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woolpuller
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby woolpuller » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:42 am

Very interesting post.
Cody: On semen collection in Canada. The ram must pass 7 disease tests as negative. Then goto the collection barn. After 30 days the same tests are done. Then the semen is collected and it must meet certain standards. After the collection, the 7 disease tests for negatively are done. Our agricultural department says this is the way it has to be.

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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:10 am

Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:15 am

Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

BIGIRON59
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:42 am

Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

Joe Emenheiser
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:48 am

Joe Emenheiser
Emenheiser Suffolks
Granville, VT
http://www.facebook.com/EmenheiserSheep

BIGIRON59
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:50 pm

I say "perceived" because it could be argued that if a particular structural form does not result in loss of production, longevity, functionality, survival, profitability, etc., it is not really a problem after all.[/quote]


I believe that the "structural issues" have resulted in all of the above. That is why they need to be culled for. Post legged, buck kneed, sickle hocked, splay legged, long pastern-ed. flat ribbed, ect. The list could go on.
Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

lambchop
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby lambchop » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:12 pm

BI,
I think Joe was referring to some of the "faults" pointed out by judges in the show ring. Top not level, doesn't carry out flat over rump, head off type, lots of things you hear judges fault sheep on that really are not a problem when it comes to production.
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
www.whitedorper.com

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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:02 am


R. Hamilton
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby R. Hamilton » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:36 pm

When we started developing a composite terminal sire, we really had 5 goals but in this order:
1) Longevity - do they have a production life of at least 3 years and ideally 4 years as a minimum ( As I stated in an earlier post: over 60% of the rams bought at the California Ram Sale do not make it a second year
2) Low maintenance or easy keeping and the ability to maintain condition during breeding season
3) High libido- the abilty to breed up to 100 ewes in a 60 to 90 breeding season especially in out of season production systems and high temperature conditions. Also will not pull away from the ewes during slow breeding periods
4) Produce offspring that have fast growing but efficient in their feed conversion and on varying feed sources
5) Produce desired carass quality

Honestly, if the ram can not achieve the first 3 goals, he really does not have much use to the commercial industry. As an industry, we have very few breeds or rams that can even meet those goals. I know most of the meat breeds can not do it based on their body type and mostly how they are raised today.

Richard Hamilton

lambchop
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby lambchop » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:22 am

Richard,
I think frame size and lack of rumen capacity are responsible for your first three points being an issue with most of the meat breeds we have. You simply have sheep that cannot support their body size due to inability to process enough grass, must have a high concentrate feed to maintain. Other than the fact that the Dorper breed cannot provide a carcass size of 70 LBS and up, they meet your criteria. With the use of EBV's, we have Rams that will produce a 60 LBS carcass on grass and survive. This wasn't true before, and there are still a lot of Dorpers that cannot do this, but as more get on NSIP that should change, without changing the breed type.
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
www.whitedorper.com

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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby R. Hamilton » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:45 am

Hi Paul,

I might be calling you for Dorpers if we lose anymore shearers or the price of shearing gets any higher.

First we do need to consider looking at breeding sheep with a more efficient body type both for production performance and desired carcass quality. Because a ram has great EBV values, it does not mean it will live, survive on grass and perform. The type of body type will vary based on regions of the country or production systems, but the differences in body type should have a common goal of being efficient in both maintenance and performance in its given region or production system. How well does the animal do on the native forage in its region or on the ranch? What are the health requirements of the animal in its region or production system (disease exposure or mortality)? How does the animal perform in meeting the production goals for the operation in its region? From my experience, body type plays a huge role in answering these questions? EBV values can play a huge role in finding the superior individuals once you have the correct body type.

Honestly, we do not need to produce lambs with over a 75 pound carcass weight if we can not do it efficiently and at a competitive price to compete with imported lamb.

When I buy bulls I look for a certain body conformation before I look to see if the bulls have the EPD values I desire. When I bought the ram lamb at the Center of the Nation sale I look at body type first over EBV values. A long, tall ram with a straight shoulder, with no width of chest, no expression of muscling, no depth of body and with high growth EBV values will not live or breed many ewes under my conditions and my conditions are not that rough compared to running sheep in the mountain states or desert. It is hard to make a high investment if I do not think it can survive and perform to justify the investment.

There are many small examples of progressiveness in breeding programs in the sheep industry, but overall, the US Sheep Industry is so far behind compared to Australia and New Zealand and even other livestock groups in the US. The US Sheep Industry is so far behind overall based on the fact that as an industry we can not come up with a definition or parameters of a quality lamb based on weight, finish and most importantly age. What is a lamb? As an industry, genetically we need to learn to crawl, before we walk and then run. Sadly, our sheep infrastructure is shrinking rapidly, we do not have the resources that other countries and other livestock groups have to make advancement quickly to help improve our sustainability as an industry.

Richard Hamilton

Duane
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby Duane » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:21 am

Back to the original posting. All the Terminal breeders I talked with kept bringing how far the travel was. For me ( buyer) 75 miles is not bad. Maybe the University's -SDSU, Wis, Iowa and Mich would like to host on a rotating schedule?

Joe Emenheiser
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:00 pm

Joe Emenheiser
Emenheiser Suffolks
Granville, VT
http://www.facebook.com/EmenheiserSheep

R. Hamilton
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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby R. Hamilton » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:30 pm

The problem with the commercial industry is that there is very few if any alternatives in terminal sires. A big majority of the black face rams are ram lambs that are floored at the purebred sales and cull ram lambs that are grown out in Utah and then sent further west. I see real potential for NSIP in developing the right type of ram if breed associations will prioritize production performance in the pedigree of registered animals. Just like the beef industry.

If you think that the first three goals do not have huge economic impact tell that to a commercial producer who needs between 100 to 125 black face rams to cover his ewes and that producer has to replace for various reasons 50 to 60% of his rams each year and he still has to run a ram ratio of 25 ewes to 1 ram. Also, you have to taken into account the extra labor of finding and managing rams when they pull away from the ewes. Then, you have to consider the replacement cost and this year, Suffolk rams averaged better than $700 per head at the California Ram Sale. When you add all the inefficiencies and costs together, the live lambs born have to carry the cost of these inefficiency along with other costs in its value at marketing. The commercial segment is very hungry for rams that will live and breed lots of ewes and if that alternative becomes available the Suffolk and other traditional meat breeds will be in trouble as a terminal sire for the commercial industry.

Look at how much importance the beef industry has put on having a very tight calving period (60 days or less) and all the studies that have been done on lost opportunities of weight loss at weaning from a spread out calving. Besides less weight to sell, having a tight calving helps create a bigger economic unit to sell and can give you more marketing opportunities than having a spreadout calving and smaller groups of calves at similar weight and size. The same can apply to a lamb crop just having more lambs of similar age and size to sell can give you more opportunities whether you finish and sell lambs on a grid or sell feeder lambs.

Back in 2009, I did a ram test for Warren Kuhl on his British cross Suffolk rams and it was a 60 day breeding test (7/1/09 to 9/1/14) done on 3/8 Finn yearling ewes that lambed as yearlings. We did a test where we compared 4 types of rams: our 3/8 Finn, American Suffolk (out of our flock) , Warren's British cross Suffolks, and our composite rams. Warren was trying to make a Suffolk type had a body type similar to what Suffolks were in the 1970s and early 80s. He was using the BYU Suffolk flock in making his cross along the coast of California. The American Suffolk and composite rams were tested on one ranch and the 3/8 Finn and British cross rams were tested on another ranch. Each ram group had a 50 ewes to 1 ram ratio with 2 rams with 100 ewes.

Here is the results:
Hoyt Ranch: (note the ewes during the test gained on average 17 lbs.)
Composite rams: Beginning weight ave. 280 lbs with ave testicle size of 39.5 cm and ending weight ave. 270 lbs with ave. testicle size of 34.5 cm Preg tested 10/23/09 with a 92.8% conception rate
American Suffolks: Beginning weight ave. 270 lbs with ave testicle size of 39 cm and ending weight ave. 231 lbs with ave. testicle size of 35.5 cm Preg tested 10/23/09 with a 78.8 conception rate

Sheep Ranch: (note the ewes during the test gained on average 1.5 lbs.)
British cross Suffolks: Beginning weight ave. 323 lbs with ave testicle size of 37.8 cm and ending weight ave. 231 lbs with ave. testicle size of 31.5 cm Preg tested 10/23/09 with a 75% conception rate
3/8 Finn rams: Beginning weight ave. 227 lbs with ave testicle size of 37 cm and ending weight ave. 205 lbs with ave. testicle size of 35.3 cm Preg tested 10/23/09 with a 88.9% conception rate

There is no question that some of the result difference were from the British cross rams being compared to rams that were born and raised on our ranch. But, the British cross rams did exhibit results that are very similar to what typical bought rams will do coming to a commercial operation. Having a 92 lb. weight loss in a 60 day period is too much of a stress on a ram and it does have a direct effect its reproductive performance as well as effecting its survivability.

Who says, the goal should be to produce a 150 lb or more lamb. Is that size really an efficient animal for the overall sheep industry? As for your comment, on the type of ram that produces the fastest growing lambs with acceptable levels of fats is not a true statement. I know the rams we produce can meet the first three goals and we raise over 100 rams a year and we have not fed any grain to a ram in over 20 years. Last year over 85% of the lambs I sold to Niman Ranch were our 3/8 Finn lambs (our maternal cross) and over 95% of those lambs hit the highest grid premium with an average live weight of 133 lbs.. We select all our genetics on their performance on grazing on grass and crop residues. We do not have any irrigated pasture. Our 3/8 Finn are strictly range raised and our composites are about 70% range raised and are not supplemented with any grain. I need lambs that are efficient on dry grass and crop residues so I can keep my days in the feedlot at 45 days average for the whole marketing season. Early in the marketing season, we can get by with a 25 day feeding period. So, efficiency and growth performance is very important to my operation. I was kind of amused by the comment that high growth is not as important to me when talking about the ram lamb I purchased. That is not true.

Richard Hamilton

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Re: another nsip type sale?

Postby DonDrewry » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:12 am

A few points Richard,
1) The commecial industry is broader than the large range flock that you are describing. As I don't have any direct experience on such operations I can only read what those with first had experience describe as critical. But, we do have commercial operations in the midwest that hundreds to perhaps over a thousand ewes per operation. It could well be the rams suited for one application are't ideal for the other style. I suspect during breeding season the rams used in range flocks cover a lot more land than than a midwest ram every does in a day. The quality of the forage i imagine is also much different. We can manage our grazing to get up to 8-10 ewes per acre I suspect in some areas it's reversed.

2) Do you have a good idea what is the primary issue with all these rams that don't make it more than a year? Do they just get to skinny on the available feed, do they not know how to graze, not handle the parasites, not enough rumen capacity, to high of libido and spend too much time chasing ewes and not eating, .....?

3) To get more specific on #2, have you noticed any impact of phenotype on the rams "making it" or "not making it". My personal opinon, (not founded on fact), is the relatively tall, long, real fast growing on grain rams wouldn't do as well on grass. That's partly because my narrower ewes are the ones most likely to need supplemental grain.

4) I am still of the opinion that in general the commercial industry gets the studs they deserve given the unwillingness to demonstrate greater demand for performance proven rams than compared with rams that are available locally and meet the criteria of appearing to have two testicles and four functioning legs. Unless, there is at least $300 or more difference in perceived value for the higher quality genetics its going to be tough for producers to make a business case to produce a lot of those rams.
Don Drewry


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