Archive for category: Sheep Industry News

Spring is here (at least in theory)

05 Apr
April 5, 2013
Please check out the Events page to see the Spring Sheep Workshop information!

Last year we were at 80 degrees, this year I still have piles of snow in the yard (and baby chicks in my basement instead of out in the barn where they belong). Still waiting on the last ewe to lamb…I think she’s waiting until I board the plane for DC next week.

Thanks to George Warrant for hosting the Spring Sheep Workshop at his farm near Kassota, coming up on May 18. Registration information will be posted on-line and will be included in the next newsletter. Thanks to John Dvorak for leading the planning efforts for this event.

Thank you to everyone who contacted your state legislators regarding the efforts to place a moratorium on the wolf hunting/trapping season. Your voices made a difference (we should also thank MN Farm Bureau for making us aware that this was being proposed).

And finally, thanks to our web guru Sarah for helping me fix a mistake that I made which caused a temporary interruption in our website service. We have also updated the Events Calendar for 2013. Here’s to a wet spring which will hopefully lead to bountiful hay and corn crops!

Breeding Season Challenges

09 Oct
October 9, 2012

First it was hot weather in July and early August that reduced ram fertility. Then a lingering leg injury to our lead stud ram forced 3 of our ram lambs into service in addition to leasing a ram from a friend. Finally, a busted fence resulted in the mixing of two groups of ewes – fortunately I was able to separate the rams before serious injury occurred. It looks like these challenges will result in a very drawn out lambing season for us, with a few early January lambs, a few more late January lambs, a lot of February lambs, and some stragglers coming well into March (as we still have a few unmarked ewes). It shouldn’t take 2+ months to lamb out 40 ewes, but it sure seems like that is what we are in for.

Lessons learned (again):

1) Always have more rams on hand than you think you will need.
2) Pay extra attention to the rams’ hooves prior to breeding season.
3) Taking a ram to a fair in July when the weather is hot is not conducive
to early season fertility.
4) A wire panel secured with twine will not keep 2 mature rams separated
when ewes are in heat.

Hopefully, breeding season has gone (or will go) more smoothly on your farm than it has
on ours.

Happy Shepherding!

 

Half of Wolf Hunt Permits Still Available

28 Aug
August 28, 2012

by Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota hunters have already applied for about half of the permits that are available in the state’s first wolf hunt in decades.

About 3,000 people have already applied to take part in the fall and winter wolf hunts, said DNR Wildlife Research Manager Lou Cornicelli.

Cornicelli expects more applications to come in as the Sept. 6 deadline approaches.

“What we always see is it’s just like registering your car. Nobody does that at the first of the month. We all do that at the end of the month,” Cornicelli said. “We’ll have a big increase in deer license sales and likely in wolf applications as well. That’s just human nature and we see it every year.”

This will be the state’s first wolf hunting season in decades. The species was recently removed from the endangered species list by the federal government.

The DNR plans to sell 6,000 wolf-hunting permits, although the state will limit the amount of wolves killed to 400.

The DNR maintains a page on their website about the wolf hunt.

Wolf Hunting and Trapping Seasons Comments Needed

06 Jun
June 6, 2012
Legislation was signed into law establishing a wolf hunting and trapping season in Minnesota this year. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comments on the details for these seasons. To learn more about the details and to take the survey visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/wolves/mgmt.html. It is important for farmers to weigh in on this survey.

Let your sheep and cattle producing friends – especially those in the wolf management zones – know about this survey.