Thursday, October 31, 2013

Converting chicken houses into sheep and goat barns

A Goat and Sheep Workshop/Seminar focusing on the possibilities of growing goats and sheep in retro-fitted chicken houses will be held Friday, Nov. 8,
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m, at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark.

Many areas of the South are dotted with abandoned chicken houses that could be used to house sheep and goat operations. These experts discuss the feasibility of such a project.

Speakers include:

• Mike Caskey, Minnesota West Community and Technical
College/Pipestone Lamb Program, Pipestone, Minn.

• Dr.Ann Wells, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Consultant.

• Jesse Duckett and Chris Sweat, Goat and Sheep Producers of Arkansas.

The educational event is sponsored by the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, Winrock International, Southern Arkansas University, American Lamb Board, Goat and Sheep Producers of Arkansas, Central Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

A lamb lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact Donna Kay Yeargan at 501-519-3110 or e-mail

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fish & Wildlife Service extends comment period on wolf proposals

As a result of delays caused by the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on two proposed rules — one to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other to revise the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf. Comment period deadlines also are extended until December 17 to allow these hearings to take place within the public comment periods on the proposed rules. 

The hearings will take place
on November 19 in Denver, Colorado, 
November 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 
November 22 in Sacramento, California. 

There will also be a public information meeting and hearing in Pinetop, Ariz., on December 3. Each hearing will include a short informational presentation. 

The hearing in Albuquerque will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1000 Woodward Place, Sandia room. The public will be allowed access at 5 PM, the hearing starts at 6 PM. The Informational meeting and hearing in Pinetop, AZ, will held at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, Arizona 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73). The Pinetop public information meeting is from 3:30-5:00 PM, followed by a public hearing for recording comments from 6:00-8:30 PM.

The hearings are part of the Service’s continuing efforts to provide an open, comprehensive public process for the two proposed wolf rules and will provide the public a forum by which to register their views. A formal notice of these hearings and the extension of the comment period will appear in the Federal Register on October 28.

To learn more about the proposed rules, view the draft Federal Register notice with the details of the public hearings, and for links to submit comments to the public record, visit

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

14,000 sheep and goats sacrificed in Kurdistan

Monday, 28 October 2013, 09:58 GMT

globe photo/safin hamid

By Zakaria Muhammed
The Kurdish Globe

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims in Kurdistan commemorated and remembered Abraham's trials by slaughtering thousands of sheep, goats and cows. 

At the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice.

In 2013, the Eid al-Adha began on October 15th and lasted for four days.

Based on a statistical report released by the Director General of Kurdistan Veterinary and Animal Products, over 17,000 animals were officially slaughtered over the Eid at slaughterhouse in the Kurdistan Region.

The report also reveals that over 14,000 smaller animals like sheep and goats, and over 3,000 larger animals including cows and bulls, were slaughtered.

Although the Health Ministry, through related agencies, advised people not to slaughter animals outside the slaughterhouses, many people did slaughter animals at their homes.

"Slaughtering animals at home is unhealthy and against Health Ministry rules. We notified people not to slaughter animals at home through media channels a few days before the start of Adha Eid," said veterinarian Azad Khoshnaw, the Media Manager of the General Directorate of Veterinary and Animal Products.

Khoshnaw said that, for the sake of a clean environment and the national health, the directorate had helped all those who wanted to sacrifice animals by opening the slaughterhouses over the Eid and assigning professional veterinarians to examine the animals.

In addition to the veterinarians, who were based in the Region's slaughterhouses during Eid, several other mobile teams consisting of professional veterinarians were made available to examine the animals slaughtered outside the slaughterhouses.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. A third is usually eaten by the immediate family and relatives, a third is given away to friends, and a third is donated to the poor.

The act symbolizes people's willingness to follow Allah's commands and give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts. It also symbolizes people's willingness to give up some of their own bounties in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.

"Eid is a nice commemoration. It is a day of forgiveness, of distributing meat to our friends, relatives, and the poor. I have decided to sacrifice a sheep every year during the Eid, if I am able to, because I enjoy it," said Rahman Shukir, a 33-year old man as he helped a butcher slaughter a sheep.

The Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims to mark the occasion when Allah appeared to Abraham in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to demonstrate his devotion to the Almighty.

Ignoring the advice of the Devil, who tried to tempt Abraham into disobeying God by saying he should spare Ishmael, Abraham was on the point of sacrificing his son when Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to kill in his place.

Today, the story is commemorated on the Eid through the sacrifice of a sheep or sometimes a goat. Nowadays, in most countries, the animal must be killed at a slaughterhouse. The day is a public holiday in Muslim countries, and the festival's Arabic title has connotations of a period of rejoicing that comes round over and over. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

West Va. small ruminant short course Nov. 2

The 2013 West Virginia Small Ruminant Short Course will be held November 2 at the West Virginia University Organic Farm in Morgantown, W.V. 

This year's theme will be "Forages, Parasites and Profitability".
The short course will focus on:
  • FAMACHA Training
  • Forage evaluation, quality and a pasture walk
  • Funding opportunities for producers through NRCS
    Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
    No pre-registration is required, but FAMACHA materials are limited to first 20 registrants.
    If you would like a copy of the FAMACHA training materials which include an official FAMACHA score card, a fee of $15 will be collected at registration. 

    For more information please contact:
    Brad Smith, Grant County Extension Agent
    (304) 257-4688
    Dr. Scott Bowdridge
    (304) 293-2003 

    The West Virginia Shepherds Federation Annual Meeting will follow. For more information about the WVSF, visit

  • Friday, October 11, 2013

    Southern Missouri Sheep & Goat Conference Oct. 26

    BOLIVAR, Mo. — University of Missouri and Lincoln University are teaming up to host the 4th Annual “Southern Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Polk County Fairgrounds, 4560 S. 100th Road, Bolivar, Mo.

    MU Extension offices in southern Missouri continue to receive calls for information about sheep and goat production according to Wesley Tucker, an agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Polk County.

    “There is simply more profit potential in sheep and goats than most other enterprises that can use our local resources. Of course you have to be willing to put in more labor as well as an investment in facilities and fences,” said Tucker.

    This conference will provide producers with practical management tips they can use to focus on improving the profitability of their own sheep and goat operations.

    The following topics will be presented at this year’s conference: raising quality replacements for my herd, marketing sheep and goats, when to add supplemental feed, sheep and goat production around the world, sustainable pasture management for sheep and goats, herd health, foot rot and hoof care.


    “This conference is for beginners as well as experienced producers,” said Tucker.

Registration for the conference is $5, which includes lunch.  To arrange for the food, preregistration is needed by Oct. 21.

    For more information about the conference or to register, stop by or call the Polk County Extension Center at (417) 326-4916 or by e-mail at

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    Northern Calif. Goat Education Day coming Nov. 2

    Goat Education Day 2013 will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Tehama District Fairgrounds in Red Bluff, Calif.

    This year classes will be conducted by Dr. Frank Pinkerton, Dr. Ken McMillin and Dr. Fred Homeyer. Also, there will be a 3-hour session on farmstyle hard cheeses for dairy fans. Rounding out the day will be more than 40 other classes on health and husbandry topics.

    Don't miss youth classes like "Goat BLING"- metal stamping for great goat tags for collars, halter making, the State Quality Assurance Class and MORE!

    Included in the day is the Northern California Meat Goat Association's Special Reserve pen side sale — a different format than the historical auction style.

    Vendors, displays and educational opportunities will be provided by UC Davis, CSU-Chico, veterinarians and professionals.

    Visit Facebook at NVDGA Goat Education Day for updates and class information.!/pages/NVDGA-Goat-Education-Day/157853594234098

    Sign ups forms can be found on, Facebook or sign up online at Goat Education Day 2013!

    For more information, call530-347-7376.

    North Vallet Dairy Goat Association (NVDGA)

    Submitted by Mary Pryde
    Prydelands Ranch

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Colo. State offers online goat primer

    Publication geared toward city dwellers

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. — City of Fort Collins residents are interested in local food production. Really local. As in, their backyards.

    In response, the Fort Collins City Council on July 16 adopted revisions to an ordinance governing urban agriculture, tweaking language related to beekeeping and ownership of backyard ducks and chickens. For the first time, the ordinance also allows city dwellers to raise goats as pets or for milk or fiber production.

    In an effort to promote best practices in health and husbandry, the Colorado State University Veterinary Extension team has published a nine-page booklet, titled “Healthy Living with Goats: An Overview of Health Issues for the Backyard Farmer.” It is available online for free reading and downloading at

    The booklet, authored by CSU veterinarians Ragan Adams and David Van Metre, is meant to help backyard farmers understand the risks and responsibilities of raising goats.

    The CSU booklet and a publication called the “Goat Resource Handbook,” published by The Ohio State University Extension, are the primary references on which a test required for city of Fort Collins goat ownership is based.

    “We are pleased to work closely with the Fort Collins city staff and with the Larimer Humane Society to promote sound husbandry and animal-welfare practices that ensure good health for backyard goats, their owners, and neighbors,” said Adams, coordinator of the CSU Veterinary Extension team.

    “We hope to help people understand what they’re getting into before they decide to acquire backyard goats,” Adams said. “People interested in urban agriculture need reliable, science-based information to avoid animal and human health concerns, neighborhood nuisance problems, and creation of an unwanted goat population.”

    “Healthy Living with Goats” provides unbiased information and includes references to a number of other research-based publications. Among other important issues, the booklet notes:

    • City of Fort Collins residents must receive permits from the Larimer Humane Society in order to raise goats;

    • Permits are issued after residents have demonstrated knowledge of proper management, have proof of rabies vaccination, and have undergone site inspections, providing goat housing according to ordinance specifications;

    • Only female or castrated male goats will be permitted in city limits;

    • The goats must be kept in pairs, and they must be either Nigerian Dwarf or African Pygmy breeds.

    The booklet also offers a critical reality check for city dwellers who want to own goats for milk production: Like any other mammal, female goats must give birth to produce milk. That means Fort Collins goat farmers must be prepared to find homes for babies or adult goats over the strict backyard population limit of two.

    Moreover, females managed for milking will produce for several consecutive months. As the CSU primer notes, milking “takes a lot of time and daily, consistent effort.”

    The pamphlet also provides information about veterinary concerns, including zoonotic diseases, or those that can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa.

    “Our booklet gives Fort Collins residents an overview of health and management issues that will help them determine whether they are interested in the complexities of backyard goat farming,” Adams said. “I hope it paves the way for urban farming that is healthful and rewarding.”