Report from USDA Sheep Study

USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has posted the third and fourth reports from the Sheep 2011 study: Part III: Health and Management Practices on U.S. Sheep Operations, 2011, and Part IV: Changes in Health and Production Practices in the U.S. Sheep Industry, 1996-2011. The Sheep 2011 study was conducted in 22 of the Nation’s major sheep-producing States, covering 70.1 percent of U.S. farms with ewes and 85.5 percent of the U.S. ewe inventory.

Some highlights from Part III:

·         Small and medium operations had a higher expected lambing rate (1.53 and 1.47, respectively) than large operations (1.23).

·         Nearly all operations (92.0 percent) had an APHIS-assigned flock identification number.

·         Toxoplasmosis and coxiellosis (Q fever) are common causes of abortion storms in sheep flocks, yet producers on 28.5 and 52.0 percent of operations had not heard of toxoplasmosis and Q fever, respectively.

·         During 2010, 69.0 percent of operations administered oral, injectable, or topical antibiotics to lambs or ewes to treat any disease.

Highlights from Part IV:

·         In 1996 only 1.0 percent of U.S. sheep operations owned hair sheep, compared with 4.6 percent in 2011 and 21.7 percent in 2011.

·         Ownership of sheep primarily for meat production increased from 60.7 percent of operations in 2001 to 81.6 percent in 2011.

·         6.9 percent of operations composted carcasses in 2001 compared with 26.5 percent in 2011.

·         Approximately twice the percentage of operations consulted a veterinarian for disease diagnosis, disease prevention, and lambing problems in 2011 than in 2001.

The reports are available on the World Wide Web at

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/nahms

As always we encourage you to send comments and questions and to share this message with others involved in the sheep industry.

Anne L. Berry
Technical Information Specialist
USDA-APHIS-VS
National Animal Health Monitoring System
2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. B, MS 2E7
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Phone: 970-494-7243
Fax: 970-494-7229
anne.l.berry@aphis.usda.gov

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