Providing information for sheep and goat producers in one stop
Dr. Alison Crane is the KSU Sheep and Meat Goat Extension Specialist. Alison received her Master's and Ph.D. from North Dakota State University at the Hettinger Research Extension Center under the direction of Drs. Chris Schauer and Reid Redden. Alison has a passion for aiding producer in improving efficiency and profitability in the production of these animals. She also teaches Sheep and Goat Science, Lambing, and coaches the Wool Judging team at K-State.
Below are charts for instructions on deworming in small ruminants. These give the dosages of respective dewormers by weight and also withdrawal times and exclusions below the chart. If you are skeptical of the effectiveness of your current dewormer, I suggest sending fecal samples off for a DrenchRite test which will inform you as to which dewormers your flock is resistant to (and level of resistance or efficacy). For more information regarding this assay, current pricing or for instructions or submission forms, please call Dr. Kaplan’s laboratory at (706) 542-0742 or e-mail either Sue Howell (email@example.com) or Bob Storey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
First, I want to thank all of you for your continued support
of my efforts on each front of my job. When I come to events like the KSA Sheep
Symposium and am able to spend time with you all, it is very rejuvenating and
Secondly, I wanted to provide you all with an update of what
has been going on Sheep-wise at the University, as I have been quite busy!
I have spoken at multiple meetings since this Spring, some
sheep, some goat oriented. I also was an invited speaker at the Missouri Sheep
and Goat conference in October. It was amazing to see the excitement from our
neighbors to the east and listen to their desire to improve production. In the
future, it looks like we will be trying to develop a more accurate sheep
operation budget calculator with the agricultural economics department as well.
We just recently completed my first sheep research project
here at K-State in collaboration with Dr. Tim Rozell. In this project, we were
nutritionally flushing ewes to increase ovulation rates (we used a product
called SoyPlus, which is very high in energy and rumen undegradable protein),
then performing a follow-up surgery to count follicles, and collect the
follicular fluid. We were doing this to determine what mechanism is actually
responsible for the ‘flushing effect’. Myself and two professors in the
Department of Textiles received funding to develop modules to educate young
women across Kansas in raising wool sheep and how to collect and process the
fiber for profit. This is in the works and is a three-year project.
Lastly, is teaching as this semester is my busiest teaching!
This fall I am teaching Sheep and Goat Science and Wool Judging. I am maxed out
for enrollment in the Sheep and Goat Science class. I have 47 very excited
students that have been a joy to teach. Some of them have even shown interest
in doing internships in the small ruminant industry in the near future.
Hopefully most of you were able to meet Tamra Kott, my graduate student and the
Wool Judging Assistant Coach, and the members of the team that were able to
attend the Sheep Symposium in October. There are nine team members and another
undergraduate assistant coach (Gabriella Leone, 2018 team member). They have ramped up to three day a week practices
and our first contest will be the Cowboy Classic in Laramie, WY in the
beginning of December. We are very excited and have appreciated all of your
support of this team and my program.
Thank you all for supporting me and my program efforts. If
you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Thank you again!
Alison Crane, Ph.D.
KSU Sheep and Meat Goat Extension Specialist
Dr. Alison Crane, KSU Sheep and Meat Goat Specialist
Nutritional flushing of ewes is the technique by which we can
increase the plane of nutrition, most commonly by increasing the energy
available in the ewe’s diet, likely increasing ovulation rates during breeding
time, leading to higher lambing rates. This technique is simple and relatively
cheap to implement in any operation, from farm flock to range.
To implement this technique in your operation, we must first
have some nutritional management guidelines prior to breeding.
To have an
effective flush, the ewes cannot be over-conditioned going into the increased
plane of nutrition. The body condition scores (BCS) should not exceed a 3 for
best results. The typical range of BCS for successful flushing usually falls
between a 2.25 to 3.
the desired BCS, sometimes managers must remove ewes from lush pastures or
remove grain from the diet to decrease condition.
flushing typically increases the energy available to the ewes by 1.2 to 1.8
times the energy requirements of the ewe. This can usually be achieved by
feeding a grain source at 1 to 1.5 pounds per head per day or by turning out on
lush forage at proper stocking rates. However, adjustments might have to be
made for optimal success by operation.
flushing diets should be fed for 2 to 4 weeks prior to breeding for best
results and the same can be done with the rams. The added condition can be
maintained if ewes reach a BCS of 3, however, if flushed to greater than a 3
(3.5 to 4), it is highly encouraged that their condition gradually be reduced following
Overall, flushing is a relatively simple and affordable
technique that can be implemented in almost any operation with success. Lambing
rates typically increase by 10 to 30% when flushing occurs, therefore, in most
situations, the extra cost of grain for this short time of supplementation
likely pays for itself in most cases. In conclusion, by adding extra
nutritional management, the overall productivity and efficiency of ewes can be
Thank you for joining me on this new journey. I hope that in the future I can provide helpful and timely information through this venue for both sheep and goat producers.
First though, I wanted to provide you with some background on myself and the hopeful direction and goals of the KSU Sheep and Goat program.
I was raised in North Central Alabama in the Appalachian hills. My father is a farrier and trains some horses as well. I was raised helping him and barrel racing and team roping, so yes, somewhere deep down, I am a ‘horse girl’. I worked for some cattle ranches in the area as well as a large animal vet throughout high school and college. I attended Berry College in Rome, GA where I was a supervisor at our Beef Cattle Unit, then later managed the Sheep Unit. I cherish the four years I had there as it gave me so many practical experiences with livestock, great connections, but also started me down the sheep and research path.
From Georgia, I moved to North Dakota (Hettinger, in the southwest corner) to begin graduate school. I spent most of my 6 years in ND at the Hettinger Research Extension Center, the state’s sheep research facility (home to a flock of 1200 Rambouillet commercial ewes and about 75 Columbia ewes), and also the 3rd largest sheep research facility in the country. I loved working there as I was a part of daily management, data management, and the research programs. The station housed many disciplines, wildlife/range, weed science, agronomy, and later beef cattle scientists. I also was able to help with many extension events and programs like the ND Ram Test, New Shepherd’s Clinics, Ram Sales, and wool judging. Part time, I also worked for a shearing crew as a wool handler. I cherish the many experiences I had in that wonderful place as it allowed me to gather so much training that I use to teach here in Kansas, but also make comparisons.
After North Dakota, I moved to Kansas, to become a professor here at Kansas State University. There aren’t many sheep extension positions left across the country, but especially west of the Missouri River, so I jumped at the opportunity to be here and work with producers. At one point, Kansas was a rather large sheep state. I hope that through my programs we can grow the sheep and goat numbers in this state to preserve it’s natural beauty, restore range lands, but also provide and support the way of life so many across the West cherish.
Spring time in the Flint Hills is a beautiful and very busy time. The flowers are blooming, the morels are growing (and quickly being picked), and there are lambs, kids, and calves everywhere! It was also a rough winter for livestock producers across the West and the Plains. In those rough times, I always try to look at the positives though. It actually is rather simple in agriculture though. When ND was in a drought (and in SD’s blizzard that killed hundreds of thousands of cattle), KS sent us hay, ND returned the favor during the KS wildfires and now again following the Nebraska flooding. These times are hard, but isn’t it wonderful to know that we are a part of a global family that always steps up to the plate to help their neighbors? I know farmers and ranchers are passionate about their land, their families, and their lifestyle, but the caring nature they have for their industry is something to behold. I am honored to be a part of it every single day and look forward to my career that I will spend every day trying to help these wonderful people.
Have a wonderful weekend! I hope to regularly post timely, helpful information.