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Sheep Production

All Sheep Production Content

small group of sheep standing in a pasture

Sheep & Goats

South Dakota ranks sixth nationally in sheep and wool production. And the industry is growing.

a flock of sheep grazing in a field

SDSU Small Ruminant Team to Share Sheep, Goat Survey Results

December 02, 2021

The Sheep and Goat Needs Assessment Summary webinar will be held Friday, Dec. 17 at noon CST and will include information challenges to raising and marketing animals or animal products, and current industry demographics.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

SDSU Extension Kicks Off SDSGA Fourth Annual Premium Yearling Ewe Sale

November 22, 2021

More than 45 sheep producers from across the region attended the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Fourth Annual Premium Yearling Ewe Sale in July.

Young, female rancher observing beef cattle in a pen.

SDSU, NDSU Extension to Host Inspired by Annie’s Project ‘Meat Marketing 101’

November 22, 2021

Industry specialists from both South Dakota and North Dakota will discuss topics, such as consumer preferences, marketing plans, processing and product distribution.

Clements Ranch staff accepting their Master Lamb Producer award from SDSU Extension's Kelly Froehlich.

South Dakota Sheep Growers Honor Two Master Lamb Producers

November 22, 2021

The 2021 Master Lamb Producer recognized in the Purebred Division was Shady Lane Farms from Redfield, and the Feeder Lamb Producer Division recognized Pam and Steve Clements and family from Philip.

A herd of sheep foraging on leafy spurge in a grassland.

Multi-Species Grazing as an Alternative to Pasture Spraying

Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences, including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Importance of Proper Forage Sampling

As dairymen and livestock caretakers, we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat. Without knowing the quality of the feedstuff or forage we are feeding, it becomes difficult to balance a ration to ensure the animal is receiving the proper amounts of needed nutrients.

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture

Structuring Grazing Leases

Fact sheet including ranch resource goals to improve landowner - lessee relationships.

A mother sheep cleaning its newborn lamb in a pen.

Newborn Lamb Care Management

Proper newborn lamb care is a critical component of flock profitability. In the U.S. lamb mortality from all causes is approximately 20% with more than 80% of those losses occurring in the first two-weeks following lambing.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Sheep Breeds

Everyone has heard the fairytale “Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?” but what about the double-coated California Red, the multi-colored Katahdin sheep with hair, or the East Friesian dairy ewe that produces over 1,100 pounds of milk a year? Sheep come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and all of them provide different functions and uses for producers. These can range from meat, wool, and milk production or a combination of characteristics.