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Sheep Reproduction and Genetics

All Sheep Reproduction and Genetics Content

Two Saxon Merino rams grazing pasture.

Boosting Ram Nutrition for Optimal Breeding Success

Around breeding time, nutritional considerations tend to lean towards the ewes, but what about rams?

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.

Young, female scientist analyzing genetic code in a laboratory.

How Do Genetics Impact Animal Well-Being?

Genetic engineering is a promising tool that could be used to improve animal welfare while lowering costs of production.

A mother sheep cleaning its newborn lamb in a pen.

Colostrum for Lambs

Fact sheet about the importance of colostrum for lambs

Four sheep feeding at a sheep feeder.

Nutritional Considerations for Flocks During Breeding Season

Optimizing flock nutrition throughout the breeding season can help improve conception rates, lambing percentages and ram longevity.

Newborn lamb in lambing barn.

Lamb Birth Weights in Relation to Lamb Survivability

To increase survival, lamb birth weights cannot be overlooked. Learn some key management factors for optimizing birth weights this lambing season.

Flock of white sheep in drought-stressed pasture.

Two Master Lamb Producers Recognized at 2022 South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Conference

October 28, 2022

The South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association recognized sheep producers from Alexandria, South Dakota, and Wessington Springs, South Dakota, during this year’s South Dakota Sheep Growers Annual Convention.

A closeup shot of a sheep's eye.

Small Ruminant Abortions: Cleanup and facility considerations

Sheep and goat producers in the upper Midwest rely on annual lamb or kid crops to maintain economic viability. Reduction in the lamb or kid crop due to abortion (premature birth) and stillbirths are a common occurrence on many farms. Some of these problems have implications for human health as well as animal health.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Use of the EAZI-BREED Sheep CIDR in Spring Mated Ewes

Efforts to manage the reproductive cycle of the ewe have been a focus of producers and researchers for decades. By nature sheep are seasonal breeders with active ewe estrus cycles expected from late-August until January in the Upper Midwest and in a state of anestrous (non-cyclic) for the other months. Recently a commercial progesterone intra-vaginal device, the EAZI-BREED sheep CIDR (controlled internal drug release) was approved in the US to synchronize estrus in mature ewes during the anestrous period.

small group of sheep standing in a pasture

National Sheep Improvement Program: Performance-based data you can rely on

Sheep producers continually look for opportunities to improve their flocks through the introduction of genetic traits that will contribute to both improve the performance and physical appearance of the offspring. For hundreds of years, producers used the phenotype or physical appearance traits to select replacement stock, followed by performance trials and wool testing to quantitatively define the traits a specific animal may possess.