Thursday, March 3, 2011

SW Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference

The Southwest Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference is planned for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 26, at the McDonald County High School Vo-Ag Classrooms at 100 Mustang Drive, Anderson, MO.

Goats have been the fastest-growing livestock enterprise in the United States in recent years.

If you want to raise sheep or goats for meat or milk, you can learn how to raise them successfully at this conference. The conference will provide the basic information participants would need to work with sheep and goats.

Topics for the conference include how to get started with small ruminants, herd health management including foot rot, internal parasite control, goat nutrition including pasture and forage management, and kidding management.

This conference also will include an information-exchange panel of sheep and goat producers who will answer questions from the audience.

Other speakers include Dr. Helen Swartz and Dr. Charlotte Clifford-Rathert from Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Swartz is a sheep and goat specialist who has worked with small ruminants for over 30 years. Clifford-Rathert is a small ruminant veterinarian who routinely works with goat diseases and internal parasites. Pennington will talk about factors in getting started with goats and forages for goats.

Additionally, the University of Missouri and Lincoln University Extension are hosting a “Fecal Egg Count Workshop from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm, Friday, March 25 in HS2 (basement) of Smith Hall (Newton County Extension Center) on the campus of Crowder College, Neosho, MO, at the corner of Hwy D and Doniphan Ave.

Worms are the primary internal parasite of small ruminants and remain one of the biggest problems of meat and dairy goats. “They can also be a problem in sheep but not to the same extent as goats,” said Clifford-Rathert. “In order to control worms, you must set up a deworming and sanitation program and stick to it.” Worms not only kill both young and old goats, they contribute to poor growth rates, an unthrifty appearance, coughing, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, bottle jaw.

For those who pre-register before March 22, the cost is $10 person. Simply mail your registration information to the Newton County Extension Center, 601 Laclede, Smith Hall (Crowder College), Neosho, MO 64850. Registration is $15 at the door the day of the event. You also may contact the Newton County Extension Center at 417-455-9500 to register or for more information.

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