© 2015-2017 Misty Oaks Farm • All Rights Reserved

Documented Parasite Resistance

Parasite resistance in Katahdin lambs and in ewes during lactation (periparturient rise) are highly heritable traits, but not all Katahdins are equally resistant.  We began using fecal egg counts (FEC) to identify parasite resistant sheep in 2004.  Shortly thereafter we joined a select group of Katahdin breeders submitting FEC data to NSIP.  This allows us to estimate parasite resistance using EBVs (FEC EBV) for more accurate selection.    FEC are done on all lambs at least twice and on all ewes at lambing, the times when sheep are most susceptible to parasites FEC are only done with enough challenge to identify differences in animals (>500 epg average) Preference is given to ewes with parasite resistance (low FEC) both as a lamb and during lactation Breeding stock is rigorously selected using both EPDs and multiple individual FEC Rams sold for breeding must have individual FEC below the flock average, not require deworming and have FEC EBVs in the top 25th percentile for the breed

Management

Katahdin sheep at Misty Oaks Farm
Misty Oaks Farm
MOF
Misty Oaks Farm Jeff & Kathy Bielek Wooster, OH  330-264-5281 email email Katahdin sheep are natural shedding. Misty Oaks Farm
We were first drawn to the Katahdin breed for its outstanding maternal traits, easy care, hardiness, medium size, natural shedding and ability to excel on grass.  We are committed to maintaining these traits in our flock. 

Our Selection Criteria

We’ve participated in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) since 2004 to obtain estimated breeding values (EBVs) on each animal.  EBVs allow breeders and buyers to identify and select for specific production traits.  We submit data for growth, number of lambs born and raised, parasite resistance and mature size.   Our selection goals for breeding stock are: Good EBVs balanced for growth, prolificacy and parasite resistance Moderate size ewes - 150 lb average for best ewe efficiency on forage Early maturity – ewes lamb as yearlings Outstanding mothering – ewes consistently wean unassisted all the lambs they produce Good growth - 100 lb lambs in 5-6 months on pasture with no deworming All breeding stock must be structurally correct, A coat and QR or RR at Codon 171

Forage-Based Production

Our Katahdins work for us.  We give them the tools they need (appropriate nutrition and shelter)  and expect them to do their job of raising quality twin and triplet lambs unassisted, mostly on grass.  Remember, easy care isn’t the same as no care.  Optimum production does require management.  Most years sheep are maintained on pasture only from April through December Ewes are supplemented with corn/soyhulls for about 8 weeks at lambing (mid February – mid April) Lambs are finished completely on grass most years BUT, our pastures come first – in drought or other extremes, additional supplementation may be required to prevent overgrazing while maintaining adequate animal performance

Strong Science and Education Focus

We value science-based information as much as personal experience.  We have been fortunate to have received several farmer level Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants listed below. We have also been involved as farmer- participants in several university level projects.  We have participated in the Virginia Tech forage-based ram test in Glade Springs, Virginia each year since it began in 2012. Breeding Strategies for Improving Resistance to Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Wool Breeds of Sheep. Group – lead  (FNC10-794) Building on Parasite Resistance Selection in Sheep.  Group – lead  (FNC07-689) Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance.  Group – lead  (FNC05-583) Sustainable Internal Parasite Control for Sheep in a Forage Based System. Individual  (FNC04-523) A summary of our parasite resistance work can be found here.

Our Health Program

The health of our flock is very important to us and we maintain strict biosecurity.  Fecal egg counts performed on all lambs at least twice and on all ewes at lambing Selectively deworm using FAMACHA Closed ewe flock (no outside ewes added) since 2009 Certified Scrapie free in 2005 Free of foot rot and CL (caseous lymphadenitis or abscesses) All breeding animals codon tested for Scrapie resistance All mature rams and ewes have tested negative for OPP
Sheep graze the tall grasses in rotational grazing management. Misty Oaks Farm You can't tell the difference without good documentation. Misty Oaks Farm

Recommended Links

For information on Katahdin sheep in general: Katahdin Hair Sheep International (KHSI)  For general sheep information: Maryland Small Ruminant Page For information on parasites: American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control  For information on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program For information on the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP)
Katahdin sheep at Misty Oaks Farm
© 2015-2017 Misty Oaks Farm • All Rights Reserved
Management
Misty Oaks Farm
Misty Oaks Farm Jeff & Kathy Bielek Wooster, OH  330-264-5281 email email

Documented Parasite Resistance

Parasite resistance in Katahdin lambs and in ewes during lactation (periparturient rise) are highly heritable traits, but not all Katahdins are equally resistant.  We began using fecal egg counts (FEC) to identify parasite resistant sheep in 2004.  Shortly thereafter we joined a select group of Katahdin breeders submitting FEC data to NSIP.  This allows us to estimate parasite resistance using EBVs (FEC EBV) for more accurate selection.    FEC are done on all lambs at least twice and on all ewes at lambing, the times when sheep are most susceptible to parasites FEC are only done with enough challenge to identify differences in animals (>500 epg average) Preference is given to ewes with parasite resistance (low FEC) both as a lamb and during lactation Breeding stock is rigorously selected using both EPDs and multiple individual FEC Rams sold for breeding must have individual FEC below the flock average, not require deworming and have FEC EBVs in the top 25th percentile for the breed
We were first drawn to the Katahdin breed for its outstanding maternal traits, easy care, hardiness, medium size, natural shedding and ability to excel on grass.  We are committed to maintaining these traits in our flock. 

Our Selection Criteria

We’ve participated in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) since 2004 to obtain estimated breeding values (EBVs) on each animal.  EBVs allow breeders and buyers to identify and select for specific production traits.  We submit data for growth, number of lambs born and raised, parasite resistance and mature size.   Our selection goals for breeding stock are: Good EBVs balanced for growth, prolificacy and parasite resistance Moderate size ewes - 150 lb average for best ewe efficiency on forage Early maturity – ewes lamb as yearlings Outstanding mothering – ewes consistently wean unassisted all the lambs they produce Good growth - 100 lb lambs in 5-6 months on pasture with no deworming All breeding stock must be structurally correct, A coat and QR or RR at Codon 171

Forage-Based Production

Our Katahdins work for us.  We give them the tools they need (appropriate nutrition and shelter) and expect them to do their job of raising quality twin and triplet lambs unassisted, mostly on grass.  Remember, easy care isn’t the same as no care.  Optimum production does require management.  Most years sheep are maintained on pasture only from April through December Ewes are supplemented with corn/soyhulls for about 8 weeks at lambing (mid February – mid April) Lambs are finished completely on grass most years BUT, our pastures come first – in drought or other extremes, additional supplementation may be required to prevent overgrazing while maintaining adequate animal performance

Strong Science and Education Focus

We value science-based information as much as personal experience.  We have been fortunate to have received several farmer level Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants listed below. We have also been involved as farmer-participants in several university level projects.  We have participated in the Virginia Tech forage-based ram test in Glade Springs, Virginia each year since it began in 2012. Breeding Strategies for Improving Resistance to Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Wool Breeds of Sheep. Group – lead  (FNC10-794) Building on Parasite Resistance Selection in Sheep.  Group – lead  (FNC07-689) Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance.  Group – lead  (FNC05- 583) Sustainable Internal Parasite Control for Sheep in a Forage Based System. Individual  (FNC04-523) A summary of our parasite resistance work can be found here.
Sheep graze the tall grasses in rotational grazing management. Misty Oaks Farm

Recommended Links

For information on Katahdin sheep in general: Katahdin Hair Sheep International (KHSI)  For general sheep information: Maryland Small Ruminant Page For information on parasites: American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control  For information on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program For information on the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP)
Katahdin sheep are natural shedding. Misty Oaks Farm You can't tell the difference without good documentation. Misty Oaks Farm Documented parasite resistance kept on the entire flock. Misty Oaks Farm
MOF

Our Health Program

The health of our flock is very important to us and we maintain strict biosecurity.  Fecal egg counts performed on all lambs at least twice and on all ewes at lambing Selectively deworm using FAMACHA Closed ewe flock (no outside ewes added) since 2009 Certified Scrapie free in 2005 Free of foot rot and CL (caseous lymphadenitis or abscesses) All breeding animals codon tested for Scrapie resistance All mature rams and ewes have tested negative for OPP