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Greenbelt in Florida: part one

What is Greenbelt ? 
Greenbelt is the common term used in many states for various types of preferential tax relief treatment for agricultural properties, including forestland.   In Florida, it is used for the statutorily provided Agricultural Classification, and is frequently also called an Agricultural Exemption.  It also has other names both in Florida and other states: Agricultural Assessment, Agricultural Appraisal, Classified Use, Preferential Assessment, Agricultural Covenant, and Conservation Use Covenant. 

How long has Greenbelt been available; and, is it available in every Florida county?  Why can’t I find any Greenbelt literature

Greenbelt has been available Statewide since the implementing statutes were adopted in 1959. The Greenbelt name won’t be found anywhere in the statutes since its more of a generic term that references exemption provisions.  Article VII, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution provides for classification and assessment of agricultural property based on use. Florida Statutes 193.441, 193.451, and 193.461 contain the provisions for Agricultural Classification (Greenbelt) and assessments, defining any assessment at less than the full value as a Classified Use assessment.

What is the benefitHow much exemption do I receive?It is not an exemption, but is a preferential and privileged assessment based on land use.  It provides far greater relief from tax liability than most exemptions.  For some agricultural land uses, the reduction in taxes for Greenbelt Classification versus market value may exceed 90%!

How can a Greenbelt appraisal be so much less than a market value?
The appraisal is based on what appraisers call an “income approach,” and has nothing to do with the market value of the property.   The actual agricultural use of the land and the soil fertility or capability are determined, such as Cropland, Soil Capability Class II.  A typical agricultural net income for each use and productivity is determined and capitalized to provide a per-acre value.  Ex:  A $30 net income per acre will yield an approximate taxable value of $300 per acre.


part 2 coming

Antibiotics to guide, sort of

Ten lessons on antibiotics

  1. Consult with your veterinarian about diagnosis. As a producer, know what diseases are prevalent at particular production stages or seasons and remember that some bacteria are only sensitive to certain antibiotics.
  2. Take the sheep’s temperature. Normal is 101 to 103° F. If there is no temperature, there’s no infection, so you shouldn’t use an antibiotic. Fever may precede other signs.
  3. Treat early. Organisms become more resistant after they are well established. An antibiotic will not remove scar tissue from lungs. Prevent the scar tissue by early and adequate treatment.
  4. Maintain drug dosage for two to five days. Identify lambs previously treated.
  5. Prevent problems. Don’t rely on drugs to replace good management.
  6. Check for management shortcomings as a cause of the problem before using drugs.
  7. Vary antibiotics. Bacteria do develop resistance.
  8. Take care of drugs. Refrigerate them, keep them out of the sun, and don’t freeze them. Read directions!
  9. Recognize the limitations of antibiotics. They won’t bring an abscess to a head and are ineffective in treating for diseases caused by a virus.
  10. Administer antibiotics correctly.
    • Remember that sick animals usually don’t eat. Mixing an antibiotic in feed may prevent further attacks but won’t help those too sick to eat.
    • If sick animals will drink, you can administer sulfa treatment by adding sulfa to the water.
    • Use an effective injection method. Intravenous (IV) injections result in a high drug level in the blood rapidly, but antibiotics injected intravenously also are eliminated more rapidly. Intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SQ) injections require the least skill and last longer.
    • Remember that drenching requires a high drug dosage. Not all drugs are readily absorbed.

Lambs die?

Lamb starvation

Lamb starvation, the number one killer of lambs, often is associated with lack of shepherding. Contributing causes are:

  • The lamb doesn’t get started (gets no colostrum). Seventy-five percent of lambs that don’t get colostrum die for one reason or another.
  • The ewe won’t claim the lamb(another solution for this situation)
  • Mastitis.
  • The teat is too big or is too near the ground and the lamb doesn’t find it. Weak ewes that don’t get up enough will also cause this problem.
  • Sore mouth.
  • The ewe can’t feed two lambs (mastitis, too little feed, etc.).
  • Joint injury or illness.
  • Pneumonia, which often is associated with lambs that received no colostrum and thereby lack immune bodies. Sometimes the best solution is to inject 1 ml of antibiotic at few days after birth for multi lambs births.
  • Difficult parturition.
  • A “genetic will to die.” Actually, the majority of lambs die for no apparent reason. A genetically caused lack of vitality may well be the cause. i never understood this , this is just an observation. plenty of sun, feed and exercise seems to be the best remedy.
  • i have found that bottle feeding lambs will survive well but they must have received some colostrum

Thrush & Footrot


Footrot is a grievous disease that almost defies curing. For a small flock of grade ewes, selling out and starting over is the wisest decision.

Footrot is caused by two bacteria—Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacteroides nodosus—that act synergistically. F. necrophorum is common in most manure; it is very hardy and can live for years in manure. It contributes to footrot in cattle and causes thrush in horses. B. nodosus apparently lives only in sheep hooves. It dies out in soil in two weeks. It grows very slowly, so the incubation period may be long. Foot abscesses may be caused by B. nodosus, but footrot requires the presence of both B. nodosus and F. necrophorum. Moist soil conditions contribute greatly to the cause and spread of footrot. in other words its impossible in Florida to avoid  this condition.

To control and treat footrot:

  • Trim the hoof wall to the quick in all sheep.
  • Soak affected hooves for five minutes in a foot bath containing 90% water and 10% formalin (37% formaldehyde) or 10% zinc sulfate. Zinc sulfate is as effective as formalin and is safer to use.
  • Isolate limpers and repeat one week later. Turn apparently cured sheep into an uncontaminated area. Doing so does create a problem, however, because some sheep thought to be clean actually still are infected. With time and moist conditions, they will reinfect other sheep.
  • Reexamine all sheep and remove any limpers you initially thought were clean. Force sheep to move through a 10% zinc sulfate solution daily for 30 days. This has become the most successful treatment scheme.
  • Sell persistent limpers as much as that hurts to do.
  • If you sell all sheep, wait three weeks before bringing in new sheep.
  • I have a nice cement bath at the entry f the sheep house that i regularly fill with  bleach and water, 20%. its worked wonders.

Why do you wish to raise sheep?

There are several reasons to boost sheep. The reason(s) why someone chooses to boost sheep will have a significant impact on the breed(s) that are raised and the manner in which the sheep are fed, managed, and marketed.

sheep sheeseEconomic

Traditionally, sheep are raised on farms and ranches for the purpose of generating an income for the farm and family. While some farms build a majority of their income from raising sheep, sheep production is additional often a secondary or tertiary enterprise on a farm. In truth, sheep raising complements several other agricultural enterprises. It’s a fashionable enterprise for several part-time and lifestyle farmers.

There will be numerous tax benefits to raising sheep or participating in similar agricultural activities. Some individuals raise sheep for the primary purpose of getting their land holdings taxed at (lower) agricultural rates. The legal definition of a farm (for land tax purposes) varies by state.

While all agricultural enterprises are expected to eventually generate a profit (and pay taxes!), many people raise sheep (and alternative livestock) as a “tax write-off.” Farm expenditures, as well as capital purchases, will be written off against normal income. Most sheep-related purchases are exempt from sales tax.


Some folks keep sheep to boost and/or maintain their landscapes. Thanks to their small size, upland grazing preferences, and desire for a mixed diet, sheep are ideal for vegetation management, particularly where the primary vegetation is grass and forbs. Their small hooves minimize soil compaction and erosion. They keep off from fragile riparian areas.

In fact, the opportunities for fee-primarily based grazing by sheep (and goats) are expanding as society seeks a lot of environmentally-friendly ways that to control invasive weeds and other unwanted vegetation. However even after they’re not being employed to clean up a landscape, sheep (and alternative livestock) keep land open and helps to preserve rural landscapes

Quality of lifekrisandsheep

Several families relish the agricultural lifestyle and would like to expose their children to plant cultivation, animal husbandry, and alternative aspects of the agricultural method-of-life. Sheep are an ideal little farm (or ranch) enterprise. They’re particularly appropriate for ladies and youngsters, due to their little size and light nature.

Showing (or exhibiting) sheep will be a pleasurable activity for folks of all ages, however especially youth. Sheep and lambs make glorious four-H and FFA projects. In fact, four-H and FFA is how several people get started within the sheep business. Sheep are appropriate projects for home schoolers. There are several science truthful projects that can be done with sheep and wool.

There’s a bound satisfaction to growing your own food and fiber. Many individuals keep some sheep to supply meat, dairy product, and/or fiber for his or her family. Small flock house owners contribute to the supply of native food. Some people want to support livestock conservation efforts by raising and helping to preserve a rare or heritage breed of sheep.

Several individuals raise sheep as a result of of their want to train and trial herding dogs, sometimes Border Collies. It is exhausting to train and work a herding dog while not gaining access to a flock of sheep. Hair sheep are typically kept for this task, as they are a lot of tolerant of the warmth and rigorous workouts. Wethers are often most well-liked as a result of they’ll be worked on a year-spherical basis.

Sheep raising can be an agreeable activity for retired persons. Sheep are easier to handle than larger livestock and also the investment in breeding stock, equipment, and facilities is sometimes a lot of less. In some things, the sheep enterprise will supplement the retirement income. Empty-nesters and single folks may keep sheep thus they need something to worry for.

Increasingly, people are keeping sheep (and alternative cattle) as pets or companions. Wethers and ewes should be chosen for this purpose. Intact males and horned animals should not be kept as pets. Hair sheep are a smart alternative as a result of they do not need shearing. Bottle babies create the best pets because they will bond to whoever feeds them. Sheep are social animals. Pet sheep ought to be kept in pairs or little flocks.

The love of sheep and animal husbandry is that the motivation for several shepherds, each industrial producers and lifestyle farmers. In truth, if you do not genuinely like sheep, there is a ton easier ways in which to form money or spend your leisure time.

sheep MilkGoal and objectives

Once you’ve got determined to raise sheep and have defined your reason(s) for raising them, it’s time to set goals for the sheep operation, especially if it is a commercial undertaking. Goal-setting includes determining which aspect(s) of sheep production — meat, fiber, or dairy– can be the main focus of the operation, what product can be sold, how they can be sold, and who can be the first client(s). It is a good idea to own a business set up.

Success – a good outcome; accomplishing what was proposed; an occurrence that accomplishes its supposed purpose; the achievement of 1’s aim or goal; money profitability.

Outline success

Success can be defined differently by sheep homeowners. For the commercial producer, success can seemingly be to make a financial profit and come back on investment, though the farm might have further goals that pertain to quality-of-life and stewardship of their farm.

Winning shows or selling expensive breeding stock or club lambs might define success for a few producers. For the performance-minded seed-stock producers, having the ram that ranks the very best within the breed’s sire outline or has the most effective EBV (estimated breeding price) for maternal milk may be the mark of success.

Some producers can live success by achieving bound production goals. Marketing a two hundred p.c lamb crop would be a worthy accomplishment for most producers. Not losing one lamb throughout the lambing season could be a goal of some small-scale producers.

Raising thoughtful, accountable kids who have a healthy respect for animals and also the surroundings may define success for many families that undertake sheep raising as four-H or home faculty projects. Livestock production is an excellent method to reinforce a kid’s science education and encourage science-related careers.

Feed Stuffs for Our Sheep

While forages are the most “natural” diet for sheep and lambs and typically the foremost economical, a sheep’s nutritional requirements will be met by feeding a variety of feedstuffs. The rumen could be a very adaptable organ.

Feedstuffs can substitute for each other so long as the sheep’s nutritional needs are being met, dangerous nutritional imbalances aren’t being created, and the health of the rumen isn’t compromised. Feeding programs should take into account animal necessities, feedstuff availability, and prices of nutrients.

Pasture, forbs, and browse

Pasture, vary, forbs, and browse are usually the primary and most economical supply of nutrients for sheep and lambs, and in many cases, all that a sheep desires to fulfill its nutritional necessities. For example, from the time a ewe weans her lambs through her first 15 weeks of pregnancy, forage will probably meet all her nutritional wants.

Pasture is high in energy, protein, and palatability when it’s in a vegetative state. However, it can have a high moisture content when it’s rapidly growing, and sometimes it will be troublesome for prime-manufacturing animals to eat enough grass to fulfill their nutrient necessities. Vegetation with high moisture content can conjointly cause sheep and lambs to possess loose bowels.

As pasture plants mature, their palatability, digestibility, and nutritive worth decline, thus it is vital to rotate and/or clip pastures to stay plants during a vegetative state. Forbs typically have higher digestibility and crude protein levels than grasses at similar stages of maturity.

Sheep are excellent weed eaters and can often choose to eat weeds over grass. Because of their preference for weeds, sheep are usually used to control invasive or noxious weeds, such as leafy spurge, knapweed, and kudzu.


Hay is forage that has been mowed (cut) and cured (dried) to be used as livestock fodder. It’s typically the first supply of nutrients for sheep throughout the winter months or dry season when most forage plants aren’t actively growing. Hay varies tremendously in quality, and while hay quality will be laid low with plant species, quality is decided largely by the maturity of the plants after they were harvested for hay.

Proper harvesting and storage is necessary to take care of nutritional quality of hay. Hay that is stored outside without cover deteriorates rapidly in quality. The only method to know the “true” nutritive value of hay is to own it analyzed at a forage testing laboratory. A list of certified forage testing laboratories will be found at

Hay could be a moderate supply of protein and energy for sheep and lambs. Whereas good grass

hays sometimes have as a lot of energy as legume hays, legumes have fifty to 75 percent more protein and 3 times as abundant calcium. But, a good quality grass hay can be a better source of nutrients than an occasional or medium-quality legume hay if it’s a lot of digestible.

The vital thing about hay is to feed the correct hay at the correct time. The isn’t any “best” hay. From an economical standpoint, the “best” hay is the hay that provides nutrients at all-time low cost. Palatability is vital to the extent that the a lot of hay sheep refuse the higher cost it will be.

A decent grass hay is usually additional than adequate for ewes during maintenance and in early to mid-gestation. It almost always meets the requirements of mature rams and wethers. A mixed grass-legume hay will be fed to ewes in late gestation to satisfy their requirements for calcium.

At the same time, a pure legume hay ought to be saved for the lactation diet because of its higher level of protein and calcium. On the opposite hand, if a grass hay is fed throughout late gestation or lactation, it may be necessary to supply a further supply of calcium to pregnant ewes and supplemental calcium and protein to lactating ewes.


       Legumes                      Grasses

Bermudagrass Alfalfa
Bromegrass Birdsfoot trefoil
Kentucky bluegrass Cow peas
Native grasses Lespedeza
Orchardgrass Peanut
Reed canarygrass Red clover
Ryegrass Soybean
Tall fescue White clover/Ladino
Timothy Vetch

Ideally, hay should be purchased (or priced) in keeping with weight. A sheep’s nutritional necessities are based on weight not volume and you will not understand what it prices to feed your sheep unless you recognize how several pounds your sheep are eating and what the feed price per pound or ton is. Wastage (or refusal) conjointly factors into the price of hay.

The weight of hay bales (sq., spherical, and large sq.) varies significantly. When hay is purchased by the bale and you do not know what the bales weigh, you’ll be spending a heap additional for hay than you’re thinking that. Most hay auctions sell hay by the ton. If you get hay from a farm, you can ask the farmer to sell you hay by the ton and weigh the load of hay on a grain scale. Otherwise, you ought to weigh some representative bales, then negotiate a per bale value.

Purchasing hay: by the bale (volume) vs. by the ton (weight)

Price per bale Weight of bale Price per ton
$8.00 40 $400.00
$7.00 40 $350.00
$6.00 40 $300.00
$5.50 40 $275.00
$5.00 40 $250.00
$4.50 40 $225.00
$4.00 40 $200.00
$3.50 40 $175.00
$3.00 40 $150.00
$2.75 40 $137.50
$2.50 40 $125.00
$2.25 40 $112.50
$2.00 40 $100.00
$1.75 40 $87.50
$1.50 40 $75.00
$1.25 40 $62.50
$1.00 40 $50.00

If you turn out your own hay, the value to the sheep operation is that the “chance” value of the hay. An opportunity cost is that the value of a resource for its next-highest-worth various. Within the case of hay, this is often sometimes the income you’d receive from the hay if you sold it (less marketing costs).

Silage or Haylage (ensilage)

Silage (or ensilage) may be a generic term for livestock feed that’s produced by the controlled fermentation of high moisture herbage. Silage will be made from forage or grain crops. It has been successfully fed to sheep; however, special attention must be paid to quality, as moldy silage will cause listeriosis or “circling disease.” Listeriosis is an occasional reason for abortion in ewes.

As with fresh forage, the a high-manufacturing animal often cannot consume enough high moisture silage to fulfill its nutritional needs. Silage is usually wolfed large farms, due to the need for storage and automated feeding equipment. It will be a additional economical source of feed than traditional feeds. For small and medium sized flocks, silage baggage make silage feeding a risk. It is turning into a lot of well-liked to feed balage to sheep.

Concentrates (grain)

It’s oftentimes necessary to feed concentrates to supply the nutrients that forage alone cannot give. This is notably true within the case of high-producing animals. There are times and things where concentrates are a a lot of economical supply of nutrients than forages. Creep feeding and supplemental feeding of lambs has been shown to increase weight gains and market acceptability. The economics of supplemental feeding will vary by operation.

Energy feeds

There are 2 sorts of concentrate feeds: carbonaceous and proteinaceous. Carbonaceous concentrates or “energy” feeds are high in total digestible nutrients (TDN), however have a tendency to be low in protein (8-eleven p.c protein). The most common energy feeds are cereal grains: corn, barley, wheat, oats, milo (grain sorghum), and rye.

It is not necessary to method grains (grind, crack, roll, or crimp) for sheep aside from lambs that are less than six weeks old and lack a functioning rumen. In truth, whole grain diets are healthier for the rumen as a result of they require the animal to try to to its own grinding of the feed. Whole, uncooked soybeans may also be fed to sheep.

Whereas cereal grains are the most concentrated supply of energy, they are high in phosphorus and low in calcium. Feeding a diet that is high in phosphorus and low in calcium will cause urinary calculi in wethers and intact males. Inadequate calcium will lead to exploit fever in pregnant or lactating ewes.

Excessive intake of grain or sudden intake of grain will cause various digestive and metabolic issues in sheep and lambs, including enterotoxemia (overeating disease), acidosis (grain overload), feedlot bloat, and polioencephalomalacia. The rumen always wants time to adjust to a higher concentrate diet.

Energy feeds


Feedstuff Percent TDN
Whole cottonseed 91
Wheat middlings 90
Corn grain 89
Wheat grain 89
Milo (grain sorghum) 89
Barley grain 84
Corn gluten feed 83
Ear corn 82
Rye grain 81
Soybean hulls 77
Molasses 75
Beet pulp pellets 74
Oat grain 74

Protein feeds

Proteinaceous concentrates or “protein feeds” contain high levels of protein (over fifteen %) and are sometimes plant-derived. Examples embody soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and fish meal. Ruminant-derived meat and bone meal cannot (by law) be fed to alternative ruminants, as well as sheep.

Protein amount is mostly a lot of important than protein quality (amino acid content) in ruminant livestock as a result of the microorganisms in the rumen manufacture their own body protein. Livestock do not store excess protein; it’s burned as energy or eliminated (as nitrogen) by the kidneys. Overfeeding protein can not typically increase productivity or carcass quality.

Since parasites usually cause blood loss in sheep and lambs, higher levels of protein within the diet enable the animal to mount a greater immune response to parasites, particularly the blood-sucking barber pole worm.


Urea is not a protein supplement, however is a source of nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) that rumen bacteria will use to synthesize protein. NPN should be used solely together with high-energy feeds like corn. Urea, that is forty five p.c nitrogen and has a crude protein equivalent of 281 percent, ought to not provide over one-third of the whole nitrogen in a diet.
Protein feeds


Feedstuff Percent CP
Urea 281*
Fish meal 62
Soybean meal 48
Whole soybeans 42
Cottonseed meal 41
Linseed meal 34
Commercial protein supplement 36-40
Corn gluten feed 26
Poultry litter 26
Distiller’s grains 25
Brewer’s grains 24
Whole cottonseed 21
Alfalfa pellets 17
Lick tubs 16-24

Commercial Feeds

Several feed firms supply “complete” sheep and/or lamb feeds. These are textured (sweet) or processed (pelleted) feed products which are balanced for the wants of livestock of a explicit species, age, and production category. Complete feeds should not be mixed with different grain, as a result of this can “unbalance” them. For example, adding corn to an entire feed will alter the Ca:P ratio and could end in urinary calculi.

Pelleted rations have a bonus in that the animals cannot kind feed ingredients. Sorting can be a downside when animals are on self-feeders and allowed to eat all they need. Pelleted diets are ideal for free choice self-feeding. Complete feeds come in fifty or a hundred lb. sacks and have a tendency to be more expensive than home-created concentrate rations. For tiny producers, inexperienced shepherds, and 4-H members, commercial feeds are typically recommended.

Pelleted Supplements

To help management feed prices, producers will mix their own simple rations by combining varied feed ingredients, such as corn, soybean meal, and minerals. It’s possible to urge business pelleted supplements that contain vitamins and minerals, and high levels of protein (thirty four-forty%). These supplements will easily be combined with whole grains or by-product feeds to create a balanced concentrate ration.

For example, combining four lbs. of corn with one lb. of a 36% protein pellet would end in a sixteenpercent protein ration that includes vitamins and minerals, making it a “complete” ration. This ration would be appropriate for feeding lactating ewes or finishing feeder lambs.

By-product feeds

There are varied by-merchandise that may be fed to sheep and lambs. Most by-products are offered as a result of processing a ancient feed ingredient to come up with another product. For example, corn gluten meal is a by-product of the corn milling method. Soybean hulls are a byproduct of soybean processing for oil and meal.

Wheat middlings are a by-product of the flour milling business. Beet Pulp is that the vegetable matter, that remains once sugar is extracted from sliced sugar beets. Alternative by-product feeds are by-merchandise of the food and beverage industries. For example, brewers grains may be a by-product of the brewing industry. Citrus Pulp is that the dried residue of peel, pulp and seeds of oranges, grapefruit and alternative citrus fruit.

By-product feeds can typically be economical sources of nutrients for sheep; however, they have be analyzed to determine their nutrient content. The high moisture content of some by-product feeds may limit consumption of the diet ensuing in poor animal performance. High water content could additionally build by-product feeds tough to transport and store. By-product feeds are usually incorporated into least price rations or TMR’s (total mixed rations).


Feedstuff Percent CP Percent TDN
Alfalfa pellets 20 61
Beet pulp (dry) 11 75
Citrus pulp (dry) 7 79
Corn gluten feed 22 80
Corn stalks 5 59
Distiller’s grains (dry) 29 90
Ear corn 9 82
Grain screenings 14 65
Kelp (dry) 7 32
Molasses (cane, dry) 9 74
Poultry litter (dry) 25 64
Soybean hulls 12 77
Wheat middlings 19 82
Whole cottonseed 23 95

Vitamins and minerals

Choosing the proper mineral supplement for sheep will be terribly tricky. Sheep require macro and micro (trace) minerals and you would like to grasp what minerals are deficient (or excess) in your area and in your feedstuffs. Mineral supplements vary from trace mineralized salt (TMS) fortified with selenium to finish mineral mixes containing all of the macro and micro minerals needed by sheep.

In general, TMS fortified with selenium is all that’s needed during the spring and summer when sheep are grazing high quality pastures containing a lot of than 20 p.c clover. Complete mineral mixes are recommended when grazing low quality roughages, beginning four weeks before breeding, during breeding, and during late gestation and early lactation.

Studies have clearly shown that selenium supplementation for pregnant ewes via a mineral mix is superior to selenium injections in late gestation. When high grain diets, sure various feeds, or silage are fed to sheep, further calcium is required within the diet.

The most important minerals are calcium, phosphorus, salt (NaCl), and selenium.
Sources of calcium and phosphorus


Source % Calcium % Phosphorus
 Bonemeal 24 12
 Dicalcium Phosphate 25 18.5
 Limestone 38 0
 Sodium Phosphate 0 22
 Alfalfa leaf meal 2.88 0.34
 Dried kelp 2.72 0.31
 Trace mineral mix 14-18 8-10

It has been scientifically proven that animals are unable to work out the proper balance and amount of minerals required when fed free selection. Some animals might consume additional of what they are doing not want, whereas others might not consume enough (or any), even if they are required. It’s thus counseled, that minerals be thoroughly blended with the ration wherever possible to ensure proper supplementation. But if this is not doable, minerals will be mixed with loose salt.

Granular or “loose” styles of minerals are most well-liked to blocks. Blocks are onerous on the teeth and consumption could be less. Mineral feeders ought to be stuffed with contemporary mineral, placed in readily available areas and shielded from the weather. Sporadic feeding of minerals could cause animals to “binge”. Coccidiostats and antibiotics will be incorporated into mineral mixes.

Sheep ought to not be fed commercial feeds and mineral mixes that have been formulated for different animal species as a result of these product contain copper. Sheep cannot tolerate excess copper in their diets. Excess copper is stored in the liver and can cause a toxic reaction, ensuing within the death of the sheep.

Copper nutrition is difficult, involving interactions with alternative minerals. Producers should not provide supplemental copper to their sheep unless a deficiency has been documented via laboratory tests.

Feed Additives

A feed additive may be a compound added to the ration for a purpose other than to produce nutrients. Varied feed additives will be utilised to boost the health and performance of sheep and lambs.


As well as sub-therapeutic antibiotics (40 g/ton in feed) in lamb rations will help to stop enterotoxemia and respiratory disease in feedlot lambs. Antibiotics will be fed to ewes during the last six weeks of gestation to help prevent infectious abortion. Antibiotics are advocated throughout an “abortion storm” to forestall further losses.


Lasalocid (Bovatec®) and Monensin (Rumensin®) are ionophores that may be added to mineral mixes or complete rations. Ionophores improve feed utilization and gain in cattle by altering rumen fermentation. They are conjointly coccidiostats. They kill coccidia, primarily during the sporozoite stage. Lasalocid (Bovatec®) is labeled as a coccidiostat for confined sheep.

Rumensin® is approved to be used in goats and cattle. Its use in sheep should be approved by a veterinarian. Decoquinate (Deccox®) is additionally a coccidiostat. Deccox stops coccidia from growing. In distinction with Bovatec® and Rumensin®, Deccox may be a quinolone. It is safer to use than ionophores, however is more expensive. Bovatec® and Rumensin® will be toxic to equines.

Feeding Bovatec® or Deccox® to ewes prior to lambing might facilitate to reduce the extent of coccidia in the lambing surroundings. Rumensin® fed to ewes during late gestation could help to prevent abortions caused by toxoplasmosis. Alternative potential benefits to ionophores embrace reduced incidences of acidosis and feed heap bloat. Ionophores have additionally been shown to cut back livestock methane production (CH4) and nitrogen leaching.


Probiotics are simply the other of antibiotics. They are living organisms of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics could improve animal performance by keeping livestock healthy and improving their digestion. Several industrial feeds contain probiotics. Milk replacers typically contain probiotics.

Yeast is a probiotic and has been incorporated into livestock rations. Therefore way, there’s little printed knowledge to support an improvement in animal performance as a results of feeding probiotics or similar additives. More analysis is required before their advantages and economics can be validated.

Ammonium chloride is often added to lamb rations to stop urinary calculi (kidney stones). Ammonium chloride will facilitate to acidify the urine. It should be added to the ration at a rate of 0.five to 1.five percent. It can additionally be mixed as a drench and used to treat lambs with early signs of urinary calculi.

Sheep Vaccinations

Flock vaccinations

Vaccinations are an important half of a flock health management program. They provide cheap “insurance” against diseases which will commonly affect sheep and lambs.

Clostridial Diseases

On most farms, the sole universally-recommended vaccine for sheep and lambs is that the CD-T toxoid. The CD-T toxoid provides three-means protection against enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens varieties C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani. There are seven and 8-means clostridial vaccines that provide protection against additional clostridial diseases, like blackleg and malignant edema, however the additional protection is often not necessary.

Sort C

Enterotoxemia type C, conjointly referred to as hemorrhagic enteritis or “bloody scours,” affects lambs principally during their first few weeks of life, causing a bloody infection in the little intestine. Sort C enterotoxemia is often related to indigestion and is predisposed by a modification in feed, such as starting creep feeding or a step-up within the milk offer, perhaps caused by the loss of a littermate. The only way to protect lambs from sort C enterotoxemia is to vaccinate their dams during late pregnancy.

Type D

Enterotoxemia type D is “classic” overeating disease. It is conjointly known as “pulpy kidney disease.” Sort D enterotoxemia sometimes affects lambs that are over one month old. Usually it is the biggest, fastest growing lamb(s) in the flock that are affected. Type D overeating disease is usually precipitated by a sudden modification in feed that causes the bacteria, already present in the lamb’s gut, to proliferate, resulting in a toxic, usually fatal reaction. Sort D is most typically observed in lambs that are consuming high concentrate diets, but can conjointly occur in lambs nursing significant milking dams.

Passive immunity

To confer passive immunity to lambs through the colostrum (first milk), ewes ought to be vaccinated with the CD-T toxoid approximately 4 weeks prior to lambing. Ewes lambing for the primary time ought to be vaccinated twice in late pregnancy, four weeks apart. Maternal antibodies can defend lambs for six to eight weeks so long as lambs consumed adequate amounts of colostrum. It’s suggested that a lamb consume 10 percent of its body weight in colostrum.


Sheep should receive their first CD-T vaccination once they are approximately vi to 8 weeks of age, followed by a booster four weeks later. If pastured animals are later brought into confinement or dry lot for concentrate feeding, a 3rd vaccination ought to be given. Some consultants recommend giving artificially-reared lambs multiple vaccinations.

Sheep whose dams were not vaccinated for C and D will be vaccinated with some success at two to 3 days old and once more in two weeks. However, later vaccinations will probably be a lot of effective, as colostral antibodies usually interfere with vaccinations at very young ages. The lamb’s immature immune system may conjointly not be able to retort to vaccination at such a young age.

A better alternative might be to vaccinate offspring from non-vaccinated dams after they are approximately four weeks old, followed by a booster 4 weeks later. Anti-toxins can give immediate short-term immunity if dams weren’t vaccinated or in the event of disease outbreak or vaccine failure.

Feeder Sheep

Purchased feeder lambs ought to be vaccinated for kind D enterotoxemia at the time of purchase and a couple of to four weeks later. Feeder lambs purchased as 4-H or FFA comes ought to receive two type D vaccinations, if they were not vaccinated at the farm of origin.


Lambs whose dams weren’t vaccinated for tetanus should be given the tetanus antitoxin at the time of docking and castrating, especially if elastrator bands are used. An antitoxin provides immediate short-term immunity. If a tetanus toxoid product is run at the time of docking or castration, it will not provide adequate immunity, as toxoids take ten days to a pair of weeks to produce immunity and need a booster for complete immunity.

Rams and pet sheep should be boostered annually with the CD-T toxoid. As with ewes, they require 2 vaccinations the first time they’re vaccinated.

Different diseases

As well to clostridial diseases, there are various other diseases for that producers may wish to vaccinate. The use of additional vaccines depends upon the health standing of the flock, the perceived disease risk of the flock, and prevalence of diseases in the geographic space where the flock is located. In the U.S. (for sheep), there are licensed vaccines for sore mouth, foot rot, caseous lymphadenitis, abortion, e. coli scours, parainfluenza-3 (PI-3), epididymitis, and rabies. Vaccines that are not approved for sheep are also typically used.

Sore Mouth

There is a vaccine for sore mouth (contagious ecthyma, orf), a viral skin disease commonly affecting sheep and goats. The vaccine is live. It causes sore mouth infection (lesions) at a location (on the animal) and time of the producer’s selecting. Ewes ought to be vaccinated well ahead of lambing. Show animals ought to be vaccinated well before of the primary show.

To use the vaccine, a wool-less space on the animal is scarified, and therefore the rehydrated vaccine is applied to the spot with a brush or similar applicator. Ewes can be vaccinated inside the ear or under the tail. Lambs can be vaccinated within the thigh. Because the sore mouth vaccine is a live vaccine and sore mouth is extremely contagious to humans, care must be taken when applying the vaccine. Gloves ought to be worn when handling the vaccine or animals with sore mouth.

Flocks which are free from sore mouth ought to in all probability not be vaccinated as a result of the sore mouth vaccine will introduce the virus to the flock/premises. Once sore mouth vaccination is begun, it ought to be continued annually.


Footrot is one in all the foremost ubiquitous and economically devastating diseases in the sheep business. It causes considerable economic loss because of the costs associated with treating it and therefore the premature culling of carrier animals. There are two vaccines for footrot and foot scald in sheep: Footvax® ten Strain and Volar™ Footrot Bacterin.

Neither vaccine prevents the diseases from occurring, but when employed in conjunction with alternative management practices like selection/culling, regular foot trimming, foot soaking/bathing, etc., vaccinations can help scale back infection levels. Footrot vaccines should be administered each three to 6 months, prior to anticipated outbreaks of hoof problems (i.e. prior to the wet/rainy season).

Abscesses (at the injection web site) are not uncommon with the footrot vaccines. The limitation of footrot vaccines is that they may not embrace the strain of foot rot that is gift during a explicit flock.

Caseous lymphadenitis (CL)

There is a vaccine for caseous lymphadenitis in sheep. CL affects primarily the lymphatic system and ends up in the formation of abscesses in the lymph nodes. It’s highly contagious. When it affects the internal organs, it evolves into a chronic wasting disease.

The cost of CL to the sheep industry is in all probability grossly underestimated. The CLA vaccine is convenient to use because it is combined with CD-T. Vaccination will reduce the amount of abscesses in the flock, but it can not forestall the disease from occuring.

Abortionpregnant sheep

Abortion is when a feminine loses her offspring throughout pregnancy or provides birth to stillborn, weak, or deformed lambs. There are vaccines (individual and combination) for several of the infectious causes of abortion in sheep: enzootic (EAE/Chlamydia sp.) and vibriosis (Campylobacter fetus).

Abortion vaccines ought to be administered previous to breeding. Ewes being vaccinated for the first time ought to receive a second vaccination (booster) in mid-pregnancy. Producers with downside flocks could think about giving a booster further. Risk factors for abortion embody an open flock and/or a history of abortions within the flock.

Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine (on the market within the U.S.) for toxoplasmosis, another common reason behind abortion in sheep. Since the disease-causing organism is carried by domestic cats, the most effective protection is to manage the farm’s cat population by spaying/neutering and keeping cats from contaminating feed sources.


Epididymitis could be a major reason behind reduced fertility in rams from western range states. There are vaccines for epididymitis (Brucella ovis), but none are deemed totally effective. Moreover, vaccination interferes with the ability to eliminate infected rams from the flock, as vaccinated rams can test positive for B. ovis.

E.Coli Scours

Scours in baby lambs will be caused by E. coli. There is a vaccine which will be administered to ewes at the identical time as CD-T to pass immunity to lambs through the colostrum. An different to vaccination is to administer newborn lambs oral E. coli antibody at birth.


Though the danger to sheep is usually minimal, rabies vaccination may be suggested if the flock is located in a very rabies-infected space, the animals are valuable, and livestock have access to wooded areas or areas frequented by raccoons, skunks, foxes, or alternative known carriers of rabies. Frequent interaction with livestock may be another excuse to consider vaccinating.

The price of the rabies vaccine relative to the worth of the animals ought to be thought of. The large animal rabies vaccine is approved for use in sheep. Producers should consult their veterinarian regarding rabies vaccination. Some states need rabies vaccination for exhibition at fairs and shows. All dogs and cats on the farm should be vaccinated against rabies.

Autogenous vaccines

When no business vaccine is out there, autogenous or custom vaccines will be made. They are usually created from bacteria or viruses that have been isolated on a farm in conjunction with a disease. Autogenous vaccines are sometimes not as effective as industrial vaccines.

Giving Vaccines

Most vaccines are given subcutaneously (sub-Q), i.e. beneath the skin. Some vaccines are given intra muscularly (IM). Occasionally, some are given topically (e.g. sore mouth) or intra nasally (e.g. Nasalgen®). For subcutaneous vaccines, use a one/2 or three/four in., 18- or twenty-gauge needle. Subcutaneous vaccinations can be given over the ribs, behind the armpit, or high up on the neck. The needle used to withdraw vaccine from the bottle ought to not be the same needle used to inject the animal.

In order for vaccination programs to achieve success, label directions should be fastidiously followed. Vaccines should be stored, handled, and administered properly. Solely healthy sheep and lambs ought to be vaccinated. It’s additionally necessary to notice that vaccines have limitations and that the immunity imparted by vaccines can typically by inadequate or overwhelmed by disease challenge.

Future vaccines

With the increasing role of small ruminants in small farms and sustainable farming systems, hopefully animal health companies can develop and license more vaccines for sheep.

Scientists are currently operating to develop vaccines to guard tiny ruminants against Haemonchus contortus and other Castro-intestinal and blood-sucking parasites. The research is promising. Thus so much, the challenge has been developing effective vaccines using recombine DNA technology, as other strategies of vaccine generation aren’t economically possible.

Not vaccinating

Many sheep producers can tell you that they never vaccinate. Different producers vaccinate for diseases which don’t seem to be a high risk. Vaccination could be a type of risk management. Every producer should weights the professionals and cons of vaccinating for a specific disease. If the price of vaccination excess the expected losses, then vaccination is in all probability not cost-effective. Conversely, if expected losses exceed the price of vaccination, the vaccination could be a sensible risk management tool.

At the same time, it is not advisable to wait until you’ve got a disease outbreak before instituting a vaccination program. The risk of a disease’s outbreak should be the factors that’s used to see the requirement for vaccination. A producer’s tolerance for risk will conjointly come back into play.

Sheep are multi-purpose animals

Meat, milk, or wool?

Sheep are multi-purpose animals, raised for his or her meat, milk, wool, hides, and skins. Whereas they need been used to regulate unwanted vegetation for hundreds of years, grazing as a fee-primarily based service could be a relatively new opportunity for US sheep producers. Sheep also are a fashionable analysis model and some producers have developed businesses supplying animals or other product (e.g. blood) to bio-science.

Thus, one of the primary and most important choices a shepherd must make is to make your mind up that side(s) of sheep production to focus on. Whereas most sheep breeds are multi-purpose, most are best suited to either meat, milk, or wool production — seldom all 3. Production practices typically vary according to the aim of the flock.

Meat Sheep

Within the United States, most sheep and lambs are meat-kind animals kept primarily for the assembly of lambs for meat or twin-purpose breeds kept for each meat and wool production. Meat production is also a important profit center in sheep dairying.

Meat sheep producers sell either slaughter lambs or feeder lambs. Slaughter lambs are sometimes purchased for immediate slaughter. Within the United States, the common slaughter weight for a lamb processed in an exceedingly federally-inspected plant is regarding 136 lbs. Lambs sold into ethnic markets have a tendency to be much lighter, sometimes less than 100 lbs. Increasingly, there’s a marketplace for slaughter lambs of any weight.

Feeder lambs are lambs that are typically fed to heavier weights before being harvested. Feeder lambs vary in weight, sometimes from 50 to a hundred lbs., with the demand typically being the highest for sixty-90 lb. lambs. Increasingly, lamb feeders are having to compete with the ethnic markets for light weight lambs.

In a very meat sheep enterprise, the first factors that verify profitability are % lamb crop, lamb growth rates, and market prices. Unless forage resources are abundant or feed costs are terribly low, it is tough to create a exploit a ewe that weans solely one lamb, particularly in areas where predation is high.

sheep house fLamb Feeding

Industrial lamb feeding is a traditional sheep enterprise in the US and is turning into a lot of common in alternative countries. In some components of the US, lamb feeding is a seasonal enterprise, occurring primarily in the fall and winter, once pastures have stopped growing and crop residues are out there for grazing. In other areas (e.g. Texas, Colorado, and therefore the Corn Belt), lamb feedlots operate year-round. Several farmers feed their own lambs out.

In a very lamb feeding enterprise, feeder lambs (fifty to 100 lbs.) are purchased and fed to finish weights of a hundred lbs. or additional. Besides the acquisition worth of the lambs, the main cost in finishing lambs is feed. Lambs will be finished on a selection of diets: complete pelleted rations, whole grain rations, or high-forage diets. Cheap gains will typically be place on lambs on pasture or crop aftermaths. Lambs can additionally be finished on various by-product feeds.

Hair Sheepsheep father black and white

The declining value of wool relative to meat, along with the decreasing variety of sheep shearers, has contributed to an expansion of hair sheep, not solely within the United States, but alternative countries in addition. It is estimated that approximately ten percent of the planet’s sheep population is hair sheep. In keeping with a 2011 NAHMS study, twenty one.five percent of sheep operations within the U.S. raise hair sheep breeds.

Hair sheep naturally shed their coats (mixtures of hair and wool fibers) and do not need shearing, crutching, or tail docking. Hair sheep are additional proof against internal parasites (gastro-intestinal worms) and alternative pests than wooled sheep. Also, hair sheep breeds possess many fascinating reproductive characteristics, such as early puberty, out-of-season breeding, and prolificacy.

Hair sheep are typically promoted as an “straightforward-care” various to wooled sheep and ancient high-cost production systems. Hair sheep ewes are typically lambed on pasture. Lambs are commonly grass-finished. Hair sheep lambs are usually higher suited to the ethnic markets that the commodity markets which sometimes prefer a heavy lamb.

Because hair sheep production continues to grow, there may be a smart market for hair sheep breeding stock. Many hair sheep producers sell their ewe lambs as breeding stock and their male lambs for meat.
Wool Production

Wool was the primary commodity to be traded internationally and is the merchandise the general public most ordinarily associates with sheep. But, the importance of wool (as a product) relative to meat has declined dramatically. In the first 190zero’s, the bulk of income from a sheep operation was from the sale of wool. Today, it is the other approach around. While wool is still necessary on several sheep farms, lambs almost continually contribute the majority of income to the farm. Fine wool brings the most money within the commodity market.

Selling wool in the industrial wool market has restricted profit potential for most producers, but niche selling wool can pay huge dividends. For example, while wool sold commercially may bring only 75 cents per pound, fleeces sold handy spinners may bring as much as $fifteen per pound. Several producers have their wool processed into yarn, roving, blankets, or crafts and market price-added products. There are many cooperative ventures within the US that can add price to a producer’s clip.

Fleeces sold to hand spinners need to be of top of the range. Feeding, housing, health care, handling, and harvesting are all vital to the assembly of top quality wool. It goes without saying that fleeces ought to be skirted. Skirting is when the undesirable elements of the fleece are removed: belly wool, top knots, leg clippings, tags, stained wool, cotted wool, and short wool.

Some producers put covers on their sheep to forestall the fleeces from getting dirty and guard against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which may cause fading at the ideas of colored fleeces. Since wool grows more beneath covers, covers have to be changed repeatedly because the fleece grows.

Sheep Dairying

Sheep have been milked for thousands of years and were milked long before the first cow was milked. The globe’s commercial dairy sheep trade is concentrated in Europe and therefore the countries on or near the Mediterranean Sea. The dairy sheep business is very tiny in the United States. Most sheep dairies are located in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin and Minnesota), California, and also the New England states.

Sheep’s milk is usually created into gourmand cheeses. Some milk is made into yogurt and ice cream. Recent sheep’s milk is seldom consumed. Milk will be sold to a processor for conversion to cheese (or other products) or the milk will be processed on-farm by the producer and marketed as a price-added product.

Whereas any breed of sheep will be milked, there are specialized dairy sheep breeds, much like there are specialized breeds of cattle and goats for dairy production. The 2 dairy sheep breeds raised in the US are the East Friesian and Lacaune. The Awassi, a dairy breed from the Middle East, was recently introduced to the US via embryos and semen.

Non-dairy breeds that are best tailored to dairy production are Dorset and Polypay. They solely manufacture a hundred to two hundred pounds of milk per lactation, while crosses between domestic breeds and specialised dairy breeds average 250 to 650 pounds of milk per lactation. There’s some interest in making a dairy hair sheep by crossing the Katahdin with the Lacaune.

The nutritional needs of dairy ewes are considerably over for ewes being raised for meat and/or wool. Total feed necessities will rely genetics and length of lactation. It’s important to notice that some feeds will impart undesirable flavors to the milk (e.g. fish meal) and should not be fed in large quantities during lactation. Dairy ewes have the best water demand of any category of sheep at approximately 3 gallons per head per day.

While most non-dairy producers wean their lambs at sixty days old or later, dairy lambs are weaned at 30 days old or younger, therefore that the ewes can be milked when they are still producing vital amounts of milk. Milking facilities and equipment will be the most important expense in an exceedingly dairy sheep operation. The kind of milking parlor could vary consistent with the size of the operation. Producers milking but 50 ewes could utilize a platform for milking, whereas a “pit” parlor is desirable for larger operations.

When milk is cooled, it can be shipped to a processing plant or frozen for later use or cargo. Whereas recent milk could end in a product of slightly higher quality, frozen milk has been shown to provide very acceptable product. The ability to freeze milk on the farm and deliver giant quantities to the processor at infrequent intervals allows the establishment of sheep dairies nice distances from a processing plant.


Many sheep farms concentrate on the production and sale of seedstock or breeding stock. Breeding stock may include ewes and rams, purebred registered animals and industrial crossbreds. Customers for breeding stock may be other seedstock producers or business sheep producers.

In areas where there is a large business sheep trade, producers could be in a position to determine demand for commercial rams. One choice for selling rams is to participate in Central Ram Performance Testing Programs. During a ram take a look at, rams are evaluated for various traits as well as growth, feed potency, wool traits, parasite resistance, and breeding soundness. Rams that don’t meet performance standards don’t seem to be allowed to sell. Consignment sales, production sales, and personal treaty sales are different means that of selling breeding stock.

Record keeping is a crucial facet of seedstock production. The National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) is quantitative genetic evaluation program for little ruminant producers. It calculates EBVs (estimated breeding values) for numerous traits and permits the comparison of sheep from different flocks beneath different feeding and management systems. NSIP knowledge is processed by Australia’s LAMBPLAN. Producers will also do their own on-farm record keeping. There are numerous computer programs out there for this purpose. A spreadsheet can conjointly be used.

Nowadays, it is counseled that breeding rams, especially those sold to other seedstock producers, be blood tested for scrapie genotype. Rams with inclined genotypes (e.g. QQ) should probably not be sold for breeding, if progeny will be kept for breeding. QQ rams will be used to provide club lambs or as terminal sires in business flocks where all lambs will visit slaughter. Scrapie isn’t a genetic disease; but, a private’s genotype determines whether or not it will get scrapie if it’s exposed to the infective agent.

Producers of breeding stock could conjointly wish to enroll their flocks in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (VSFCP). The VSFCP is a monitoring program for scrapie administered by USDA-APHIS. It is a requirement for export.

Club Lambs

Some sheep farms concentrate on the assembly and sale of club lambs. Club lambs are “feeder” lambs (ewes or wethers) that youth purchase to develop as market lamb projects to exhibit at county and state fairs, regional and national shows. Market lamb projects are sometimes “terminal,” which means they start with the acquisition of a lamb and finish with the sale of the lamb for slaughter.

While any lamb will be shown as a market lamb category, certain breeds will be a lot of competitive, unless lambs are shown by breed. Significant muscled lambs that end over one hundred twenty five lbs. are typically the most competitive within the show ring and in championship drives. Hampshires, Suffolks, and crosses between these 2 breeds are the foremost common type of club lamb, and the most competitive.

Dorsets, Southdowns, and Shropshires can also build good club lambs. Some shows separate lambs by weight increments, while others separate lambs by breed. Some shows collect carcass data on lambs and award additional prizes to youth participants. In live shows, judges don’t always decide the lambs that can droop the best carcasses.

Some practices typically utilized in the club lamb sector may be distasteful to some people, e.g. lack of forage within the diet, late castration, ultra-short tail docking, and made exercise. The important factor to remember about a club lamb project is that it’s a youth project meant to teach young folks valuable life skills. To put winning (in any respect prices) on top of youth development is sadly missing the purpose.

Vegetation management Sheep eating

Using sheep for custom grazing might convince be the foremost profitable sheep enterprise. Whereas the demand for lamb and wool seems limited, society seems willing to spend “unlimited” amounts of money to enhance the setting. Increasingly sheep (and goats) are being viewed as a natural and environmentally-friendly manner to manage landscapes. At the same time, land managers don’t wish to have sheep. They want to contract grazing services.

There are many factors to contemplate when developing a fee-based mostly grazing business: cost of fencing, water offer, the requirement to test animals daily, and a place to stay the sheep when they’re not on a job. Fencing is the typically the major constraint. Predators may gift a drawback in remote locations. If the positioning is in read of the general public, the general public might expect the sheep to possess access to shelter. It may also be necessary to vaccine the sheep for rabies.

While any quite sheep can be used for grazing, a flock of mature weathers might prove to be the most effective choice. They’re easier to manage and can be pushed to eat undesirable plant species without adversely affecting productivity.

Over the years, sheep are used to regulate unwanted vegetation in orchards, vineyards, and on Christmas tree plantations. They have grazed beneath power lines, in national parks and historic battlefields, at ski resorts, and in urban settings. They need been used for noxious weed management. Compared to goats, they are easier to contain, easier to handle, less damaging, and do a higher job maintaining grassy landscapes. But, goats are a better alternative to control brush and tree seedlings.