Category: Lamb

Two buyers for every lamb: challenges and opportunities in the sheep industry

Canada imports more than half the lamb it consumes, which spells opportunity for our sheep farmers, but that opportunity isn’t the easiest to capitalize on. In the interview below, Marc Carere, vice chair of Ontario Sheep Farmers, talks to Shaun Haney about the tremendous amount of potential — but also incredible challenges —of this still-maturing… Read more »

When the CFIA comes to call

There are likely few sentences that strike fear in the hearts of livestock producers quite like, “The CFIA called. They’re coming for a meeting.” That’s exactly what happened here last week, and, admittedly, my first inclination was to freak out. Fearing the worst (an audit on two days notice is the stuff of nightmares), I… Read more »

Blood and milk test for TB, Johne’s makes steps to commercialization

Saskatoon will soon be host to a UK company that develops rapid bacteria detection tests using blood and milk samples. Announced today, PBD Biotech has chosen Saskatoon, SK, as the headquarters for its Canadian subsidiary. The company’s Actiphage technology is a “highly sensitive and specific assay” that detects live bacteria in the blood or milk of… Read more »

Proposed food guide and label changes prompt #HandsOffMyPlate campaign

A group of people concerned about the impact of Health Canada’s plan to revise Canada’s Food Guide and introduce new labels on food packaging have launched a campaign to raise awareness of and opposition to the government’s proposed changes. The campaign, which uses the slogan “Hands Off My Plate,” includes a website, a hashtag (#HandsOffMyPlate,… Read more »

How does Canada’s sheep traceability system measure up?

Livestock traceability requirements for sheep are about to get much more involved across Canada. While sheep producers have long been required to tag sheep ahead of movement, actual tracking of livestock movement has only needed to be recorded, not reported. That is going to change very soon, and there is concern that the existing infrastructure… Read more »

Controlling leafy spurge one flock at a time

While most pastures across Saskatchewan were blanketed with snow this past winter, the landscape will change quickly as warm weather arrives. Native prairie plants such as northern wheatgrass and needle-and-thread will soon spring to life, however their undesirable counterparts, such as leafy spurge, will too. Leafy spurge is a perennial invasive weed many farmers and… Read more »

Using synchronization and induction as a lambing time-management tool

Lambing is an exciting but exhausting time for sheep farmers. A typical breeding cycle with natural service over two heat cycles usually results in well over two weeks of late nights, early mornings, and intense work. To manage the labour load (pun intended), some farmers have adopted a synchronization and induction program to tighten the… Read more »

12 lessons for a new sheep farmer

There’s a reason young and beginning farmers often choose to start a sheep enterprise — local demand for lamb is double what we produce, you can keep quite a few sheep on a limited land base, and they’re affordable livestock that reproduce quickly. There’s also a reason that many new sheep farmers don’t last more… Read more »

Dual-active dewormer approved for use in Canadian sheep flocks

A short-acting, oral drench offered by Zoetis — Startect— has received Canadian approval for use in sheep for treatment and control of a range of adult and immature worms, including Haemonchus contortus (barber pole), and nematode parasites including Teladorsagie and Trichostrongylus. Startect contains two active ingredients, abamectic and derquantel, in one product so as to… Read more »

Activists pushing to tax meat like cigarettes

According to the dictionary, a sin tax is “a tax on items considered undesirable or harmful, such as alcohol or tobacco.” There is mounting pressure from activist groups to add animal proteins to that list of so-called “sinful” items. They argue meat creates added healthcare costs and negative impacts on the environment. It might sound… Read more »

Livestock disease winging its way north as climate warms

Flying, biting midges (Culicoides spp.) — sometimes called no-see-ums — are a scourge to wildlife. Hunters recognize their effects on deer in particular, which are highly susceptibility to a group of midge-transmitted viruses. But there are growing concerns about their potential effect on livestock, too. Here’s why. A midge swarm will blood-feed on animals, causing… Read more »

Sausage study challenges consumer confidence

My daughter and grandson share the same birthday, August 7. They’re part of a pork-and-grain farming operation near Thamesville. At their birthday celebration on the weekend, our family barbequed pork sausage from their farm on the campfire. There was no reason to doubt the quality of the sausage. We trust the meat packers in nearby… Read more »

CanSheep Launches the Verified Sheep Program

The Canadian Sheep Federation (CanSheep) has announced the launch of the Canadian Verified Sheep Program (CVSP). A rebranding of the Food Safe Farm Practices program, this new program adds two additional modules on animal care and biosecurity. Sheep farmers who have already completed the Food Safe Farm Practices program will only need to complete these… Read more »

Canadian Lamb Producers Co-operative Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The Canadian Lamb Producers Co-operative has filed for bankruptcy protection. The website, not updated since 2014, has since been taken down. The marketing site — Läm — is still live. Representatives for the co-operative could not comment on the process or whether or not farmers were owed money. The co-op, where sheep producers bought shares in… Read more »

No Compressor or Hoses for Cordless Fence Stapler

Marketed as “the world’s first cordless fencing stapler,” the STOCKade ST400i won first place in the innovation contest at Agri-Trade in Red Deer, Alta., this fall. The cordless stapler has more power than a pneumatic fencing stapler and does not require a compressor and hoses, notes Axle Boris of Langley, BC-based FenceFast Ltd., in this video recorded at Agribition… Read more »