November 3, 2009
Use before November 15, 2009
Cornell Cooperative Extension Contacts: Betsy Hodge, St. Lawrence County, 315-379-0607; Ron Kuck, Jefferson County, 315-788-8450; Peter Hagar, Clinton County, 518-561-7450

Cornell Specialists Set to Speak at NNY Sheep & Goat Week Programs in Watertown, Plattsburgh and Canton

Northern NY Sheep and Goat Week presentations will offer a detailed look at sheep and goat nutrition with Cornell University Professor Emeritus and sheep specialist Dr. Douglas E. Hogue and Small Livestock Educator Betsy Hodge of Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County.

Hodge says the goal of the workshop is to help current livestock producers match the forages they grow with grains that contain some fermentable fiber to meet the nutritional requirements of their animals. An introduction to Cornell’s FeedForm Ration Balancing software program is also part of the program.

The Northern NY Sheep and Goat Week programs are scheduled for:
• November 17, 6:30 pm, Watertown: Cornell Cooperative Extension Jefferson County, register with Dairy and Livestock Educator Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450; bring dessert to share or $5.00/person

• November 18, 7:00 pm, Plattsburgh: Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County, register with Peter Hagar at 518-561-7450; $5.00/person, light refreshments will be provided

• November 19, 7:00 pm, Canton: Cornell Cooperative Extension St. Lawrence County Learning Farm, register with Betsy Hodge at 315-379-0607, 379-9192;
$5.00/person, light refreshment will be provided.

Hogue will present “Fermentable Fiber: The Efficient Feeding of Small Ruminants.” Hogue will talk about the Dugway Nutritional Plan.

“The Dugway Nutritional Plan was developed specifically for higher producing ruminants to provide a simple, but effective method of feeding these animals and to overcome some limitations of traditional systems. Specifically, the Plan recognizes that diet formulation can have a significant effect on feed intake and also that the proper balance of dietary components can effectively prevent most metabolic disturbances such as acidosis and animals going off-feed.”

The plan, first developed for lactating dairy cows, now provides nutrient plans
for several types of animals with suggested levels of feed components for various types of production.

Hodge will discuss feeding and ration terminology and introduce how increasing fermentable fiber in a feed ration increases animal intake of the feed.

“Basically, when a ruminant’s diet is too high in indigestible fiber, the diet needs to be supplemented with grains to meet the energy needs of the animal. When you do this, the rumen does not function as well and you can have metabolic problems. By providing grains and good quality forages with digestible, fermentable fiber you can provide all the nutrients the animals need and keep them very healthy at the same time.”

Hodge will also lead workshop participants through the Cornell FeedForm Ration Balancing software program that uses a Microsoft Access database system to formulate livestock diet rations.

Hodge manages a flock of 80 sheep at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm at Canton as well as her own flock of 20 sheep and a herd of six goats. She provides Extension assistance to livestock farmers throughout the North Country.

Learn more about raising goats, sheep, beef cattle and other livestock by contacting your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office or at the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.  #