Alberta Lamb Producers said today that the disease was confirmed in late June in a sheep that had lived on multiple premises. Two Alberta flocks have now been quarantined. Their location was not disclosed. | File photo

Scrapie found in Alberta sheep

A case of scrapie, a fatal disease affecting sheep and goats, has been confirmed in an Alberta sheep. Alberta Lamb Producers said today that the disease was confirmed in late June in a sheep that had lived on multiple premises. Two Alberta flocks have now been quarantined. Their location was not disclosed. Scrapie is a […] Read more

The Chinese government is making new uniforms for its military and government workers, but those garments won’t contain much Canadian wool.
 | File photo

Chinese wool demand unlikely to help Canada

The Chinese government is making new uniforms for its military and government workers, but those garments won’t contain much Canadian wool. However, such large quantities of wool needed for this project could affect other parts of the wool market, said Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers general manager Eric Bjergso. “Unfortunately, our fine wool production is such […] Read more

Management is key to keeping newborn lambs alive, and it starts with a healthy ewe, says veterinarian.  |  File photo

Better care needed as fertility rates rise

More is not better if lamb mortality increases with higher birth rates, says Saskatchewan veterinarian

As fertility rates rise for lambs and kids, so does the need for better management practices in keeping them alive. However, therein lie the issues, said Dr. Fritz Schumann of the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “Even if fertility rates are high, there must be a point where physiologically the lambs can’t […] Read more


A cattle ranch in southern Alberta has used sheep to control leafy spurge. These particular sheep were photographed earlier this summer in the Swan Lake Hills near Somerset, Man.  |  Jeannette Greaves photo

‘Range maggots’ to the rescue on ranch pasture

LUNDBRECK, Alta. — Cattle ranchers traditionally aren’t keen on sheep but the “range maggots” they sometimes disparage have brought a major weed problem to heel on southern Alberta’s Waldron Ranch. Several years ago, leafy spurge flourished on parts of the ranch, turning the prairie greenish-yellow with its blossoms and foliage. Leafy spurge chokes out native […] Read more

A ringman signals a bid at the 10th annual Pound Maker ram sale held at the Fort Macleod Auction Market May 19.  | Barb Glen photo

Sheep producers happy with average results at ram sale

FORT MACLEOD, Alta. — Organizers of the annual Pound Maker ram sale in southern Alberta may have to change the name of the event to the Rain Maker ram sale. It rains almost every year on the day of the sale, and on May 19, the rain was particularly welcome as the first measurable precipitation […] Read more


The Lewinskys say the sheep are expected to reach Israel this year, subject to passing medical tests, and will be used for educational and heritage purposes.  |  File photo

Couple eager to return biblical sheep home

Israeli producers living near Abbotsford, B.C., say Jacob sheep should be the national animal of the Jewish people

TORONTO (Reuters) — A breed of sheep believed to have been raised by the Jewish patriarch Jacob may soon be brought to Israel, its biblical homeland, after an Israeli couple gathered a herd in Canada and brokered a bureaucratic detente to import the animals. Jenna and Gil Lewinsky’s efforts to send 130 sheep to the […] Read more

Selecting for disease resistance involves a number of genes, but it may be worth pursuing if the condition is serious enough.  | File photo

Genetic improvements have lasting legacy

Breeding sheep with greater disease resistance instead of treating symptoms could benefit animal welfare, food supply

RED DEER — Understanding sheep DNA could result in healthier, stronger animals. “Genetics have a lot of advantages over our traditional approaches. Unlike changes in management, genetics are permanent and cumulative,” said Susan Schoenian, a sheep and goat specialist from the University of Maryland. Breeding animals with greater disease resistance instead of treating symptoms with […] Read more

Prices for lambs are up and a drop isn’t expected until a new crop goes to market this fall.  |  File photo

Lamb sector profits attract some cattle producers

While Canadian lamb producers are making money at current prices, feedlot owners’ margins are ‘tight and small’

It’s a great time to be a lamb producer. Prices keep getting stronger, supply is never enough and the strong U.S. dollar keeps American buyers looking north for bargains. “Prices are wonderful, but last year was also a good year for prices,” said Alberta lamb producer Bill Gibson of Tees, Alta. Prices for 80 to […] Read more


Tara MacLachlan, left, and Kirsten Tittemore recently purchased a flock of purebred Bluefaced Leicester sheep from Alberta and relocated it to their farms at Eyebrow and Central Butte, Sask. | Karen Briere photo

Sheep sharing leaves shepherds blue

Tara MacLachlan and Kirstin Tittemore have the blues. And those blues are believed to be the first purebred Bluefaced Leicester sheep flock in Saskatchewan. The women, one from Eyebrow and one from Central Butte, bought the flock several weeks ago from Rory and Jody McLean of Valleyview, Alta., and relocated it to the Saskatchewan plains. […] Read more

Sheep producers can find premium prices for their product by making direct sales, but forming long lasting relationships with repeat customers can be challenging.  |  File photo

Producers have market options

Finding opportunities | Sheep producers can make direct sales, but it isn’t always easy

NISKU, Alta. — Lamb producers don’t often get into business because they love marketing, but it’s one of the most important parts of their farming operation. To help lamb producers make the right marketing decisions, the Alberta Lamb Producers brought together four different marketing specialists at a Sept. 6 event in Nisku. “It may be […] Read more