Birth Management Clinic for Small Ruminants

The birth period provides challenges to sheep and goat farmers regardless of farm size. Both novice and experienced farmers must deal with stresses imposed by time constraints that can be compounded by the weather.

To learn the latest concepts on how to more effectively manage the birth period of sheep and goat herds, farmers are encouraged to attend the Birth Management Clinic for Small Ruminants taught by Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Extension small ruminant specialist. Ehrhardt will share the latest concepts and skills gleaned from the field and supported by sound science.

This six-hour program, hosted by Michigan State University Extension, is created to serve the needs of both experienced and novice producers. Presentations will help producers hone their management skills and decision making through discussion, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Attendees will learn about the importance of nutritional management in preventing many of the common complications observed at birth and how to assess maternal and newborn health and wellbeing. Specific training will be given in dealing with newborn hypothermia, difficult delivery and ensuring a strong bond between mother and offspring. Facility design and time and labor management issues will also be covered.

The clinic will be repeated on both Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The program will begin at the Onondaga Township Hall located at 4756 Baldwin Road, Onondaga, Mich. and will then move to a nearby modern sheep birth facility at 6280 Kinneville Road, Eaton Rapids, Mich.

Enrollment is limited to 25 persons per session date and registration is due by Feb. 5. Registration is $45 per person ($20 for additional member of the same family) and includes a management guide book, treatment posters, lunch and light refreshments. Contact Carla McLachlan at 517-432-5402 or email at to register.

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