Thursday, November 17, 2011

USDA Scrapie program

We wanted to share some information on the USDA Scrapie program for thoes of you who may have a small herd or just getting into raising sheep.

Scrapie is a disease that affects the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Scrapie is a degenerative disease and can be fatal. A two to five year incubation period can mask the devistation on the flock. The disease can be transmitted between animals with a high percentage of infection. The most common breed of sheep prone to Scrapie are the Suffolk and North Country Chivot however all sheep and goats are suseptable.

An infected sheep rubs its head and rump against buildings or fences, becomes very nervous and develops muscular tremors.

The USDA offers a voulantary Scrapie inspection program. CLICK HERE

Our East Friesians are enrolled in a mandatory USDA Scrapie program for exportaion of animals, embryos and semen. We recommend that everyone producing sheep or goats enroll their animals asap!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Andy Karras - Owner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sheep Tail Docking

We frequently get asked about docking tails so here is some basic information on the matter.

Docking the tails can improve the health and welfare of sheep and lambs. At Karras Farm we dock tails to an absolute minimum of 6 inches and no shorter. Docking prevents fecal matter from accumulating on the tail and hindquarter of the animal.

Tail docking also reduces fly strike while having no ill effect on lamb mortality or production.

Andy Karras

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

East Friesian - Embryo Transfer Preparation

Preparing our East Friesian sheep for embryo transfer

This video was taken Saturday October 29th 2011 which shows Dr. Blackwell and the Karras Farm team preparing the first ewe for embryo transfer. Karras Farm is committed to providing the highest quality East Friesian bloodline. We made arrangements earlier in the year to import some embryos from overseas in accordance with the USDA protocol. We know that these lambs will have highly sought after genetic qualities and allow us to repopulate our existing herd with East Friesian genetics of the same high caliber our customers expect.

Please feel free to comment, call or email us if we can help in any way!

Thanks for watching

Andy Karras