Sheep Sense    
Sarto Sheep Farms
Manitoba Sheep Association Newsletter
March 2015

Sheep Sense is looking for producers that would like to have their farms showcased in upcoming issues of our newsletter. Large or small, registered or commercial, we would like to hear from you and see how your operations run. If anyone is interested, please let us know at or by phone at 204-421-9434 

Jonathon Nichol
Central Region Director   


2015 AGM Review


The AGM was another success this year with approx. 30 members in attendance, representing all the regions of the province. The meeting started with a presentation by Dr. Michel Levy on parasites. His talked focused on Haemonchus Contortus or Barber Pole worm, as well as the troubling phenomena of anthelmintic resistance in Western Canada. His talk was very well received by the producers present. Dr. Levy answered many questions concerning the drug resistance in worms and potential ways to avoid the issue.


Dr. Michel Levy


After Dr. Levy's talk the Herman Bouw announced the renaming of the MSA scholarship as the John Hamerton Memorial Scholarship. Irene Hamerton, Mr. Hamerton's wife, was presented with a gift from the MSA to commemorate the occasion.

Following the renaming of the scholarship the membership enjoyed a delicious roast lamb lunch served by the McKenzie United Church. 

After lunch Dr. Mamoon Rashid, the small ruminant specialist with the province, gave an overview of the Biosecurity of Sheep Farms and the Environmental Farm Plan programs being put forward by the Manitoba Government. Dr. Mamoon also pointed out the money that is available to MB Sheep producers is not being used or applied for. He stressed that if we as a group do not start to use the support supplied by the government that there is a good chance that it will not be there later.

Dr. Mamoon Rashid and MSA Chair Herman Bouw


Dr. Mamoon was followed by Pat Smith giving a presentation on Intensive Lamb Production using his own farm as the example. Pat's presentation can be downloaded by following the supplied link.



When Pat concluded his presentation the business aspect of the AGM began. Neil Versavel gave a brief overview of what was going on with the All Canada Classic that is being hosted in June at the Red River Ex grounds. With a few questions from the floor both the Financial Review as well as the 2015 Budget were accepted as presented without change. Mitch Millar has stepped down as the Director of the Interlake region having sold off his sheep enterprise and Adam Donahoe was voted into the vacant position by the Interlake members that were in attendance. Then the meeting moved on to the 12 resolutions that were put forward by various members. The results of which are as follows. (To see the Resolutions in their entirety please go to and look under the Newsletters tab.)


Resolution #1

All in favor - Carried


Resolution #2

Rescinded by the member who made the motion as the Resolution was redundant already being in our By-laws.


Resolution #3

The motion was amended  to read, for 2015 we ask that our CSF representative votes against any increases to the CSF levy. - Carried


Resolution #4

All in favor - Carried 


Resolution #5

All in Favor - Carried


Resolution #6

All in Favor - Carried


Resolution #7

All in Favor - Carried


Resolution #8

All opposed - Defeated


Resolution #9

All in Favor - Carried


Resolution #10

All in Favor - Carried


Resolution #11

MSA financial year-end be changed to the last day of July each year. 

All in Favor - Carried 


Resolution #12

Amended to read "an associate member will be given a vote at Provincial meetings when a person, firm, incorporated company, or department of the Government contribute a minimum $5000.00 per fiscal year" - Carried


Point of interest: Any resolution that affects the By-laws of the MSA does not come into affect for the period of one year to allow for due diligence and for the membership to review and make known their opinions. This refers to Resolutions #'s 10, 11, and 12.

In new business Brian Greaves, Manitoba's representative to the CCWG, gave a report on the Wool Growers activities. A new store will be built in Lethbridge as approved at their last meeting. The Wool Growers made another good profit this year and were able to give their shareholders a 7% dividends. Brian reminded the group that his position is up for re-election.  


The MSA Board of Directors would like to thank all of the producers that made the effort to come out to the AGM and show their support of the organization.


GUELPH, ON ( March 25, 2015) - Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) is pleased to announce that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has approved ACC's request to administer the Advance Payments Program (APP) for sheep and lamb producers across Canada.

"ACC has been administering this program for Ontario sheep and lamb producers for several years and looks forward to working with producers nationally to deliver this very beneficial financial program.  Producers are eligible to receive up to $400,000, with the first $100,000 being interest-free and amounts over $100,000 at prime (currently 2.85 %)," stated Jaye Atkins, CEO of ACC.

Applications are being received now for the program start date of April 1st, 2015. Producers can complete applications over the phone by calling ACC or through the traditional application process.

"Given the work we have done with ACC and their support for the sheep industry in Ontario, we have great confidence in their ability to administer the APP nationally," said Jennifer MacTavish, General Manager of the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency.   ACC will also be working nationally in cooperation with the Canadian Lamb Producers Cooperative based in Saskatoon and Guelph.   "A national lamb and sheep Advance Payments Program administered by ACC will give lamb producers the opportunity to expand their flocks to meet increased demand in both the domestic and export markets," added Terry Ackerman, CEO of the Canadian Lamb Producers Cooperative.

The recent Royal Assent of the Agricultural Growth Act will also allow breeding animals to be eligible under the APP.  Details of this major improvement will be provided at a later date.

For more information contact ACC toll free at  1-888-278-8807, or visit their website at

ACC is a not-for-profit organization comprised of nineteen farm organizations and administers the APP for crops, livestock, nursery and greenhouses.

Jaye Atkins, CEO

Predicting Feeder Lamb Performance   -
Validation of SheepBytes



2014/2015 - Year 2

Dr. Susan Markus, AARD

Feed cost is the major cost in producing market lambs.  Good nutrition has a major impact on flock productivity, lamb growth and carcass quality.  SheepBytes is a web-based ration balancing application available to all sheep producers to assist them in managing flock feeding and feed costs. 


Dr. Susan Markus, member of the SheepBytes development team, is lead researcher.  The accuracy of the predicted SheepBytes rations for growing lambs and the actual feed intake and average daily gain is being evaluated with growing lambs at Lakeland and Olds Colleges. 


Using the GrowSafe feed monitoring systems individual lamb feed intake is collected so lamb performance and feed costs can be calculated. Carcass quality data (bone, muscle, weight and fat measurements) is collected from the processor. The first year is complete.  Year two has begun.  Approximately 160 lambs will go to slaughter between mid-June and August. 


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In December 2014 a new high density wool press was installed at the Carleton Place wool grading facility. The wool press also features a conveyor feed and hydraulic lifting table that empties portable wool bins, making the wool baling process completely hands free. This is the third updated wool press that has recently been installed at Carleton Place as we continue our efforts to improve wool handling efficiency. The wool press was manufactured in the USA by IPS Balers, Mfg from Baxley, GA and the conveyor with hydraulic lifting table was designed, fabricated and installed by Kilmarnock Enterprise from Smiths Falls, ON. 

Canadian Sheep Code of Practice, 
This is a section out of the Canadian Sheep Code of Practice that all producers must comply with. To see the Code in its entirety visit
or contact your district's Director to receive a paper copy of the Code.

2.1.1 Temperature, Humidity and Air Quality

 Air quality is very important for sheep welfare (2). The quality of the air and environmental conditions inside the housing will vary depending on external temperature and humidity, ventilation, stocking rates (number of animals per cubic metre of air) and bedding management. Air circulation, dust levels, temperature, relative air humidity and gas concentrations must be kept within limits that promote the health and well-being of the sheep. A welldesigned ventilation system that is well maintained and operated properly will help to optimize air quality in the housing. The ventilation system, whether natural or mechanical, should: * provide adequate fresh air at all times * distribute fresh air uniformly without causing drafts * exhaust the respired moisture * remove odours and gases (8). In confinement operations, ventilation systems ensuring adequate airflow to avoid excessive heat build up are necessary to minimize the risk of heat stress (4). When ambient temperatures are high increased airflow at the animal level may assist convective cooling. Shearing sheep prior to moving into housing can reduce the potential of thermal stress occurring and help in reducing the level of humidity. Efforts to minimize additional moisture in the facility will help to avoid high humidity, which can be detrimental to sheep welfare. Bedding management can impact humidity levels. Bedding should be changed or topped with fresh bedding regularly to avoid moisture build up in sheep housing. In facilities with high-moisture feeding systems, more bedding will be required to manage humidity levels in the housing. Changes to diets, such as going to a high moisture feed may also affect humidity levels and require changes to ventilation management. Sheep are able to withstand low temperatures reasonably well if they have shelter from wind andprecipitation, are in good health and have ready access to sufficient appropriate feed. (See Section 1.1.2 Provision of Shelter during Cold and Windy, and Cold and Wet Conditions for more detail). Other than for some newborn lambs, properly designed and maintained sheep housing, does not require supplemental heat for the welfare of the sheep. (See also Section 5.11 Pregnancy, Lambing and Neonatal Care). Section 2 - Facilities CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE CARE AND HANDLING OF SHEEP - 2013 17 Excessive ammonia inside buildings can pose a health threat to both sheep and animal handlers. Very high concentrations e.g. 45ppm can affect growth and are aversive to sheep, but some detrimental effects can occur at about 15ppm of exposure in as little as 12 days (9). Effective ventilation avoids damaging ammonia levels (1). There are no guidelines for acceptable levels of ammonia in livestock buildings, but the Occupational Health and Safety guidelines cite an exposure level of 25ppm for humans for an 8-hour workday and a short-term exposure level of 35ppm (10). If ammonia is detectable by the human nose upon entry into the housing, it is generally considered to be at a level that requires action to be taken.

Indoor air quality and temperature must be maintained at levels to promote good health and welfare of sheep. When ammonia concentrations at sheep level exceed 25ppm, take immediate action. Producers must consider prevailing winds when constructing shelter for sheep to ensure adequate airflow and protection from cold winds. 

 a. seek competent advice on the design, construction or modification of buildings 
b. consider local topography when siting buildings or altering accommodations 
c. take action if ammonia is detectable by people entering the building 
d. check for drafts at animal level and adjust ventilation to eliminate drafts at animal level.
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Forage Cocktails for Sheep Producers
  •  Do you want to achieve high levels of production from sheep that are grazing? In order for this to happen it's critical to have a strong predator prevention program and a parasite control program. Coyotes and worms can cause big problems in a pasture based production system.
  •  Secondly, whether its annuals or perennials, you have to plant the right forage. Researchers and livestock producers have spent time studying forage cocktails using different plant groups to optimize forage production throughout the whole growing season. Some important points on forage cocktails are; 

 o   The blends of forages used need to be specific to the land where they are being grown and its intended use.

  o   There are four functional plant groups: cool season grasses, warm season grasses, nitrogen fixers and root crops. The tap root of the turnips and the tillage radish create deep soil holes which is what people are looking for, so take the risk to use it. Brassica's can get clubroot so that is something to remember. The cool season grasses and legumes may be the most common with some root crops and a little of the warm season grasses.

 o   The idea is to maximize green leaf area for each day and for more days of the growing season to capture more solar energy and maximize photosynthesis and crop yields. More yield means more carbon to feed soil organism(s).


  • Some other reference sources for forage production are included in the links below; 


  • For further information on forage production recommendations for your livestock, contact the following Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development staff;


Pam Iwanchysko (Northwest), 204-648-3965;

Jane Thornton (Southwest), 204-729-1387;

Tim Clarke (Interlake), 204-768-0534;

Shawn Cabak (Central), 204-239-3353. 



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Start Early for Winning Fleeces

 Producing a winning fleece begins long before the show, starting with good animal management, including good breeding stock, good nutrition, regular worming and vaccination and a low stress life. 


Good breeding stock is the starting place for building a solid wool herd.  While starting off with a purebred herd can be pretty costly, purchasing a purebred ram and breeding up will get you close in four generations.  Interesting characteristics become evident with various crosses and with the introduction of new bloodlines every few generations.  Some of those characteristics you might want to hold on to.


  In my herd, I have crossed Cotswold on Texel, with the hope of getting the Cotswold wool and the Texel body.  It has been successful over several generations...the ewes have solid bodies and wool of the older style coarse Cotswold.  With the purchase of a new coloured ram with finer, softer and tighter locks, I finally got some really nice lambs with beautiful Cotswold-like locks in both white and dark charcoal grey.  This is the fifth generation.


There is a direct relationship between the amount of protein the sheep consume and the amount of wool they produce.  In feeding studies done in the 1950's, it was shown that protein levels between 10% and 13% of the feed ration produced significant increases in raw fleece weights in open ewes and those in early pregnancy.  Once the ewes have reached late pregnancy, much of the dietary protein goes to the developing lamb, so wool production slows.


So, if we have the ewes growing wool to the maximum, how do we keep it from degrading with vegetable matter, marker paints, staining, weak spots or breaking throughout the growing period?


For several years now, I have rolled feed on the ground to prevent hay stalks and leaves from falling on their backs.  This works quite well, but not completely. Bunker feeding along the fence can also reduce the amount of vegetable matter that gets in the wool.  For the first time this winter, I will be using light-weight blankets on animals with the potentially best fleeces. 


Marker paints on show fleeces should be removed. Marks can be placed on the top of the head or top of the tail are areas so they can easily be removed without taking away from the overall fleece.


Weak spots and breaks are usually a result of sickness, lambing, radical change in diet, etc. in the sheep.  Lambing can cause weak spots in the fibre and possibly breakage, depending on how tough the experience was on the ewe.  For this reason, it is good practice to shear them prior to lambing, if weather conditions permit.  Always check the fleece for breakage or crackling, by placing some fibres close to your ear and pulling evenly from each end.  Crackling reflects weakness in the fibre and breakage, a period where the ewe has been physically weakened. 


So, with some advance planning, we can produce high quality wool which is always in demand.  Bonuses are given to producers of clean, strong wool and weaver and spinners are always looking for these fleeces. 


Next article we'll look at shearing and fleece preparation for competition. 


- Gerry Oliver




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Manitoba Fibre Festival


OCTOBER 2 & 3, 2015

Mark your calendars for the third annual Manitoba Fibre Festival --- this year we are growing to include a Friday evening social gathering on October 2 and a full day of workshops, displays and sales on Saturday October 3.

The next big change is a new venue. The Festival has found a new home at the Red River Exhibition Park on the west side of Winnipeg. This location offers a flexible space, RV camping spots onsite for out of town visitors, and plenty of parking. The staff at the RREx Park are making us most welcome and we know this is going to be a good move.

We welcome 
All Things Wool as a partner this year. This group was recently created to support the wool industry and to promote the many benefits of wool. They will be organizing an expanded wool show and sale at the Festival, bringing in fleeces from across Canada.

Manitoba Alpaca Club will again be running a fleece show in conjunction with the Festival, so there will be an abundance of fleeces for your fondling pleasure!

Rare Breeds Canada volunteers are working on a live animal display -- another advantage of our new space. We hope to have several sheep breeds demonstrating a variety of fleece types.

Applications for festival vendors will be available on the website in April.

Over the next eight months as the festival comes together we will keep in touch through this newsletter. You can also follow 
our Facebook page and join our brand new group on Ravelry. 

Meanwhile,keep your hands in fibre!  
Take a class, learn a new craft, share your own skills,
and enjoy winter wool weather while it lasts.



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Buyers of Manitoba Lambs in Manitoba
In an effort to help Lamb Producers in Manitoba make informed marketing decisions the MSA would like to inform producers of existing lamb buyers within the province. If there are any buyers that are not on the list below that would like to be please email with your name, contact information and what kind of animals your are looking for.

The following listing is not  an endorsement by the Manitoba Sheep Association, but a listing of known buyers. It is highly recommended that all producers take all necessary precautions when selling their animals and make sure that they are selling to reputable buyers. Buyers are to be licensed and bonded to operate in the province of Manitoba, unless the animals are to be kept for more then a 30 day period.
Buyers of sheep in Manitoba

Ian Deans
Newdale, MB
Buying Feeders and Fats.

Toni Atkinson, Brandon
Buying agent for Sheep and goats.

Parks Livestock of Canada, LP        
Conta ct Cam Friesen                                             

Auction Marts handling sheep in Manitoba

Winnipeg Livestock Sales
(204) 694-8328

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden
TELEPHONE: 204-748-2809 TOLL FREE: 1-888-784-9882

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart
(204) 434-6519

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In This Issue
2015 AGM Review
ACC To Adminster National Sheep and Lambs Advance Payments Program
Predicting Feeder Lamb Performance
Canadian Sheep Code of Practice
Forage Cocktails for Sheep Producers.
Start Early for Winning Fleeces
Manitoba Fibre Festival.
Buyers of Manitoban Lamb
Coming Events
Our Advertisers

3 in 1 Feeders by Advantage Feeders

 Controlled Feeding limits waste and  controls intake for sheep and lambs as well as cattle, easy to set up and portable.

View our website

Contact us: (403) 575-1977

Lakeland Group 
Lakeland Group Logo

 Lakeland Group is the market leader in premium but affordable sheep handling equipment & supplies. 

Whether you need a simple scale to weigh your lambs or a whole crowding tub & working chute, or maybe a nutritional supplement, Lakeland has it all right here in Manitoba ready to deliver direct to your door. Visit our website to find out more or call toll free (866) 443-7444 to talk to one of our knowledgeable experts!

Zubot Welding & Manufacturing
Zubot logo

Zubot Welding and Manufacturing is a family run business that provides people with well built equipment that will last you for years. 


Now Available at Peavey Mart  

Richard at (306) 682-3252.   

Sarto Sheep Farm

"Our Ewes Grow Your Profit"
We have been raising sheep near Sarto for over 40 years consistently selecting our replacement ewes for productivity and ease of management.  We have over 2000 unregistered straight Rideau and 300 50% Rideau/Ile De France ewes bred to our own Rideau Rams.  Our flock is on a year round breeding cycle and highly prolific, dropping 261% lambs over the last 12 months with very low flock mortality.

If you are interested please email or call 204-434-6456.  We sold out last year so if you are interested please book early.

Find us on

Federated Co-operatives Limited
FCL logo

Federated Co-operatives Limited  - Your source for Feed and Animal Supplies   

Contact Dennis Lonsdale, Feed Plant Manager, Moosomin, SK


 Ph: (306) 435-3331 or  

East-Man Feeds
East-Man Feeds logo
Proud to be a Canadian Family Owned and Operated Business 
Breaking New Ground Since The 1960's 
For over 40 years we have been providing customers of all sizes with Quality Products, Quality Service and Reliability. We are here to help you build your future in the livestock industry and supply all of your needs.

Eastman Feeds provides comprehensive services, including on-farm consulting, animal nutritional information, genetics and breeding advice, and feed equipment calibration.

Tyler LaFreniere
Nutrition Consultant
East-Man Feeds

Tony Atkinson
sheep and goats
Tony Atkinson
Buying Agent for Sheep & Goats

Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited
Catering to Sheep Producers 
Agricultural Supplies & Tags
Western Wool Depots
(PDF Download)
 1- 800-567-3693
Lethbridge, Alberta

SheepBytes Ration Balancer
Now Available

Forty percent of the cost of bringing a lamb to market comes from feed. SheepBytes is an online tool that helps adjust feeding rations not only to make them cost-effective, but also to provide optimal flock nutrition for sheep in every stage of production.

SheepBytes has been developed and tested by nutritionists, software developers, industry advisors and end users. The program uses the latest nutrition requirement research to help improve the productivity of a flock.

Visit for a free demonstration and to subscribe.


Join Our Mailing List!


All Canada Classic

The All Canada Classic is coming to Winnipeg, MB June 2015.

This is the Premier Sheep Show and Sale in Canada. For more information check out the Canadian Sheep Breeders website

Manitoba Fibre Festival

Oct 2 & 3, 2015

This year the Festival is being held at the Red River Exhibition Park.

For more information go to

Classified Ads

For Sale

For Sale


Great Pyrenees/Akbash Puppies 

Great guard dogs! Puppies were born on March 9th

Asking $250obo Call us at 204 828 3308

For Sale
Akbash/pyrenees puppies, born on January 17, 2015. Born and raised with sheep and cattle. Asking $150. Please call 1 (204) 377-4964
Peter Goertzen
Kleefeld, MB  




Help Wanted TMR Mill Operator - Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms   
Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms, previously known as Sarto Sheep Farms, is in the process of a significant expansion. We are looking for a mature and reliable individual who can operate a Ford T7 tractor and Supreme 900 TMR mill to make and distribute feed to our 2300 ewe flock and associated lambs.  This position is initially at our current facility near Sarto, and for the first year will be working closely with an experienced manager.  Starting in June of 2015 there will be an opportunity to take over responsibility for a feeding yard near Zoda.  In this role we will provide a house on the property for the right candidate.
Experience with sheep is not necessary. Experience in operating farm equipment and a demonstrated reliable work history are essential.
If this position seems right for you, forward your resume to  
Patrick Smith
Sarto Sheep Farm Inc
Our Ewes Grow Your Profits 

More Help Wanted - Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms (Shift Work)

Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms previously known as Sarto Sheep Farms is in the process of a significant expansion. We are looking for reliable individuals who are eager to learn the sheep management business through working closely with an experienced team as we grow our ewe flock.  We have positions for late afternoon and early evening and overnight shifts during peak lambing periods and daytime work during the July-Dec period.

These positions have the opportunity to grow into more independent and responsible roles either at our current location near Sarto or our feeding location near Zhoda.

Experience with sheep is not necessary.   A demonstrated reliable work history is essential.
If this position seems right for you, forward your resume to    
Wanted - Merino Sheep Skins in Canada     We are looking for Merino Sheep Skins. Please contact us.
Marlen Shamilov. 
TEL: 416-8561373 
Posted Aug 12, 2013

For more classified ads and the pictures that go with some of these ads please look at the Classifieds Page on the MSA Website

Advertise Here
Want your business featured on our website and e-newsletter?
$250 per year gives you to top placement on our website, in our newsletter and enables you to promote your business at our Show & Sale and AGM.

Selling Lamb?

If you sell provincially inspected lamb and can provide a certificate to prove this please send us your details. The $250 posted above will provide you with a direct link to our customers. The MSA is regularly contacted by consumers who want to know where they can purchase lamb. Contact MSA. 

Contact Us
Manitoba Sheep Association
400 Lockwood Street
Winnipeg, MB R3N 1S4
p: (204) 421-9434