Sarto Sheep Farms
Sheep Sense
Manitoba Sheep Association Quarterly Newsletter
September 2016

During the last MSA meeting, the board appointed the Executive for the next year. Both Kate Basford and Sheri Bieganski retain their positions as Treasurer and Vice-Chair respectively. Herman Bouw stepped down as Chair and Jonathon Nichol was nominated and elected in his place. 

As a result I will be giving up the production of SheepSense to a new individual. This is the only job aside from the Association Manager that is paid within the MSA and as a member of the Executive, and especially as the Chair, I don't believe that I should retain the position. To that point, the MSA Board is looking for someone that would like to step into the role of Communications Rep. for the MSA. We believe that the person who handles this job should have an understanding of sheep and sheep production, a working knowledge of computers, and the ability to work with minimal supervision. If you are interested in this position please contact Jonathon Nichol at or call 204-246-2565. The full position description and requirements will be posted within the next month.

As always, the MSA Board would like to make sure that we are reaching all of the producers that we can. If you know someone that has recently entered the industry or may not be receiving SheepSense, please get them to contact Linda at or call  204-421-9434.

Jonathon Nichol
Central Region
Jaundice Condemnations 
OSMA  Notice To Sheep Producers
*See bottom of article for potential exceptions

Through June and early July, Ontario processing plants reported an increase in the number of adult carcasses being condemned due to jaundice. Jaundice is a condition when the carcass has a yellow hue indicating disease of the liver or circulatory system.

The number one reason why sheep develop jaundice is due to copper toxicosis.  Sheep exposed to a ration too high in copper will accumulate this metal in their livers until it starts to die, releasing the copper into the blood stream where it destroys red blood cells; the destroyed red blood cells and the copper then accumulate in the kidney, causing further damage.  This acute and usually fatal disease may occur days, weeks or even months after the initial dietary problem and is often associated with a stressful event such as transportation. It is for this reason that producers are encouraged to ship sheep that are still healthy but have been copper exposed direct to the closest slaughter plant and have the liver and kidneys condemned for human consumption.

Other reasons for jaundice include poor body condition, liver abscesses and pregnancy toxemia. Producers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Transportation section of the Codes of Practice for establishing whether or not an animal is fit for transport. If you are unsure if an animal is fit for transport, please consult your veterinarian.

The condemnation of carcasses at processing plants has the ability to significantly impact Canada's economy. To illustrate this point, if a processor were to slaughter 2,000 animals in a month and 10% were condemned, that would mean 2,400 condemned carcasses over the course of a year. Each lamb marketed has a 5.55 multiplier effect, so if they were marketed at 80 pounds with the average price being $270, then they represent a $3.6 million loss to Canada's economy.

*In several locations within Manitoba there is a known Cu deficiency in the soil which translates into low levels of Cu in the feed grown on these soils. Sheep do require a certain level of Cu in their diet to survive and be productive. Molybdenum also binds Cu from being used by sheep, this mineral being present in many parts of the province. If you are concerned about either Copper Toxicity or Copper Deficiency have your feeds and soils tested. The best way to know in either case is to send liver samples to be tested when having an animal slaughtered or if one should die on farm. 

Addendum by
Jonathon Nichol
MSA Central Region

CSF Report
The Canadian Sheep Federation(CSF) continues to find itself in the throes of a re-organization. A sustainability committee has been struck and it includes 6 provinces, the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association, the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers, SunGold Meats(AB), New Market Meats(ON), Ag Canada and Dr. Jeff Wichtel, from the University of Guelph Vet College. There are currently two telephone meetings per month, in an attempt to resolve the situation in a positive fashion!
Herman Bouw
MSA CSF Director 

The Fourth Annual Manitoba Fibre Festival
Friday evening  September 30, 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Saturday October 1, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Red River Exhibition Park
3977 Portage Avenue
Experience the world of fibres:  meet the live sheep and alpacas,  - and Max the angora goat - watch the shearing and crafting demonstrations,  and explore our diverse  market place. Food is available onsite, so plan to stay awhile. 

CSBA Report
2016 has been another busy year for the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association. The CSBA continues to strive to for the interests of purebred sheep breeders and the betterment of the industry as a whole.  Most notable this year is an update to the All Canada Classic requiring all entries to be in consideration of the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep standards for tail length by 2018.  Scientific evidence has shown that tail docking is a painful procedure and that docking shorter than the caudal tail folds is associated with increased pain over docking at or below the caudal limit of the tail folds.  Scientific evidence further supports a decrease in risk of fly strike associated with tail docking, but is inconclusive in showing any additional benefit with a short dock. Consequently, the Code of Practice recommends that lambs be docked no older than 7 days of age, cover the vulva in ewes and an equivalent length in rams and be no shorter than the distal caudal folds.  Lambs that are under 7 days of age display a lessened pain response from lambs over 7 days of age.

In order to provide clarity and consistency in rulings, the CSBA will require that all sheep entered in the Classic be docked no shorter than the distal caudal folds.  If done properly, the caudal folds will still be visible on an adult animal.  The CSBA provided education to producers at the 2016 Classic. Animals displaying essentially no tail (a divot in the absence of a tail) at the 2017 Classic will be culled from the show and sale.  Full compliance is expected for 2018.  The gradual implementation was deemed necessary to allow exhibitors to make the appropriate changes for lambs that will be shown as yearlings in the 2018 Classic. The CSBA has collaborated with CEPOQ to produce an instructional video on the proper procedure for tail docking. This video can be viewed online at .

The CSBA has invested in additional videos on tattooing and tagging with both Shearwell and Allflex double tags.  These videos can be viewed at the above link for the tail docking video.  The CSBA would like to remind breeders that double tags are a legally binding means of identification of purebred sheep and that each sheep identified by this means must have each of the pair of dual tags. One of the paired tags is a Canadian Sheep Identification Program Radio Frequency Identification tag and must be present on the animal when it leaves the farm.  The other tag provides duplication of the identifying 9 digit number associated with the CSIP tag, but is neither a CSIP tag nor an RFID tag and as such cannot be used to permanently identify an animal under the CSIP program.  Dividing duplicate tags between two animals is in contradiction to the law overseeing the traceability program.

One of the great benefits of the CSBA is its ability to invest back into the Canadian Sheep Industry through sound financial planning.  Each year 10% of the income from the registration and transfer of sheep is ear marked specifically for research and allocated as requests for funding are made. 2016 has seen the CSBA support a number of worthy projects:

- $10,000 in the support of GenOvis (matching funds will be used for research at the University of Guelph)
 - $1000 for SheepBytes ration verification study in Alberta
 - $1000/year for 2 years for genomics/feed intake/carcass quality study at U of A
 - $1000 for hormone research on out-of-season breeding in ewes (Nova Scotia)
 - $1000/year for 3 years for development of pen-side pregnancy detection kit
 - $5000 for developing new growth curves at CEPOQ
 - $8000/year for 3 years for developing a pneumonia vaccine through the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization
- $1500 for Fibre/feed intake study at Ridgetown College, ON
 - $1000 for Lameness study in AB

The CSBA has instituted a number of new initiatives for 2016 aimed at further building the industry and improving service to members.  These initiatives include:
  • Junior membership: $10 for members under 21 years of age
  •  Free membership: for any first-time buyers of new sheep and 6th animal registered free with first batch of 5 registrations
  •  Photo contest: opens January 1, 2017, see website for details
  •  Junior CSBA Director: non-voting advisor role created for members under 21 years of age
  • Bulk option for registrations and transfers: pricing breaks in place based on the number of animals registered each year. A rebate will be calculated at year end.
  • Fee increase/penalty if animals transferred more than 6 months from date of sale - $22 instead of $11)
  •  Katahdin Sheep Association has requested to join the CSBA and membership vote will occur early in 2017

In 2014 CSBA memberships were down 5% and registrations and transfers over the periods 2014 and 2015 are down 25%.  The CLRC has continued to increase the cost of services to the CSBA and while the CSBA has been absorbing this cost, with a declining trend in registration activity and rising costs, the CSBA deemed it necessary to raise registration and transfers by $1 and memberships by $10 for 2016.  It is the CSBA's hope that the above initiatives will not only enhance service to CSBA members but also attract new interest in the registration and transfer of purebred sheep.

2016 marks my sixth year as the CSBA director for Manitoba and I have enjoyed it immensely. It has been a great learning experience for me and I am glad to have been part of a hard working board striving for the future of the Canadian sheep industry.  With that being said, the time has come to refocus my energies and I will not be seeking re-election this fall.  I encourage all current CSBA members in Manitoba to seriously consider seeking out the position.  It is a phenomenal opportunity to meet breeders from across Canada and appreciate the industry from coast to coast.  The time commitment is not great.  The annual general meeting and associated board meetings are held in March each year.  This year's meeting is in Victoria, BC Saturday, March 18.  The board will meet the 16, 17 and 19 and the 15th is a travel day.  The CSBA covers all expenses and a daily per diem is paid to the directors.  There are also 4 telephone conference calls each quarter. The CSBA is a fantastic board to be part of and our General Manager Stacey White is a phenomenal person to work with. Ballots will be mailed out the beginning of November 2016.  It has been a pleasure to represent Manitoba and its purebred breeders and I'm sure this will not be the last of my contributions.

Thank you,
Neil Versavel
Board of Directors Update
It would seem that this is a year of change for the MSA Board of Directors. Recently, long-standing West Director Sarah Lewis announced to the Board that she would be stepping down. Sarah has been a Director for 16 years and has been integral to the MSA Show and Sale as well as representing the MSA at the Brandon Royal Winter Fair. Her presence and experience will be missed and the Board wishes her all the best in her future endeavors. This results in the need to find a Director for the West Region.

As there have been no nominees to fill the position of Director for the Interlake Region, Courtney Hermanson, currently a Director at Large based out of the Interlake Region, has agreed to step into this role. This opens nominations for a Director at Large. 

 If you are interested in either of these positions, please contact Linda at or call 204-421-9434.

The Board also appointed the Executive for the next term:Chair - Jonathon Nichol, Central Region
Vice-Chair - Sheri Bieganski, South-West Region
Treasurer - Kate Basford, North-West Region

Annual Forage Options for Continued Grazing
By Jonathon Nichol
As a continuation of sorts from the previous issue of Sheep Sense I would like to share some pictures of my initial attempt at using Annual Forages. The crops were planted May 6th into relatively dry soil and needed rain to germinate, which was slow to materialize. Due to unforeseen circumstances, my grazing plan simply didn't happen.

 The pictures below are of an Oat and Pea mix underseeded to an Alfalfa grass mix to use as a hay field next year. These pictures were taken on May 27th, 2016. The other mixes that I had planted were just starting to emerge at this time. Those mixes being a Forage Brassica mix with 20 percent Annual Rye grass and a mix of Plantain, Chickory, Red Clover, and Annual Rye grass.

After heavy grazing starting in mid July (that's when the sheep found it and broke my fence - apparently palatability is not an issue), it was grazed short. The sheep were removed mid August. The pictures below are of the regrowth of the Chickory Plantain mix. The Oat Pea mix was grazed as the oats were heading and the regrowth was negligible, but the alfalfa established very well.  

Pictures taken Sept, 17th 2016

The plants are averaging around 12 - 18 inches tall at this point.
A significant issue I didn't foresee was the necessity of starting with a relatively weed free field. Everything that looks somewhat purple in this picture(circled in red) is Canada Thistle; if I was to try this again I would be sure to start with a cleaner field.

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 of Practice

5.9 Dehorning/Horn Trimming
Many of the common breeds raised in Canada are polled, so dehorning is not needed in most circumstances. Dehorning and disbudding are not recommended practices for sheep (54).
For some horned sheep, it may be necessary to trim the tips of the horns to prevent injury from ingrowing horns or interference with sight or normal eating and drinking. The amount of horn trimmed should be kept to a minimum to avoid damage to soft internal horn tissue, which is sensitive and bleeds easily. Consult your veterinarian regarding the choice of an appropriate tool.
In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to trim a substantial portion of the horn, or completely dehorn a sheep. A licensed veterinarian must perform such procedures.

Horned sheep, especially rams, must be inspected regularly to ensure that neither the tip, nor any other part of the horn is in contact with the face.
Minor horn trimming (removal of tips) must be performed by, or under the direct supervision of, a competent stockperson.
Consult with a veterinarian regarding concerns about horns on sheep. If disbudding, dehorning or substantial horn trimming (removal of more than just the tip) is necessary; it must be performed by a licensed veterinarian using anesthesia and perioperative analgesia.



The 98th Annual General Meeting of the / la 98e l'assemblée générale annuelle de

Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited

October 22nd 2016 at 1:30 p.m. / le 22 octobre 2016 à 13h30
Canad Inns Destination Centre, 1405 St. Matthews Ave, 
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0K5

Guest Speaker: Corlena Patterson, 
Executive Director, Canadian Sheep Federation
For further information please contact/Pour plus d'informations se il vous plaît contacter:

Donna Zeman, Executive Director / Membres de la   
Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited,
Box 130, Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 3P3
Tel: (613) 257-2714   Fax: (613) 257-8896

CCWG Lethbridge
Plans are now underway for CCWG to build a new and efficient facility in Western Canada at Broxburn Business Park, conveniently located approximately 3 kilometers from the city of Lethbridge, Alberta and in close proximity to both major livestock auctions. The Broxburn Business Park has been developed with a major focus on attracting a wide range of agribusiness. We look forward to the opportunity of relocating and growing our business in this exciting new environment.
CCWG plans include a 14,000 square foot structure to be built on a 1.3 acre site comprising warehouse, retail and office space. The company owned property since 1950 at 918 1st Ave South in Lethbridge has been sold and the proceeds of the sale will be applied to the new project.
Estimated completion date by Southwest Design and Construction Ltd from Lethbridge is November 2016.

MSA 2nd Annual Farm Tours and Symposium


Once again MSA has received funding through the GF2 to bring specialists, veterinarians and

successful producers, together to increase producers exposure, knowledge base and enhance their skills to raise lambs in an more efficient and sustainable manner.

The Farm Tours provide an opportunity for producers and stakeholders to see and hear how two large scale operators approached their sheep businesses from different production methods. Both producers presented how they used business planning and sound management principles, marketing and market development, food safety and biosecurity in completely different ways to achieve their successes.

Tour 1: October 26, 2016

Intensive Sheep Operation in the Lundar Area of the Interlake

Canada Sheep & Lamb has expanded its operations into Lundar Area of the Interlake. CS&L has more than 5000 ewes efficiently managed with minimal labour. The Lundar location houses 1500 replacement ewes. CS&L is marketing a leaner lamb that today's health conscious consumer is demanding and anticipates marketing 15,000 lambs in 2016.

Tour 2: November 2016 (exact date to be confirmed soon - see website)

Albert Giesbrecht - Altona Manitoba

Lambs are weaned early and dry lotted and ewes go on pasture Albert follows the Pipestone Minnesota system of sheep production, which revolves around low- cost feed ingredients, efficient labour use, low input costs, high productions levels and intensive management. The Management system is based on achieving optimum production of quality products as well as making your operation more profitable

SYMPOSIUM - November 19, 2016 Portage La Prairie

Specialists, veterinarians and researchers presenting relevant production and management information to assist producers and veterinarians improve their production practices.


Dale Engstrom, M.Sc.P.Ag. Ruminant Nutritionist & Consultant developed many fact sheets for the Alberta government and Alberta sheep producers. Part of the leadership team that developed Sheep bytes and currently writes articles for Canada Sheep Magazine.

Dr. Neil Versavel, a practicing Veterinarian from Stonewall Manitoba and purebred Suffolk breeder.

Mamoon Rashid, Small Ruminant Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture.

Symposium Agenda

Trace Mineral Nutrition - Dale Engstrom

Production Limiting Diseases - Dr. Neil Versavel

Feeding systems that work - Dale Engstrom

MB. Parasite Study update and results - Mamoon Rashid

Parasites - Most common mistakes made by producers -
     Dr. Neil Versavel

MSA Business update

 Speaker Panel Discussion with
 Dale Engstrom and Dr. Neil Versavel

For information and registration...please contact Manitoba Sheep Association

Ph: 204-421- 9434


Or Visit.... Manitoba Sheep Association Website
"Vision 2020"
One of the resolutions put forward at the last AGM was the development of a new business plan to give the Association a clear direction, and taking our organization into the year 2020. In that regard the MSA Board has started on "Vision 2020" which will be released prior to the 2016 AGM this fall so that it can be discussed at the meeting. The focus of "Vision 2020" is growth within our industry to make Manitoba one of the leading lamb producing provinces in the country. If you have any ideas that you believe would improve producer retention, increase flock growth, or create more opportunities for lamb producers within the province please email your thoughts to Jonathon Nichol at
Coming Events
2016 Manitoba Fibre Fest
Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1, 2016   The Fourth Annual Manitoba Fibre Festival is  Friday evening September 30, 5:00 - 9:00 pm, and  Saturday October 1, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at  Red River Exhibition Park 3977 Portage Avenue  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Oct 26th - Pasture Tour Canada Sheep & Lamb
Intensive production at their new Lundar multiplier barn.

Nov 2016 - Pasture Tour Albert Giesbrecht
Raising lamb using the Pipestone (Minnesota) Method at Altona. *Date to be announced*

Nov 19th - Small Ruminant Symposium 
Symposium and Business Update for the MSA located in Portage La Prairie.

In This Issue
Quick Links
MSA Webpage

Peavey Mart is a place of possibilities for your farm, your family, and your community. Find specialty farming equipment and supplies, and a whole lot more, every day.

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

  CCWG Logo
Catering to Sheep Producers 
Agricultural Supplies & Tags
 1- 800-567-3693
918-1st Ave South
Lethbridge, Alberta

SheepBytes is a web-based program designed to effectively manage flock nutrition. Breeding flock owners, feedlot managers and nutritional consultants use SheepBytes to take the guesswork out of balancing cost-effective rations.
Visit to:
  • Discover how SheepBytes can help you manage flock nutrition.
  • Learn basic to advanced program features with the free training videos.
  • Try the free demo.
  • Subscribe at our low annual rate. 

For Sale
  • Polypay X Ile de France rams from a prolific flock
  • Weaned 200% on pasture
  • Yielded an average of 8 - 10 lbs of fine wool per head.  Limited numbers. 
EWE LAMBS also available.
Brian Greaves, Miniota, MB phone: 204 567 3509

Manitoba Sheep Association | (204) 421-9434 | |
Suite 244, 23-845 Dakota Street
Winnipeg, MB
R2M 5M3