David Fernandez

New member
Hello all! I just want to take a moment to introduce myself. I am the Extension livestock specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (and interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education). I primarily work with small and limited resource, socially disadvantaged farmers, especially raising small ruminants. Feel free to reach out if you have questions you want answered. I always have an answer (may not be a good answer, but I have one!)
 

Linda Poole

NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist
Welcome, David Fernandez! We are so pleased that you're part of the Soil for Water community!

And since you invited questions, here's one for you. First, to set the stage: the small ruminant team at NCAT (the National Center for Appropriate Technology) will be doing a webinar next week with the Food Animal Concerns Trust on lambing, kidding and calving on pasture. My part of the talk will focus on selection of breeding stock. I see you have a nice publication on this topic regarding hair sheep.

The question: What would be your top one or two tips on selecting breeding stock for pasture-based livestock systems? With only 8 minutes for this segment, it will be pretty basic, though I plan a deeper dive on the topic in an upcoming podcast.

I'll be happy to give you full credit for your answers during the webinar! Register for the webinar here to see that I deliver on my promise!
 

David Fernandez

New member
Welcome, David Fernandez! We are so pleased that you're part of the Soil for Water community!

And since you invited questions, here's one for you. First, to set the stage: the small ruminant team at NCAT (the National Center for Appropriate Technology) will be doing a webinar next week with the Food Animal Concerns Trust on lambing, kidding and calving on pasture. My part of the talk will focus on selection of breeding stock. I see you have a nice publication on this topic regarding hair sheep.

The question: What would be your top one or two tips on selecting breeding stock for pasture-based livestock systems? With only 8 minutes for this segment, it will be pretty basic, though I plan a deeper dive on the topic in an upcoming podcast.

I'll be happy to give you full credit for your answers during the webinar! Register for the webinar here to see that I deliver on my promise!
My top concern for any pasture-based system is ease of calving/kidding/lambing (especially that they twin easily for the small ruminants!). When animals are dispersed and unlikely to receive assistance with a difficult birth, they need to be able to calve, lamb or kid easily. My other top pick is that the animals be appropriately sized to the available forage. Larger animals often cannot meet their nutritional needs on pasture alone, or you cannot raise as many pounds per acre as you might wish because of their nutritional needs for maintenance.
 

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