never met the breeder before, introduce yourself or ask a common acquaintance to introduce you. Have some questions prepared about an animal you are interested in such as the production record of the animal’s mother or how previous offspring have performed. Take notes about the animals you definitely like, ones that you don’t like and ones that would work. Speak quietly among the people in your group, as to not offend anyone.

When it is getting close to sale time, be sure to take a seat where you feel comfortable setting and bidding. When it comes to bidding, don’t be afraid to wave your hand to get the bid taker or auctioneer’s attention. Once they know that you are interested in an animal, they will come back to you when you have been outbid. Be sure you know where the current bid is, and once you have reached your limit, stop bidding.

It is perfectly acceptable to get outbid on an animal; hopefully you have more than one selected. If you win the bid, be ready to show your buyer’s number quickly, and if numbers are not provided, state your name clearly and loudly enough for the bid taker to hear.

After the sale

Congratulations! You have purchased your animal at live auction. It is now time to go to the settlement desk, write the check and get load-out instructions. Unless you are familiar with the breeder and have made prior ar- rangements, you should always be prepared to pay and pick up your animal the day of the sale. If you are buying registered livestock, be sure the seller knows which name to transfer the animal to.

As you prepare to take your new animal home, ask the seller some basic health and nutrition history on your new purchase. Find out how much and what type of feed the animal has been getting. Ask about the breeder’s vac- cination program so you know when the animal was last vaccinated.

Attending a sale is often the first step in getting your new livestock project for the year. Sales are a great net- working tool, an opportunity to see livestock by multiple sires and the chance to learn from those with more ex- perience in the business.

Once you’ve brought your new animal home, it’s time to work with that animal EVERY. DAY. as you #preptowin in the show ring and in life.

(BioZyme Inc., founded in 1951, develops and man-

ufactures natural, proprietary products focused on ani- mal nutrition, health and microbiology. With a continued commitment to research, BioZyme offers a complete line of feed additives and high density, highly available vita- min, mineral, trace mineral and protein supplements for a variety of animals including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, horses and dogs. BioZyme brands include Amaf- erm,®, VitaFerm®, Vita Charge®, Sure Champ®, Vital- ize®, DuraFerm® and Backyard Boost™. With headquarters in St. Joseph, Missouri, the company reaches a global market of customers that stretches into countries across five continents. For more information about BioZyme, visit

How to control insects in your sheep, goats

By Shelia Grobosky Biozyme Inc.

If you own livestock, you’ve got insects. And, if you’ve got sheep or goats, you’ve not only got flies, but ticks and other bugs that can lead to eco- nomic losses and physical harm and discomfort to your animals. Summer heat and rains create ideal breeding conditions for many of these pests, but with some planning and preparation, producers can take a proactive approach to eliminating the diseases and harm these insects bring.

The challenges Some of the biggest nuisances include a variety of flies, ticks, sheep keds

and lice. These small but mighty creatures can impact your animals’ health through biting and spreading of disease and also through overall performance of loss of gain or milk if the animal gets extremely sick from an insect-borne illness.

Stable flies, house flies and face flies are all a major irritation to sheep and goats. House flies are a key carrier of diseases with more than 60 human and animal diseases being traced back to the house fly. The bites of a stable fly are painful, and the stable fly will search for its next meal, aka bite the sheep and goats where it causes the most pain — in the flank and on the legs. Especially during the summer months, the fly bites cause stress in livestock, resulting in less intake and reducing performance in pounds gained and converted due to reduced grazing. Typically, if you notice livestock bunch- ing in a group, that is an indicator that the bite pain is severe enough to impact production and profits.

The control

There are several ways to control the flying, biting and sucking pests that your sheep and goats will encounter during the summer. First, make sure you have sheared your sheep to give the insects less room to inhabit. Next, it is important to keep your barnyard, corrals, barn and other areas as free of waste, wet feed and hay and sitting water as possible. If you keep your sheep and goats in pens next to the barn, be sure to keep those lots as clean and dry as possible. Cleaning weekly will help break up the life cycle of the flies, which is usually about 10 days. Using fly traps or fly strips in and around barns is also a good way to help control flies. Using a pour-on or drench insecticide after the sheep are sheared is also an effective method at keeping flies off sheep. Ideally, a combination of methods works best to keep these tiny pests off sheep and goats, keep them healthy and stress-free.

“Anytime we can reduce the fly load on our sheep and goats, that is going to reduce their stress because they are not going to be expending their energy fighting off flies,” said Sam Silvers, sheep and goat breeder and BioZyme® Area Sales Manager from West Texas.


Another all-natural method that helps discourage flies from landing on your sheep and goats is by feeding a high-quality nutrition program from Du- raFerm®

with the HEAT® pack. DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid® HEAT is a

complete vitamin and mineral specifically designed to help prevent heat stress during temperatures of 70 degrees or above. The HEAT package includes gar- lic to deter insects.

“The garlic in that HEAT pack will help control some of those flies, which we battle on the sheep side every year with some ewes contracting blue tongue or other fly-borne illnesses.” n

September 2021 | Goat Rancher 47

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