- Marketing Your Lambs (ALP Management Module): The purpose of this module is to outline the marketing choices available to you as a lamb producer and to explore the opportunities and demands associated with each. The first part of the module will introduce lamb market opportunities in more detail to show the drivers of lamb production and lamb meat marketing. The second part of the module will introduce and explore each of these market options. We’ll review the advantages and challenges associated with each, and provide tips for selling into each market. Finally, the module will touch on other market considerations related to the marketing of lambs. We’ll point you to the many excellent resources on the Alberta Lamb Producers’ website, as well as other industry and government sites. The information in this module is intended to give producers the insight they need to build their skills in marketing their lambs.
- Questions and Answers for Distributing Meat (ALP fact sheet)
- Lamb Meat – Nutrition (ALP fact sheet)
Shearing & Animal Welfare:
Wool growth is continuous and, with the exception of 'hair' breeds, all sheep need to be sheared. Shearing as needed or at least annually, is neccessary to minimize animal health and welfare problems, such as:
- difficulty moving
- becoming cast (unable to rise)
- external parasites
- wool blindness
The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep states that regular shearing is a 'Required' practice for animal welfare. Read the ALP factsheet 'Shearing and Animal Welfare'.
Use the resources listed below to learn more about shearing and how you can make the most from your wool.
- Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers (CCWG) Resources: Click this link to visit the CCWG website to access these resources relating to wool preparation and shearing:
- Code of Practice for Wool Preparation
- Before Shearing / Shearing Tips
- Use Sheep Behaviour to your Advantage
- Sample Wool Grading Statement
- Fleece Judging Score Card
- Electric Wool Baler
- Fleece Sorting Table Plans
- Plans for a Fleece Packing Frame
- Plans for Horizontal Square Wool Press
- Plans for a Rectangular Wool Sack Stand
- Using Paint & Markers to Identify Sheep
- Wool Production in Canada (booklet)
Alberta Lamb Producers is proud to announce their new partnership with The Campaign for Wool Canada and The Canadian Wool Council. Through this partnership, the two organizations will be looking at future research and commercial projects that will benefit sheep producers in Alberta while also supporting national and international efforts to rebrand and revalue Albertan/Canadian wool.
The Campaign for Wool Canada/The Canadian Wool Council currently has two research studies underway that will be supported by Alberta Lamb Producers, and look for any input or ideas from members:
The Shearing Plan
Shearing was identified as an area of priority need in The Campaign for Wool’s/The Canadian Wool Council’s recent strategic plan. The Shearing Plan will look at Canada’s shearing needs in order to create access to high-quality, affordable shearing for the entire sheep industry. Proposed ideas include a Canada-wide standard for shearing education and testing, recruitment, international apprenticeships, the potential for a free-shearing model and other solutions based upon feedback from the industry.
The Upholstery Plan
Following the success of the Carpet Plan, The Campaign for Wool Canada/The Canadian Wool Council have created the Upholstery Plan that follows the same strategic initiatives. The Upholstery Plan will evaluate the potential of creating 100% Canadian wool upholstery textiles for use in Canadian furniture, automotive, and aerospace manufacturing. It will look at processing, manufacturing, distributor and design partners as well as potential export markets.
International Wool Textile Organisation
The Campaign for Wool Canada/The Canadian Wool Council recently secured Canada’s first ever seat at the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO), the voice of the global wool trade. Working with the IWTO will amplify Canada’s voice on the global stage and will create opportunities for partnerships with members from other countries. Canada’s delegation has representatives on each of the organization’s working groups including Market Intelligence, Product Wellness, Sustainable Practices, Biosecurity, Wool Sheep Welfare and Wool Interiors where Canadian Carol Sebert serves as Chair.
Wool Month 2022
The Campaign for Wool Canada/The Canadian Wool Council recently wrapped up a successful Canadian Wool Month this October. Wool Month is a global celebration of wool’s applications across a variety of industries. Projects in interiors, fine art and fashion help to explore practical uses for Canadian wool and showcase the talents of the Canadians who transform it.
The Fabric of Canada
A series of short films called The Fabric of Canada were also released as part of Wool Month. The Fabric of Canada is part of the Campaign for Wool Canada’s/The Canadian Wool Council’s strategic initiative to rebrand and revalue Canadian wool. The films are a series of documentary shorts that tell four different stories about our wool and the Canadians who transform it. Each video shows how Canadian wool’s unique properties lend it to endless possibilities.
- The Canadian Sheep Industry Information for Lenders report was prepared by the Expansion Working Group under the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable. When applying for loans, producers are frequently required to provide general information about the sheep industry. The Lenders Report provides key information regarding production, marketing, economic, and other aspects of the Canadian sheep industry, together in one document.
- Shepherding 101: An Introduction to Sheep Production (ALP Management Module): If you are new to the sheep industry, or want to learn more about raising quality market lambs, Shepherding 101 – Getting Started can help. This practical and easy to understand resource was created for people thinking about getting into sheep or expanding their flocks, and serves as an excellent refresher for established producers as well. The module covers a variety of topics, including: an introduction to sheep, considerations setting up facilities, feeding & nutrition, breeding & reproduction, flock health, marketing, and much more.
- The Business of Sheep (ALP Management Module): The Busine$$ of Sheep was created for experienced producers as well as for people who are just thinking about getting into sheep production. Provided with the module are some tools to help you create information to help you make good business decisions, including the Flock Snapshot, a sample business plan and a set of worksheets. All of these are downloadable from the module.
- Setting It Up: Sheep Infrastructure (ALP Management Module): Where to start? How to expand efficiently? How do I lay out my farm to cut down on my workload? What are the most efficient penning structures? What tools can save me time? Whether you are new to the sheep industry, or a veteran, this collection of operational best practices is invaluable! The Infrastructure module was designed to help producers create the most cost-and time – effective operation possible. To run a profitable sheep business, producers need to take advantage of every tip, strategy and tool they can. This manual has gathered that information into a one-stop resource. Topics covered include: Farm planning, Information management, Buildings and penning, Utilities, Feed and water considerations, Fencing and Handling, Manure and Deadstock management. The on-line module provides a brief description of each topic and each numbered heading links to specific information on that topic. To access the information contained in the module, open the module, and click on the title of the numbered document you wish to view.
- The Precision Flock Management resources were developed to enable producers to address profit leaks in their businesses. For instance, 'Flock Snapshot' enables producers to input information into a simple spreadsheet to determine their cost of producing lambs.
- Producing Profits with RFID - Tags and taggers fact sheet
Management videos on ALP's YouTube channel, Sheep Central Alberta:
- Sheep and Goat Management in Alberta: Reproduction (ALP Management Module): Optimum reproduction is the cornerstone of successful sheep rearing and key to the profitability of the production unit. The objective of this text is to provide a solid understanding of what is normal, what is abnormal, and what can be done to improve herd or flock productivity.
- Building Better Lambs: Terminal sires.
The Lakeland Carcass Sire (LCS) project, conducted at Lakeland College, Vermilion, Alberta, was designed to compare the growth and carcass characteristics of lambs sired by the five terminal sire breeds commonly used in Western Canada. Factsheets are available to provide information on using, selecting and managing terminal sires as well as using performance records.
- Having a Plan when Selecting a Terminal Sire (ALP fact sheet)
- Pregnancy in Feeder and Market Ewe Lambs (ALP fact sheet)
- Videos on ALP's YouTube channel, Sheep Central Alberta
- Sheep and Goat Management in Alberta: Nutrition (ALP Management Module): Feed is the single largest cost associated with raising small ruminants, typically accounting for 60% or more of total production costs. The quality of nutrition exerts a huge influence on flock health, reproduction, milk production, and lamb growth. This document provides information about the sheep digestive system, nutrient requirements, feedstuffs and feeding management.
- 'Feeding Your Flock When hay is Limited' webinar with Dale Engstrom: Nov 14, 2015
- Webinar handout (pdf)
- Feed Testing in Alberta (link to the Alberta Agiculture and Forestry list of feed testing facilities in Alberta)
- Feeding High Nitrate Crops to Sheep (fact sheet)
- Feeding Lambs – Frequently Asked Questions (fact sheet)
- Use Caution When Changing Sheep Rations (fact sheet)
- Body Condition Scoring (link to health page)
SheepBytes Ration Balancer is an on-line program specifically designed to balance cost-effective feed rations for all types of sheep. To learn more about SheepBytes and to access the video tutorial, go to www.sheepbytes.ca.
- An Introduction to Managed Grazing (ALP Management Module): With ever-increasing land and feed costs lamb producers are looking to make the most of their pastures. Managed grazing helps get the most out of pastures by looking after the forages and improving pasture productivity; by selecting forages that can help extend the grazing season and reduce ‘days on feed’; and by managing pastures to meet the nutritional needs of a flock. This module covers the proper techniques for pasture rotation, paddock management and the pros and cons of each type of forage that is available in Western Canada.
- Forage Growth and Intensive Grazing Basics (ALP fact sheet)
- When To Open and Close the Gate (ALP fact sheet)
- “Filling Feed Holes In The Feed Year” (ALP fact sheet)
- Fencing in Alberta (ALP fact sheet)
- Targeted Grazing for Vegetation Management Resources (Grassland Restoration Forum)
- Videos on ALP's YouTube channel, Sheep Central Alberta:
- Predation Management (ALP Management Module):In most areas of Canada, managing predation must become an integral component of sheep management systems, similar to parasite management and flock nutrition, to ensure optimum production from the ewe flock. The intent of this manual is to provide practical predation management options, along with pertinent background information on the primary predator species sheep producers in Alberta encounter. Although sheep are lost to a number of different predators, coyotes remain the number one predator of sheep and lambs in Canada and will be the primary focus of this manual.
- Predator Control (ALP fact sheet)
- Fencing in Alberta (ALP fact sheet)
- Guardian Animals for Alberta (ALP fact sheet)
- In Alberta coyotes are classified as a 'nuisance' species. Permits are required to impliment many aspects of their control. Click here to visit the Alberta government website for more information about obtaining permits and for a link to the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation. Careful consideration is required when placing poisons or control devices for the use in coyote control. Because of this, Agriculture and Forestry has instituted aCoyote Predation Control Manual and Study Guide (revised March 2016) to cover predation control in Alberta. County Agricultural Fieldmen have the knowledge and expertise to advise agricultural producers of the proper use of devices and poisons.
- Predator Compensation Investigations webinar with Alex Bolland, Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officer (presentation given January 8, 2022).
- Stock Dog Resources
- Herding Resources
- Best Stock Dog Breeds article
- Stock Dog Website resource
- Wild Boar in Alberta - this takes you to the Alberta.ca page about wild boar which has information about their biology and how to recognize wild boar sign, as well as what the GOA is doing about the issue, and how to report sightings to them.
- You can also visit the AISC website to see more content on wild boar. Education and outreach for wild boar is being led by the AISC through the Squeal on Pigs! campaign.
- Shepherding 101: Predation (video on ALP's YouTube channel, Sheep Central Alberta)
Alberta Lamb Producers provides a wide variety of information resources for producers, ranging from management and production advice to information on marketing.
Below are listed resources available by contacting the office or by downloading them from this or other websites.
Alberta Management Modules
Comprehensive resource modules on health, nutrition and reproduction (SGMA), getting started, business, infrastructure, managed grazing, and marketing are available online from the Management Modules page at no charge.
Print copies and memory sticks are available for purchase on a cost recovery basis.
For complete information see Alberta Management Modules for Purchase (pdf).
ALP has developed fact sheets covering a wide range of sheep management topics. The fact sheets are intended to provide basic information on a subject and references to where more details can be found. The fact sheets are provided by topic throughout the website. Click here to view the entire list.
Getting Started - Information for new producers
A Virtual Tool Box full of the information you need to know to run a successful operation is available from the Canadian Sheep Federation.
ALP's Shepherding 101:Getting Started module gives an overview of the basics of sheep production.
The Canadian Sheep Industry Information for Lenders report was prepared by the Expansion Working Group under the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable. When applying for loans, producers are frequently required to provide general information about the sheep industry. The Lenders Report provides key information regarding production, marketing, economic, and other aspects of the Canadian sheep industry, together in one document.
SheepCentral Alberta YouTube Channel
Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/SheepCentralAlberta to watch sheep industry videos.
ALP also has a variety of other resources for producers. Unless otherwise stated, these resources are free of charge to producers.
- Alberta Lamb Promotional material
- NFACC Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep
- Precision Flock Management (PFM) is a systematic management approach for getting the most from your flock.
- Emergency Preparedness Guide
- Guide to the Humane Care, Handling and Transportation of Sheep
- Highlights of Sheep History in the Canadian West by Grant MacEwan. Many books have been written about the romance of the western cattle industry, yet at the time of writing, nothing existed to describe the history and contributions of the western shepherd. Grant MacEwan changed all that by writing this much acclaimed history book, in cooperation with ALP. If you are a sheep producer or a history buff this book is well worth a look, a great story with many original photographs. Soft Cover $15.00 (plus shipping & handling & GST).
- Alberta Emergency Management Agency (link to AEMA website)
- Alberta Rural Emergency Plan (plans for a simple do-it-yourself kit for rural properties - link to website)
- ReadyAg Workbook: Disaster and Defense Preparedness for Production Agriculture (link to PennState website)
- Planning for and Responding to Disasters in Canada (extensive guide developed by Canadian Farm Business Management Council and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture - pdf)
- FarmSafe Alberta – A Safety Planning Guide for Farms and Ranches. This is a tool that farmers can use to create and implement a health and safety management system specific to their farming operation (link to Alberta FarmSafe website).
- Animal Health Emergency Management Project Producer Resources
Managing During Dry Conditions
- N'ewesline: Dry Weather Decisions (pdf - May 11, 2016)
- N'ewesline: Managing Grasshoppers (pdf - May 4, 2016)
- Latest moisture situation update (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website)
- Agriculture Drought Risk Management Plan for Alberta (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website)
- Options for Alberta Producers During Dry Conditions (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website)