"Heifers are the foundation of any dairy enterprise. Farmerscan improve their herds by replacing culled cows with wellfed, healthy, genetically superior 2-year-old heifers. In most herds, dairy farmers replace 25 to 30 percent of the herd each year. These replacements represent a significant financial investment.Dairy heifer production in the Northeast and the Midwesthas typically been the responsibility of dairy farmers.However, milk producers in other parts of the country oftenbuy bred replacement heifers or contract their own heifersout to other growers."
"Feeder lamb production is a livestock enterprise adaptableto small-scale and part-time farms in Pennsylvania. Feederlambs are purchased as premarket-weight lambs, fed to adesirable market weight, and then sold. When purchased,lambs can weigh as little as 35 pounds or less and as muchas 60 pounds. These lambs are usually marketed at 110pounds through local auctions, slaughterhouses, brokers,and individuals. In recent years, direct markets, nichemarkets, tel-a-auctions, and marketing cooperatives havebecome popular for selling lambs. The wool is sold throughlocal and national markets, brokers, and wool cooperatives."
"The United States is the leading beef producer in the world.Almost 26.9 billion pounds of beef were produced in theUnited States in 2000 and per capita consumption totaled 78pounds. The cattle cycle currently is in a declining phase,and several more years are expected of smaller calf crops, a slight decline in cattle feeding, small decline in slaughter rates, and stable consumption rates. Profitability in the cattle business usually increases as production declines."
"Sheep products in Pennsylvania do not have to be limited tomeat and wool. There is a growing interest in milking sheepand sheep milk products. In Europe, sheep dairying is afairly common enterprise, and sheep breeds have beendeveloped specifically for milk production. It is not unusual for these breeds to average four to seven pounds of milk daily. The European breeds, however, are not available in the United States because of import restrictions. Sheep breeds common to Pennsylvania average between .75 and 2.0 pounds of milk daily. This requires U.S. sheep producers interested in dairying to carefully select ewes based on milk production and durability. Crossbred ewes produce more milk and are more durable than some purebreds."
"Of the approximately 160,000 Pennsylvania lambs marketedeach year, 30 percent are sold as off-season and holidaylambs. These lambs are marketed using both conventional(auctions, slaughterhouses, and brokers) and nonconventional(niche markets, specialty stores, and direct marketing)methods. The ideal market weight is 110 pounds for offseasonlambs and 40 to 45 pounds for holiday lambs."
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