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4-H youth learn all about sheep

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webmaster | 03/08/14

By Suzanna Gonzalez, Coarsegold 4-H reporter

The 4-H Club is the largest youth development program in the United States, with more than seven million young people ages 9-19 currently involved.

The 4-H sheep program is part of the university’s animal science project. The program helps you learn about the selection, production, management, marketing and health of sheep. A sheep project is very well adapted to the rural family home with a small plot of land or even to homes with large yards in suburban areas that permit animals. Anyone can raise a sheep!

Did you know that there are more than 40 breeds of sheep in the U.S. alone? Sheep come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. They can be separated by their primary purpose such as meat, wool or milk. They can also be separated by the type of fibers they grow — fine, medium, long, carpet wool, or hair — and by the color of their faces, which are black, white, red or mottled.

So what do sheep eat? Sheep like to eat grass, clover, forbs and other pasture plants. They also love alfalfa, sweet grains, and hay. When grazing in the pasture, they especially love forbs — a broad-leaf plant other than grass. It is a flowering plant that is very nutritious. At our ranch, we feed our lambs sweet grains, alfalfa and/or hay...



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