At least once a year, 2-3 months before they are shorn, we collect representative midside wool samples from every animal in our flock per instructions on FFSSA’s website and send them for analysis to a reputable university lab in Texas.  Full results of our most recent sampling and testing can be viewed at the link at the end of this paragraph.  Note that our white ram “Lancelot” was mispelled this year by the lab as “Lacelot”.  Samples indicated by double captitalized alphabet letters, such as “GG” indicate an additonal neck sample was taken and analyzed (except for CC samples which were all midside samples from sheep that had been sold but they leased our rams to breed their ewes). Neck samples will be finer than same animal’s midside sample.  Some sheep listed have been sold and are no longer owned by us, but all tested were bred by us.  Click on this link:  https://www.glentamarack.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Dukerschein-Results-3841.pdf

Health Test Results

Periodically we test our flock for both Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (O.P.P.) a virus, and Johnes Disease (J.D.) (A bacteria called Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, causes J. D. and is abbreviated as “MAP”).  Regular testing for both in flocks that sell breeding stock is important because Johnes’ and  O.P.P. are  insidious  diseases for breeders to be unwittingly spreading around by not testing the breeding stock they use, buy, breed, and sell.   Regular testing provides a valuable early warning system, and fortunately there are tests to detect exposure and/or infection before it is obvious or contagious.  Serological tests called ELISA tests detect  antibodies in blood of sheep to each specific disease tested for.  Presence of antibodies in amounts defined by previous research and testing  indicates those animals potentially exposed and at risk of having or spreading the infection.  Since false positives can occur with ELISA testing, especially for Johnes’ disease in sheep due to serological reactions to related but harmless bacteria carried by birds, repeated testing on a regular basis or doing a second tier of more specific tests to confirm any positive ELISA as either a true or a false positive are done.   As of August 10, 2018, all  sheep eligible to test (age 1 and older) in our flock are ELISA negative for both diseases. Experts agree that one of the best ways to prevent Johnes’ disease or O.P.P. from infecting a flock is to purchase animals only from flocks that have consistently over time tested negative.  However, they add that purchasing from a tested flock with a low infection rate where these diseases are actively being managed to minimize risk of  infection  is still preferable to purchasing animals from untested flocks where status of Johnes or OPP infection is unknown.  Questions about testing?  For Johnes’ disease, call the Johnes’ Disease Information Center at 608-263-6920  or visit their website at https://johnes.org/ .  More  information on OPP can be found at the following link:    https://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/docs/OvineProgressivePneumonia.pdf

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