What do ewe know?

When it comes to sheep, there's always more to learn

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

CROWNPOINT, N.M., May 8, 2014

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(Times photo — Donovan Quintero)

A sheep seems to relax as it gets a haircut at the Spring Sheep Conference and Workshop in Crownpoint.

When it comes to sheep, the Diné people know all they need to in order to sustain their way of living. But according to Navajo Technical University's Spring Sheep Conference, there is still always more to learn.

For instance, there might be at least a small silver lining to the drought that has held the Nation in thrall for 12 years now.

A student research project in the veterinary technician program found fewer than expected parasites in sheep in Eastern Agency, probably because, like any other animal, parasites need water to survive and multiply.

Zoey Benally, associate veterinarian and veterinary technician instructor, said the conference provided an excellent platform for NTU students to share their herd health and liver research projects.

"These are student-led students, so the students have a huge role in both research projects," Germaine Daye, director of the land grant department and veterinary teaching hospital, said.

Daye added that this type of student research would help the university build its research capacity.

The first project the students started working on was last summer when they conducted their sheep research.

"We're basically characterizing herd health in the Eastern Agency," Benally said. Last summer they looked at 900 head of sheep from the same 50 to 60 herds in the Eastern Agency.

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