Alberta Lamb!

Local pride from our gate to your plate.

Producer Spotlight: From our producer’s perspective

ALP is currently looking for a producers to feature in our quarterly N’ewesletters!

ALP introduced a new producer spotlight section this past month in our quarterly N’ewesletters, to let our producers get to know one and other and learn about the vast amount of sheep operations we have here in Alberta.


With that being said, we want to hear from “ewe.” Would you like to write a small (or big) article for us explaining about your business and what you do? Some ideas could include:

  • Your farming operation: for example, number of animals, time in the industry, breeds, system (intensive vs extensive). Boast about what you do best. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 sheep or 10,000.
  • Choose your own personal angle. What are you passionate about within the sheep industry? Why did you join the industry and what interests you about it? Talk about it; it can be anything—innovation, wool, breeding, feed, medication vs holistic, machinery, tips and tricks, whatever tweaks your interest.
  • What are your plans for the future in the sheep industry? Is there something you want to see happen in the industry? Have you got personal goals you want to achieve on your farm?

These articles are all about you and your operations. We want to use them as a way to encourage producer networking, asking questions, and learning from each other about what we all do best—sheep farming. The more we can share as an industry, the stronger we can become!

The deadline to submit intent to write for each N’ewesletter edition is*:

Spring Edition:  February 15th 2023 - Producer selected already by random draw.

Summer Edition: May 20th 2023 

Fall Edition: July 23rd 2023

Winter Edition: November 2nd 2023

Please express your interest to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 403-948-8533.

*If there are multiple submissions for each edition, we will put names into a draw and let the winner know. You can apply for as many editions as you like. Please note, from the submission date above, you will have one month to write and submit your article back to ALP for proofreading and formatting.

Spring N'ewsletter 2024 Producer Spotlight

Chancey, Kash, Jol, Brian, Shaunere, and Rio 

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Hello Everyone!
I am Chancey Lane of Brown Creek Ranch located in the foothills of southern Alberta. My wife Kash and I are second generation recently welcoming the third generation with the arrival of our daughter Rio. We work with my parents Brian and Shaunere.
For over 20 years our operations focus was on cattle we operated a commercial and purebred angus operation. In 2016 we had been doing a lot of research on the benefits of doing rotational grazing and weed control with sheep. After a trial run for the summer months of grazing sheep we decided that it was something the ranch needed. We jumped right in and started with 500 ewes. At this time we had decided to sell the purebred cows and maintain our commercial herd as we are still mainly a cow/calf operation.
In 2018 we decided to grow again by adding a goat herd into the mix. We continue to retain our own females in our cow, sheep and goat herds. We start lambing on the first of February that typically wraps up around mid march and then we will start calving the cows April 1st. We start our goats May 1st. Our numbers are still growing as we see how we are able to rotationally graze, target problem areas with fencing and allow all the different species to compliment each other. With all the animals around here it has been essential that we find efficiencies that bring reduced labor, cost effectiveness and produce a profit. By far our best advancement for cost management and effective feed utilization was the purchase of a mixer wagon and starting to feed silage. We don’t grow any feed so everything is purchased this makes managing the feed supply very important.
We use a series of very elaborate spreadsheets that we built using google sheets, a program I really like because we don’t have cell phone service. I can work offline in my notebook and when I get to an internet connection it updates it on all of my devices. I use an iPad mounted in the tractor to do the daily feeding. Every day we are able to make small changes to all of our rations. The amount of feed used is added into the sheet and is billed out to the appropriate pen or group of animals. At the beginning of the year I develop a feed plan using cow bytes and sheep bytes. Once I am happy with the plan I review it with a nutritionist and they green light everything. Once all the rations are good to go they are added in to be fed to the different animal groups at the appropriate time. The ewes for example have three different rations that we use as a base, a breeding ration which is fed in combination with some grazing, a pregnancy ration that will fluctuate depending on their trimester and a lactating ration. These rations all fluctuate with the weather and how the ewes are intaking the feed.
By tracking our feed usage this way we have been able to track our daily costs and ensure that everyday we are feeding exactly what the ewes need and we are minimizing waste. By intensely tracking our costs and targeting nutrition we have been able to recognize trends that usually give us a ‘Heads up” to when lambing is going to get busy we have found that 4-5 days before we are about to get a big rush of lambs the ewes in that pen start cutting their own feed intake back once this starts to happen we adjust the ration to add more grain as the ewes aren’t taking in as much feed and we need to keep their energy up. We combine this with watching the daily temperatures during our breeding season. If I am looking back at September/October and I see that there was a big temperature drop combined with the ewes starting to back off their feed, we know the rush is coming and can usually pinpoint it to within 3 days. This year we had several days of over 40 ewes lambing and we were able to prepare in advance.
Next we look at how to reduce the labour. Our shearers have said before that we could put on a school for how to cull a herd properly. Basically, if you are going to make it in our sheep herd you have to be efficient, productive and not a pain to work with. We manage the herd very simply this way, we don't use a fancy wand or even tag lambs at birth. When we started in sheep we did have a wand and a program, but I found the training process for everyone to learn to use the wand and the cost of the tags seemed unnecessary.
I realized that if we are going to lamb out 600 ewes and we expect a death loss between 6-8% from birth to weaning it didn’t make sense to tag the lambs that weren’t going to make it and it didn’t make sense to tag a ewe lamb that may live here for 7-8 years and be given many opportunities to snag that tag on a fence or a tree. Once again I made a spreadsheet on my iPad and we applied the selection process. We retain our own females and we eliminate labour by holding ewe lambs over so that they have their first lamb around the time they are turning two. These ewes have had a chance to mature and develop, should be able to raise their lambs on their own and require very little intervention. We apply the same process with the goats. When a ewe lambs she is brought to a jug her udder is felt for lumps or injuries and then judged for aesthetics, her overall condition, age and temperament are assessed. If a ewe has no good reason to act all crazy and requires us to catch her to jug her she will be marked as a cull. Her feet are checked. We don't trim feet here, we select breeds known for good feet. If she needs a trim but is capable of raising lambs she will get trimmed and will be shipped after raising these lambs.
Our ewes are not kept in the jugs for long occasionally lambs that have a slow start from malpresentation or bad weather are given a little longer but typically their stay is less than 12 hours, minimum of 5 hours for a ewe with twins and if things are busy singles skip the jug and will be processed and put into a mixing pen.
Processing consists of assessing the ewe to make sure she fits what we are looking for, she is wormed and if she needs a tag replaced that happens at this time. The lambs' tails are ringed and a matching number to the mom is painted on the side. If the ewe has met all our criteria to continue raising lambs here her female lambs are given a small ear notch this makes them eligible to be replacements. Their information is added to the spreadsheet and they are moved into a mixing pen. This female selection process has served us really well in developing a low maintenance flock; it only ensures that the most eligible ewe is raising our replacements.
Quite often there is an event that happens after they have left the jug that may cause them to not be selected as replacements; the lambs do poor, or one is taken off and bottle fed these ewes receive a big red mark for cull and depending on the circumstances a poor doing ewe lamb won't be selected as a replacement or they are given a second ear notch which designates them as a feeder lamb.
Once we wean our lambs the feeder lambs are sorted into one pen and the replacements into another the females we want to keep are selected and often the remaining ones are sold as breeders. Once there is pasture available the ewe lambs are added back into the flock and they go to pasture. At breeding time the ewe lambs will be sorted off and culled if necessary then moved to a different pen for the winter. The ewes all have their udder felt for lumps or injuries, any poor doers are culled and the rest are sorted into breeding groups and we start the whole process over. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share about our operation and some things we feel we do really well. Hopefully, I was able to provide some strategies for managing a flock.


Fun Downloads for Kids!!


Do your kids want to know more about sheep? Have fun with this information, download and make copies for distribution at events or in the classroom.

4-H Resources:


In the ALP budget, each director has $500 in regional development funds to spend on event sponsorship within Alberta.  Requests for sponsorships must be made by e-mail, fax or mail, giving details of the event and what the money would be used for.  These applications must be made through the office or directly to a ALP director for consideration.

At the November 2019 board meeting, the board of directors made the decision to support the Alberta 4-H groups through one sponsorship -  the Provincial 4-H Sheep Show and has moved away from individual 4-H club sponsorship opportunities.

Agriculture Centre, Airdrie

Alberta Sheep Centre

The Alberta Sheep Centre, a partnership between ALP, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry, is available to all Alberta sheep industry members for meetings, workshops, seminars, etc at no charge.

Displays of the diverse aspects of the sheep industry in Alberta are on show. If you have something of interest to the industry, we invite you to loan or donate it to the centre for everyone to enjoy. There is also space for artists to display their work, either on a loan or on a consignment basis.

The Alberta Sheep Centre is equally suitable for gatherings around the table or for smaller meetings, over coffee, in the sitting area. There is a small kitchen area with a refrigerator, which will allow you to serve coffee, light lunches or snacks.

The centre is also equipped with a whiteboard and a projection screen; an LCD projector is available for use for a nominal charge.

This room has been used for many government and industry meetings, where it is possible to view the opportunities and diversity of the Alberta sheep industry. The Alberta Sheep Centre is available for use right now, so please take the opportunity to use it. If you are passing through Airdrie, stop in and see your industry showcase.


ALP recently launched an extensive marketing and communications campaign aimed at expanding the industry and celebrating the immense value producers provide to Alberta Agriculture. The campaign will include a video, direct mail, brochures, advertising and government lobbying to help raise the industry’s profile.

“There is a lot of opportunity in the market right now, ” says ALP Executive Director Margaret Cook. “Having increased production and new producers enter the industry does not create harmful competition. It actually allows us to become a stronger, more stable, source of consistent, quality supply which benefits everyone in the supply chain. There is plenty of current and future market demand for everyone."

A communications plan was developed by ALP based on two-years of market analysis, producer input, and extensive strategic planning. The campaign's three themes of "Pride, Recruitment, and Expansion" are part of ALP's business plan which focuses on 7 key strategies designed to pro-actively address industry issues, and support a more profitable sheep sector.

Media interest in the campaign launch was positive and wide-spread. ALP was inundated with calls; and stories on the campaign made both the agricultural and mainstream press nationwide. For a summary of the media coverage of the campaign launch – please see Campaign Launch Media Coverage.

To see sample marketing materials

View the industry video.

If you would like to borrow a copy of the 9 minute DVD, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maybe your local Ag Society, 4-H club or MLA would like to learn about the sheep industry; we encourage you to do your part in promoting your industry.

Media Release

Mar 1, 2011 - Alberta Lamb Producer's expansion campaign results in bigger flocks and increased industry investment



Alberta Lamb was created to promote lamb and to increase consumption and awareness within the province, thus benefiting the whole industry. Our consumer focused website provides information on where to find local lamb (farm-direct, retail and restaurants), recipes and other useful information.

Alberta Lamb has been very successful in its objective to increase consumption. The current market presents a shortage of supply of prime local lamb, so emphasis is being shifted to increase efficient quality production. As you will see from our business plan, the focus of Alberta Lamb will be reviewed and likely changes made. In the meantime, promotional materials are still available on request, while stocks last and we are pleased to send out a display and materials for your local promotions.

Promotional items can be ordered by downloading the request form, completing and e-mailing it to the office. It may also be faxed or mailed in.

The Future of Alberta Lamb

It is time for us all to take a look at Alberta Lamb and set some direction and strategy—what would you like to see in the future?

Remember Alberta Lamb promotes all lamb, not just direct marketers. It has provided a great opportunity to speak directly to consumers and provide taste samples

Direct Marketing

There’s a great market for farm direct sales of lamb.  Consumers like to know the person who has produced the meat, the production practices, and location.  It can provide a higher and more consistent return for producers, but marketing takes time and effort. Lambs sold privately to consumers must be processed in provincially inspected plants.  It is illegal to sell meat processed on-farm or to allow buyers to process the animals on your property. Distribution of uninspected meat can result in adverse food safety and adverse public relations issues, which would be devastating for the whole industry.

Alberta Lamb supports producers with direct marketing initiatives designed to increase the amount of high quality Alberta Lamb available from farm-gate, farmers’ markets and in retail stores and restaurants.  In addition to a full size or table top display, Alberta Lamb has an array of promotional materials to hand out, and many opportunities for producers to promote their product.

For more information on direct marketing meats and selling lamb at Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets, please visit the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website.

Agri-Facts handouts include:

Hosting Farm Visits:

Hosting farm visits can help build relationships with customers, educate the public about sheep production and promote the sheep industry.
Anna Cairns, a producer in the M.D. of Willow Creek, has hosted farm visits for many years.  Read her 'How to' article on hosting farm visits during lambing. 


The materials listed above are also available by request from the ALP office.

For more information about Alberta Lamb, please visit, or contact the office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (403) 948-1522.