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26 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 11:56 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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great!

I ordered the tasvax. The lady i got them from said to vaccinate when they were 6 months old. So what age is normal weaning? They are 3 months old now

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27 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 6:17 am

Fowler

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We did an intact 2 year old ram once and the meat was fine.

Not much to contribute, I'm afraid. We've had Shetlands for years and they pretty much look after themselves. I don't think I know any more about sheep than when I started.

28 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 6:54 am

Schipperkesue

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That, itself is good information, Fowler.

29 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 8:06 am

heda gobbler

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I had a bad year the year before last - didn't wean rams until 12 weeks - and 5 months later had a scattering of lambs in early spring, before I put in rams intentionally. It was either the young rams OR the newly wethered rams (I did them late that year) Asked around and Shetlands mature early - recommend weaning at 8 weeks esp the rams! Sounds early but I've done it this year and the lambs are fine, as are the mothers.

Interesting to DNA sheep is much more expensive than DNAing cattle (which I do regularly for registered purebred Highlands) so I had to forego any registrations that spring and just sell as unregistered. Couldn't be sure of who the daddy was....

Don't know about other breeds though. If it weren't for the early maturing rams and potential issues with wethers I might leave lambs in another month. As with cows it is important to look at the ewe's condition, make sure she isn't losing condition.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

30 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 8:12 am

Schipperkesue

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I have already posted a weaning date on my calendar. I dont want to be lambing in the dead of winter.

What month do people like to lamb in, and why?

31 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 8:48 am

heda gobbler

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I've done June, I've done early April and everything in between (as above, not always planned). June was good - I had children visiting so seeing newborn lambs was a highlight, but a little hot. I put the sheep in the barn at night (and when lambs are tiny) and the Shetlands are well insulated and clearly have plenty of milk so early April (this year at least) worked really well. A little grass, some sunny days, not to hot in the barn.

My question is, when do people shear relative to lambing? This year June shearing is clearly waaaaay too late, sheep are rooing (shedding) which will make the fleeces very poor. But early March just seems cruel. I know mothers with full fleeces are nice for newborn lambs to snuggle in.

Hair sheep people do not need to answer...

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

32 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 9:01 am

heda gobbler

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Should say that I go to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for most of my sheep supplies. They carry stuff that for some reason they don't put on their online catalogue, like Tasvax. I have to call to order it, they will even send me big stuff, like fence panels and the burlap bags for fleeces (also not on the online catalogue) on the bus.

Better than the vet, who also sells Tasvax and Ivomec drench but charges $40 for a consulting fee any time I need the stuff. Grrrr.

I like the little woven halters wool.ca carries for $10 - they are the only ones that go small enough for shetlands. I like their troughs too.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

33 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 9:15 am

authenticfarm

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heda gobbler wrote:Better than the vet, who also sells Tasvax and Ivomec drench but charges $40 for a consulting fee any time I need the stuff. Grrrr.

That's crazy! Here, we can buy both tasvax and ivomec at the feed store (UFA). Along with most of the more common meds ...

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

34 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 9:18 am

heda gobbler

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Grrr. It seems that we can only buy ivomec (drench, injectable, pour on) from the vet. So glad to find another source of Tasvax!

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

35 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 9:46 am

Schipperkesue

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Heda, you need to come visit Alberta! Or invite an Albertan for a visit!

36 Re: Sheep Thread on Wed May 29, 2013 10:05 am

heda gobbler

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I used to do an annual stock up trip (and see friends and check out livestock) but tired of the long drive. Don't like going when the passes have snow - that's when all the crazies are on the road.. and summer is so beautiful here...

But may have to make a plan to go again. Really, BC needs to get with the program!

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

37 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 8:25 am

Schipperkesue

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So today I need some help from everyone. My last lamb was born today. When I checked on everyone and opened the barn today, there he was beside his mom and I knew something was wrong right away. I gave mom some grain and pulled him out of the pen he and his mom share. His back legs are completely floppy and appear to have no neuromuscular control. He cannot get up on them and when I stand him his legs sway to the side and he falls. On top of this here is a reddened bald slightly swollen patch over his backbone between the legs. Now he was a fresh lamb and still very wet when I saw him, and maybe when I get home tonight those legs will have strengthened and he will be all right, but my gut says no. That bald area is screaming spinal problem to me...maybe a form of spinabifida.

I have only had singleton lambs this first lambing season for the girls, and I really would like some lamb for the freezer. I am already imagining splints and little carts with wheels for this guy just to get him to slaughter size and weight. At least he would be tender!. I could really benefit from the experience of others here. I will try to get a picture tonight, and if putting him down is warranted, so be it, but I would like to keep my options open.

38 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 am

authenticfarm

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Schipperkesue wrote:On top of this here is a reddened bald slightly swollen patch over his backbone between the legs.

Would the ewe have maybe stepped on him accidentally? We occasionally get that with cows & calves. I successfully cast a calf's broken leg a few years ago, which we figured happened when his mother or another cow stepped on his leg, and he ended up doing fine. Other times, it doesn't end as happily. That's one of those unpreventable accidents, I'm afraid.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

39 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 8:42 am

heda gobbler

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Oh! I have never had this problem but I think I would separate them in a smaller pen, see if his legs do strengthen. Can he move them at all? I have to say I am a non intervention person.

Sad. I hope he improves...

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

40 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 8:59 am

Schipperkesue

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They are separated. My jugs are dog ex-pens.

After a little online research, the red bulgy bald patch is completely consistent with spina bifida, a condition I am sadly very familiar with in children. It is like an exposed cyst on the spine and usually creates a disconnect in the nerves in the spine.

I will see if he is getting anything to drink and take it from there. I will get some pictures as well.

Spina bifida is inherited. I suspect since the ram has produced two normal lambs that the problem may lie in the ewe, but I need more research.

41 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 9:07 am

heda gobbler

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Grim. Is this her first lamb?

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

42 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 9:13 am

Schipperkesue

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Yes. Sad

43 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 9:24 am

heda gobbler

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Well. Now I don't know what to suggest, but wait and see I'm afraid. Can it suckle?

As my husband often says "it will either make it or it won't".

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

44 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 9:38 am

Hidden River

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Sue never encountered spine issues in my sheep so not much help there if it is a spinal issue. But I did have a small(4 lbs) weak lamb this year out of a very big yearling ewe, was a surprise it was so small. She was weak and unable to stand, she did have a sucking reflex so I gave her some powdered colostrum I had on hand, 2 oz and she drank it right up. So I milked another 2 oz out of her mom and fed that to her. Over the next couple hours we would go out and help her to stand and suckle her mom, by the end of the evening about 6 hours after she was born she was up and nursing on her own.
Sometimes hind end weakness is just newborn weak lamb, but with the bald spot on it's back would say either mom stepped on him and removed some hide or possibly a Spina bifida?


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45 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 10:12 am

Schipperkesue

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Not merely a bald spot, but a lump. Feels fluid filled. I will see what is happening when I go home tonight.

With spina bifida, often there is no nervous activity below the spinal area affected. Kidneys, digestion, excretion, etc can be affected.

Next question...what is the most humane way for a single person without a gun or help from her husband to dispatch a lamb?

46 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 11:21 am

HigginsRAT


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Last edited by HigginsRAT on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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47 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 2:23 pm

lady leghorn


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Since he is very small, you probably could take him to a large animal vet and have him put down..

More costly, but would be much easier for you.

People lamb at various times of the year because some want the better weather, others that sell meat lambs want them early to sell for certain markets ( easter, religous holidays etc.)

If timing doesn't matter to you, wait until it's warmer.

As for shearing, we had a couple of lambs that wouldn't go to their Mom once they got sheared, they didn't recognize mom. Smile

After lots of yelling, they finally hooked up. But was a different experience. Smile

Even if you got your ewes some jackets ( for sheep) to keep them warm, it's worth shearing before lambing.

Only for a few ewes though. Otherwise a fairly warm barn.

Sorry about your lamb. Hope things work out for the best.


48 Re: Sheep Thread on Thu May 30, 2013 2:40 pm

heda gobbler

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SIL used to have a lot of sheep and learned to be efficient - sharp knife across the throat. Don't know if I could do it!

She stopped even keeping bottle lambs - and her sheep flock improved dramatically in quality by not keeping those weaker lambs.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

49 Re: Sheep Thread on Fri May 31, 2013 7:43 am

Schipperkesue

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He has a tummy full of milk. He can heave his front end around, and the back legs seem strong, but the hip area does not seem to support his weight. Since he is eating and not crying in pain, I have some time to trouble this through. I will get the B into him tonight.

50 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:42 pm

Schipperkesue

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Oh, dear, looks like I left everyone hanging on this thread. It comes to a sad end. I took the little guy out of the barn and had a close look. He definitely had a spinal issue. Everything behind the affected area on his spine was floppy. As I held him up urine was draining out of him without any control. I ended his life quickly with a merciless and non-hesitating blow with a heavy pipe to the back of his head. He died instantly. I felt badly to have waited so long. Not because the animal suffered. He didn't. Bur mom cried to him for many hours.

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