FAQ Sheep Care
Ewe Vaccination Protocol:
Pre-lambing: CD & T and Rabies 6-8 weeks prior to lambing/kidding then annually between.
Lamb Vaccination Protocol:
Ideally ensure colostrum intake for adequate passage of protective antibodies.
If mother is up to date, give CD&T at 8 weeks, booster at 11 weeks.
If mothers is NOT up to date, give CD&T at any time with a booster 3-4 weeks later.
Rabies vaccination is given at 6 months of age.
"Selective deworming" is the concept of only treating the animals with a high parasite load. Spring and Summer months are peak parasite season for small ruminants. A deworming protocol helps to prevent heavy parasite load.
A fecal sample may be dropped off at the clinic during business hours for a microscopic exam to aid in the determination of a parasite load at that point in time, especially if one of your animals is losing weight or has loose stool.
We recommend deworming with injectable Dectomax every 2-3 months to prevent a parasite infestation.
FAMACHA is a tool to approximate the Strongylid or Barber Pole worm burden based on the color of the inner lid of an animal
There is training to acquaint yourself with this technique at: FAMACHA
Breeding season is usually from August to March in our area. Gestation is approximately 144 days - about 5 months.
Signs of labor include: Udder fills or "bags up"
Ligaments in hips relax (creating hollow look)
Vulva swells, with a small amount of clear discharge
Contractions may last 2-12 hours - at this time she will leave flock, may become restless-getting up and down, and urinates frequently.
Delivery should happen within 2 hours - usually in daylight
**Straining with no advancement for more than 1 hour - she may need help
Placenta is delivered with 6 - 18 hours.
Uterus returns to normal size with 28 days/may have reddish-brown discharge for up to 3 weeks.
Dystocia (difficult pregnancy)** occurs when there is straining with no advancement. You may help by first washing/disinfecting hands, put on latex gloves and lubricating with K-Y jelly. Put your hand in the vulva to determine how dilated the cervix is. If you can feel kids, see if you can gently manipulate the feet through to facilitate natural birth. K-Y jelly or Dawn dish soap in the reproductive tract my help to decrease some of the friction halting the birthing process.
Any concerns or questions, please call Louisa Veterinary Service for further advice.
Horn buds can be burned to prevent horn growth. The timeframe for the procedure is typically between 7-14 days old. This allows time for the skull to harden, and prior to the large growth of the horn buds.
If the horn buds have become too large for the burner, a more invasive procedure called Dehorning may be considered.
We recommend waiting to castrate the males until 6 months of age, if at all possible. This will allow the maximum growth of the urethra, and help to prevent urinary blockage.
A handful of grain per day at most as a treat is all the grain a castrated male should have. Too much grain in the diet allows mineral to build up in the urine and form stones that could block the urinary tract. This is a serious, possibly life threatening, condition that you can prevent in your wethers.