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kajarrel

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About kajarrel

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    Central New York
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  1. Great that you're helping these dogs (although I don't think being 80 necessarily rules you out as a dog owner), but if you're only considering people who you know or who know people who you know, why are you posting this in a public list? Makes much more sense to pass the word locally . . . Kim (Who is hot and cranky after putting in fence all day)
  2. This is the "art" of shepherding. You want him to get enough food so that he can suck but you don't want him to be fully satiated so he doesn't nurse. This is because the milk supply is somewhat related to demand - so the baby will need to suck to increase the ewe's milk supply. I like to error on the side of them being a little hungry (once they're warm and strong), assuming the ewe's milk supply isn't compromised. If you can't transition the lamb totally away from the bottle, you should consider culling the ewe. I've learned over time that doing this saves a lot of grief.
  3. Sounds good. One thing I forgot to mention is that cold, undernourished lambs have a characteristic "hunched back" posture. Assuming the ewe has adequate milk, it sounds like he's eventually transition away from the supplements. During the transition, you'll need to bottle feed. I actually like this type of nipple better than any others I've tried for babies with a weak suck: http://reviews.tractorsupply.com/0519/226237399/controlled-flow-lamb-nipple-reviews/reviews.htm Not sure if it's available in Australia. . . Kim
  4. Not seeing the tube, I think I'd stick with your current method. The diameter sounds a little big and you don't want to risk perforating anything with a tube that's too stiff or not correctly designed. I've tubed scads of lambs over the years and only one has "gone in the wrong place." It was in a highly debilitated lamb who I should have given intraperontoneal glucose. So it's a pretty safe (but not failsafe) procedure. I give up to 3 - 4 ounces slowly at a time. A vet should have feeding tubes in stock (to use with other animals, if not lambs). Could your's mail one to you? Kim
  5. That's not really a lot of milk that you're getting from the ewe . . . I would expect to get more so the mother may have a problem - maybe she had mastitis in the past - and this might be the underlying problem. If you've been feeding the lamb every couple hours and it's getting weaker, I suspect you've (now) got something else going on. The reason I suggested the scour halt, which some may disagree with, is that I find that if my lambs are stressed and they don't receive enough colostrum, they tend to scour and die. If I start the scour halt early, I tend not to run into this problem. Often the anorexia precedes the scours (and a sudden drop in temperature signals impending death). Another problem we've got in my area is selenium deficiency, which also can also lead to weak lambs. Can you ask someone local to come and look at the ewe and lamb? Even if they let "nature take its course" (as many large farms here do), they'll still probably be able to look at the ewe and lamb and give you an opinion. Learning when to intervene is really an art (IMHO) rather than an exact science and is best achieved at the side of someone experienced (or happens as you gain experience). Also, you *will* want to develop a good working relaitonship with a vet (to obtain prescription meds or even consult over the phone). At least in my area of the U.S., few vets specialize in sheep. I think *they* appreciate, and I definitely appreciate, having local people who I can bounce ideas off of and share experiences. But I see that you're in Australia so maybe this is not the case. I hope things have gotten better when you read this message. Kim
  6. Is the lamb warm? What is its temperature? How much are you feeding? The lamb should take about 4 Oz every 3 hours. If it's not taking this amount, you'll need to tube feed it. Are you giving colostrum? What do its stools look like? Did you vaccinate the mother prior to delivery with something like Covexin? If not, I'd probably give scour-halt.. ETA: If the ewe is too rough with the baby, I'd probably pull the lamb, at least for a short while while you try to "pull it through." Kim
  7. I have occasionally had ewes go down in late pregnancy because of what I assume is some type of nerve compresion. Once the lambs are born the mother eventually stands. This is not repeated in future prenancies. Again, what I try to do is make sure the babies have enough colostrum and the mother takes care of them once she is standing, although peristent babies and good mothers will nurse babies lying down. Sounds like your group is well on its way. Kim
  8. Take the ewe's temperature. Does she have a temp? Is her bag warm, red or hard/lumpy? If so, she might have mastitis. In that case I'd medicate her with a pain killer and antibiotic as prescribed by your vet. In any case, I'd probably pen this ewe with her lambs. I keep lambs unless absolutely necessary with their mothers. Many times, if you can get them through a litle bump, you can prevent them from becoming bottle lambs. Bonding, in my experience, requires interaction between the ewe AND babies. Some ewes will give up on babies that do not respond. And if the mother was initially down, the babies may have not nursed soon enough, gotten cold and then not "acted right" once she was up. And I'd probably supplement for a day or so (with s much colostrum as ppossible) until the lambs seem to be nursing. Once the lambs are warm, they should start trying to nurse and then a good mother, if she's sound, should start mothering. You'll probably also want to watch closely for milk fever, as Julie mentions and, if she shows neurological/miuscular signs or stops eating, I'd suggest calling the vet or someone more experience with sheep to help you decide what to do. Kim
  9. Well, yes and no. I think they do have an innate drive to balance/control sheep and acute sensitivy to pressure and nuances of sheep behavior, but I do not believe that they innately know how to apply pressure to get the job done in a variety of situations - this needs to be learned. Handlers, I believe, learn this over time too (albeit, at least in my case, a lot more slowly). So, as I've had sheep over the years, I can help a young dog learn. Once they've learned, then they are often right, but there are times where they don't understand my objectives and still "get it wrong." This is where that border collie compulsiveness comes into play when working. Kim
  10. I don't know if you'll end up with a dog fight - I think that really depends a lot upon the dogs - but I will tell you how we're dealing with this same situation right now. We brought in a new Basset hound from rescue a little over a week ago. Sherman, nee Deisel, had been through 3 other homes in the past year before coming to us - and had some "aggression" issues according to the previous owners (which I really haven't seen, yet). When he growls at the other dogs, I read this as "testing/creating boundaries" - I simply push him off the bed (which is where this happens) or, if he's persistent, he goes in his crate. I do not allow this to escalate. It is my job to set the boundaries, not his and not the other dogs. When/if he growls, good things are taken away. He also needs to work for things (meaning he must do something for me) - so no treats without a sit. And he's petted at the same time as the other dogs (not alone) - so good things happen when other dogs are getting attention. This is a very confusing time for a dog - they're NOT part of the pack and they don't understand "the rules" so this is your major role now. Once the rules/boundaries are established or understood, in my experience, dogs become much more comfortable and the growling stops. Kim
  11. I was trying to add this and created a double post: I try to do most procedures in the field and not move mamas with young lambs. Especially very early on (not at 10 days), with my flock of sheep, I have found this can cause mismothering. I also do not castrate my lambs . . . but this works for my market and my flock. Kim
  12. At 10 days old the lambs will not move for a dog - your dog needs to move the mamas and the babies will follow. When they feel threatened, a good mother will often charge. To prevent this, more experienced dogs learn to stay far enough off the ewes, hold their ground and to be patient. There's a space where most ewes will move (on either side of this space they will either not move or charge) and the dog needs to learn where this is. This is also a situation where I help my dogs. If I have a straggler (a young lamb that isn't following the mama well - in this case it's the lamb, not the mama causing the problem), I'll pick it up and the mama will follow. Sometimes I'll help the dog drive the ewes. A really obstinate ewe may need a bite, but I only like to see this as an absolute last resort since, IMHO, the mama is really just doing her job. If your sheep are not dog-trained, you're dealing with two issues and this will probably be better next year when the sheep are used to your dog. But remember that working is a partnership and sometimes you need to get in there and help your dog. This was a mistake I made early on when I had sheep. Kim
  13. Wishing you and your entire family peace. Our thoughts are with you. Kim
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