tup

May 062013
 

Best foot forward

Lambing time is an exhausting roller coaster of highs and lows, you go through the lambing process and come out the other end (sleep deprived) and breath a huge sigh as your last ewe and lamb goes out into the field.  Time to get back to normal……..But do not make the mistake of thinking that this is you finished.  Young lambs are very vulnerable to a range of factors that if not dealt with can impact on the welfare, and weight gain of the lamb.  However, if you keep an eye out you can spot an issue and deal with it quickly, saving you and the animal a lot of pain and expense.

 One problem that can occur is a lame lamb who may limp, lie down a lot, or be seen on its knees.  This lameness can be caused by a range of factors, from the physical (mud ball in the hoof, thorns, injury to the legs) to bacterial (footrot and scald) and viral (orf).  I would always recommend that you discuss with your vet in the first instance before attempting any self-diagnosis and/or treatment.

“Sheep that remain lame despite treatment and a period for recovery do not have a life worth living.  Sheep that are lame for one week or longer lose body condition and, as a result of lameness, they are debilitated and less productive. Lame lambs do not thrive and can lose body condition.”

There is no magic bullet or one vaccine that will prevent all the problems.  Prevention and prompt action are crucial.  Here are a few things that we have experienced over the years:

Orf (scabs and sores on mouth) in lambs

Orf is spread by direct contact.  It  is a zoonotic disease, which means that it is easily transmitted from animals to humans. SO BE CAREFUL. Outbreaks occur more frequently during periods of extreme temperatures such as late summer and winter.  Or infection can be caused by scratches from thistles of both growing and felled plants. Symptoms of Orf include scabs and sores on the lips and muzzle, and less commonly in the mouth of young lambs and on the eyelids, feet, and teats of ewes. The lesions progress to thick crusts which may bleed and cause secondary infections. Orf in the mouths of lambs may prevent suckling and cause weight loss, and can infect the udder of the mother ewe, thus potentially leading to mastitis. Sheep are prone to reinfection. Occasionally the infection can be extensive and persistent if the animal does not produce an immune response.

The virus is epitheliotropic, which means that it has an affinity for the skin. The period of incubation is relatively short. Susceptible animals usually develop the first signs of the disease 4 to 7 days after exposure that persists for 1 to 2 weeks or for longer periods. The disease affects sheep and goats.

“Extensive lesions on the feet can lead to lameness in adults and young animals.”

The infection is spread by direct and indirect contact from infected animals or by contact with infected tissue or saliva containing the virus. Lesions can be treated with a single application of 3 percent iodine solution. In severe cases of secondary bacterial infection, the usage of a systemic antibiotic is recommended.

Young animals are the most susceptible to contracting the disease. Lambs can contract orf after a few weeks of birth.
However, outbreaks in young animals are most frequent during postweaning.  Smallholders can help by applying antibiotic sprays on to large scabs, ensuring infected lambs receive sufficient milk and separating out the infected stock to slow down cross-transmission to healthy animals. It is advisable for those handling infected animals to wear disposable gloves to prevent cross-infection and self-infection. Vets need to be contacted if there is a risk of mis-diagnosis with other, more serious conditions.

Joint ill in lambs

Infectious polyarthritis (joint ill) is acquired during the first few days of life with lameness visible from five to 10 days-old. Typically only one joint is affected in approximately half of lambs with 2 to 4 joints in the remainder. The affected joint(s) are swollen, hot, and painful. Infection causes considerable muscle wastage.  You need to catch the lame lamb and treat it immediately with antibiotics.  Penicillin once daily for at least five consecutive days administered during the early stages of lameness effects a good cure rate in many infections.  Lambs with joint ill that continue to show moderate to severe lameness after two courses of antibiotic therapy do not grow well and represent a major welfare concern and you should consider having them culled.

  To prevent or reduce the incidence of joint ill, ensure that ewes are lambed in a clean, dry environment and that lambs take in adequate amounts of protective colostrum within six hours of birth. Dipping navels and providing clean lambing pens or dry lambing fields also help to protect lambs.

 

Scald or footrot

This was a hard lesson for us to learn.  If you do not identify and treat scald it can lead to foot rot which can then lead to fly strike.  These are issues you do not want to have to deal with and can cause severe health and welfare problems for the lambs.
“Scald is the most common cause of lameness in sheep
and is most prevalent when conditions underfoot are wet.”
 
Scald can be a precursor to some other more severe causes of lameness so needs to be treated promptly. It can affect all age groups but is more prevalent in lambs than ewes. Foot scald (interdigital dematitis) is an infection and is not contagious. Foot scald causes lameness, frequently on the front feet, and lesions are found between the hooves. The tissue between the toes of a sheep with foot scald are generally blanched and white, or red and swollen. Foot scald is much easier to treat than foot rot. Footrot is a very common condition, it is extremely painful and very contagious. Affected feet have a very characteristic foul smell and may be fly-struck.
 
It is recommended that you do not breed or buy replacements from sheep that have had scald or footrot, and that susceptibility to footrot can be inherited. However the plus side of this is that you can breed for improved resistance.  I know this is hard for smallholders when you pet lamb or favourite ewe is the one that you have the most issues with, but try to tough about this for the welfare of the flock.   Some breeds do fare better than others,  we keep a range of breeds and it is my experience that the more primitive or historic breeds are more resistant.

When treating, and YOU MUST DO SOMETHING, use an isolation pen for sheep with scald or footrot.  Move them immediately (for example to a pen) and consider using hydrated builders’ lime (or purchased from an agricultural merchant)  around water troughs and feed areas.

 Footrot is probably what will happen if you ignore the scald.  It is a highly contagious disease, caused by dual infection with the bacteria Dichelobacter nodosus and Fusobacterium necrophorum (which also causes scald). F.necrophorum is widely found in the environment, especially in dung. D. nodosus survives primarily in infected sheep, although the duration of its survival on the pasture is not clear, probably a number of weeks. These two bacteria are closely connected and thrive on the by-products of each other.
 
Sheep that have been infected with or exposed to footrot do not develop any significant natural immunity or resistance. Short term immunity can be achieved using vaccines.  Spread is primarily from foot to foot via pasture or mud. Goats, cattle and possibly vehicles can act as carriers. However moist pastures, laneways and muddy yards are the main areas where footrot is spread.
 
“Older ewes, ewes rearing twins and male lambs are at higher risk of footrot.”
 
Affected feet have a characteristic foul smell and a grey ‘ooze’ may be seen. It causes extreme discomfort to the sheep and leaves the animal highly vulnerable to blowfly strike in the foot or along the flank where the sheep tucks its foot when it lies down.  The most effective footrot control were using an injectable antibiotic plus an antibiotic foot spray and treating a sheep as soon as lameness became evident. I is also recommended not to trim or footbath feet at this time as there is the strong risk that you will make the damage worse and transfer it to other sheep.  Leave the trimming until the lameness has gone.
 
Footrot bacteria are readily killed by dry heat, sunlight, cold, dry environment and a number of different chemicals. It is said that most domestic disinfectants will destroy D. nodosus but are not registered or recommended for treating sheep as they are easily de-activated by dirt contamination. Zinc Sulphate, “Radicate” and formalin (Formalin, Formol) are the chemicals currently registered for the treatment of footrot in footbaths.
 

Other lameness causes in lambs

Although we have no direct experience of the following – here are some other causes of lameness in lambs.

Erysipelas is caused by a bacterium present in soil. It is an uncommon condition in sheep but can cause outbreaks of lameness in lambs; if left untreated, lambs become severely debilitated and should be euthanised promptly.

Interesting related articles:

Nov 272012
 
tup and ram lamb at fifesmallholder

Its tupping time at Fifesmallholder

We have been a bit later putting our boys in with our girls this year.  There has been two bad winters in a row previously and an April lambing will hopefully mean that the lambs get a better start in life.  We do not bring our sheep in for lambing, but keep them out in the lambing field and bring them in once lambing is  immenent or they have just lambed.  We do not have a large lambing shed and have found that this method means that shelter is given when they need it the most.  However, if the weather is bad then we need to make sure that the pregnant ewes have sufficient shelter and feed.

It is a good idea to make sure that both boys (known as a tup or ram) and girls (known as a ewe) are in peak condition.

Flush The Ewes

 To improve the chances of twins, you can help the ewe produce more eggs at ovulation. To do this you can put the ewes on fresh grazing for a few days/weeks along with a mineral lick, this will give the ewe a boost in condition. Usually resulting in an increase in eggs ovulated… which hopefully means twins or triplets.

How Often Is A Female Sheep Fertile?

A ewe will come in season every 21 days until she has conceived. I advise that you put a marking raddle/harness on your Ram. Every 21 days you should change the colour of the crayon. Doing this will allow you take note of what period the ewe will lamb in and help you organise things (holidays, help etc).

How long is a female sheep or ewe pregnant for?

The ewes gestation period is typically 147 days. Allow 145-149 days and you will be safe.  A common saying is if you put your tup in on 5th November you can expect lambs from the 1st April.

* Tip – make sure this years ewe lambs are well away from all this mullarkey – otherwise you might end up with a teenage mother*

This Is What They Have Been Waiting All Year For

Make sure your ram/tup is in good condition at tupping time”

Your tups need to be firing on all cylinders! Peak fitness is essential, the most common reason for a lazy tup will be poor feet. Keep them trimmed and tidy. We have two proven tups (producing good healthy lambs last year) but it is always good to be prepared for any eventuality by having an heir and a spare.  They keep each other company throughout the summer, and mean that I have a mix of genes in my lambs, a backup in case one of them gets sick, and a guarantee that at least one of them will perform.  

For me lambing is the best time on the smallholding and I look forward to it every year.

 November 27, 2012  autumn, employment, income, livestock, post archive, sheep Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Feb 092012
 

Learn to talk like a real farmer

If like me you call your sheep ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, and struggle when you talk to a farmer or staff at the agricultural feed merchant.  Then here is a few of the terms relating to sheep adapted for smallholders from the website Farm Direct:

Bagging Up

This is the common term when a pregnant ewe is getting near her time for lambing and is starting to expand her udder with milk.  They drink a lot of water at this time.

Baler Twine

This is the twine used to bind square bales of hay, a popular thing with smallholders who have livestock. At first the twine accumulates over the winter as it is removed to access the hay, and slowly over the summer the twine disapears. Not by magic, but by necessity.  Baler twine is the handiest thing you will have around the smallholding and is used (always on a temporary basis you understand) in a myriad of ways.  Every farmer has baler twine somewhere holding together hurdles or as temporary hinges, or woven through holes in livestock fencing.  There are 101 uses of baler twine and some day I will list them all.  In the meantime I urge you not to throw away your baler twine, it will come in handy at some point.

Cast or ‘draft’ ewe

These are older hill sheep that are sold on for continued breeding in less harsh, lowland conditions. These can sometimes be a cheap way for a smallholder to start in sheep (make sure you check udders/teats and teeth first though).

Cull ewes

These are female sheep that  have reached the end of their productive life on the farm. They can often be sold for slaughter as mutton.

Dag

Wool clogged with dung. Usually forms teardrop shaped pendants dangling under the tail and around the anus of sheep. If allowed to remain dags may become infested with fly strike maggots which in some cases may go on to infest the flesh of the living sheep. A dirty bum can be linked to worms which should be treated.  

Dagging

Is the process of trimming away dags.  An unpleasant job if the dung has had time to ferment.

Feed Blocks

High energy feed blocks can be a convenient, palatable source of energy and minerals, particularly during periods when grass supply is limited or of poor quality. Blocks are labour saving and can provide a source of energy and protein during tupping or lambing. They tend to be expensive per unit of energy or protein compared with concentrate and there may be a large variation in the amount each ewe consumes. Always check the ingredient list and energy content of feed blocks, as there can be a wide variation in their quality.

 Fodder

Fodder or forage is a mixture of planted vegetation that’s used to feed livestock. Fodder can be grown outside in fields (e.g. turnips or swede) where you turn out the sheep to eat the fodder whilst it is still in the ground or indoors through a hydroponics system that is then harvested.  The final option is to harvest fodder (e.g. comfrey leaves and dry).

Fodder beet

A type of sugar beet grown for feeding to cattle or sheep especially in winter.

Forage

Is plant material that animals consume as food; e.g. hay is a stored forage. For a good article on what sheep need in winter forage click here.  Alternative forage or fodder to hay includes; comfrey leaves.  Brassica fodder crops such as kale, forage rape, grazing turnips, stubble turnips, swedes and new rape/kale hybrids.

 Gelt

An adult, female sheep that is not in lamb when others are. Often she has been kept away from the ram because of problems at a previous lambing. Gelt ewes are fattened for sale to the meat trade at a time when lamb is in short supply.

Gimmer

A female sheep that has been weaned but not yet sheared. i.e. about 6 months to 15 months old and has not yet borne a lamb.  See also hogg.

Grass ley

Grass that is sown in the expectation that it will only last for a limited period before being ploughed up. There are short-term leys (1 or 2 years), medium-term leys (up to 5 years) and long-term leys (5-7 years). Beyond that the land will probably be permanent pasture.

Hay

Dried grass used for animal feed.  It is cut, left to dry in the field and then baled. It is fed to livestock through the winter when fresh grass not available. Smallholders will often use this as they can get it in small square bales that are easier to handle and store.

smallholder sized hay bales

However this is the most expensive way to feed your sheep.  If you have the storage facilities it is cheaper to get a round bale which is the equivalent to 10 square bales.

hay bale

 Sheep will eat between two and four percent of their body weight per day in dry feed, such as hay, and are very efficient at obtaining the most nutrition possible from three to five pounds per day of hay or other forage. They require three to four hours per day to eat enough hay to meet their nutritional requirements. See ruminants for more info. Sheep can get eye infections such as Pink Eye from hay debris at feeding time, mouldy hay can also cause toxoplasmosis.

Hefting

The acclimatising of a flock of hill sheep to ‘their’ part of the hillside. A hefted flock is worth more to a farmer than one that has not been acclimatised as they roam far less and are easier to manage. (Breeds such as herwicks or ryelands are better at hefting than escape artists such as shetlands).

Hoggs

Male or female sheep from weaning to first shearing. 

Hogget 

Meat for sale as hogget is a sheep of either sex having no more than two permanent incisors in wear.

Lamb

Meat for sale as lamb is  a young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear.

Scottish Lamb

Listeriosis

 
Listeria bacteria thrive in soil and can be picked up at harvesting if the hay/silage crop is cut too low or there are a lot of mole hills in the field. They are a particular problem of high dry matter, later cut silage which is more difficult to consolidate to exclude air. These forages often have low sugar content, leading to poor fermentation and a high pH. This allows the bacteria to multiply throughout the bale, even at low temperatures.
 
Affected ewes have drooping faces and drool, and walk in circles as a result of
abscesses in the brain. Listeriosis also causes abortions in pregnant ewes and presents a risk to pregnant women.  Most cases occur four to six weeks after eating affected silage.

Mastitis

An infection of the udder. If left untreated it can severely damage the ability of a sheep to produce milk. A ewe who has suffered from mastitis may become a cull ewe.

Mutton

Meat for sale as mutton is a female (ewe) or castrated male (wether) sheep having more than two permanent incisors in wear.

Orf

Orf is a painful skin disease of sheep and goats.  The disease is caused by a virus which only grows in the surface layers of the skin, but the virus will only cause an infection if the skin is already damaged. Therefore any cut, scratch or graze, no matter how seemingly insignificant, may predispose an animal to infection. Even rough food or pasture with nettles, gorse, and thistles can increase the chances of becoming infected. Humans can be infected with this affliction.  Read more here.

Over-wintering

Sheep from upland areas of Britain are regularly sent for the winter to lowland areas where feed is more available and the weather less harsh. They return to the uplands before lambing in the spring. The owner of the sheep pays the owner of the lowland farm a certain amount per sheep.

Parturition or Gestation

Parturition is the act of birth. For a link to the table click here this enables you to calculate roughly when your lambs are due from the time of mating (if you raddled your ram and then checked every day) or the earliest date from the time that the tup went in with the girls.  Although we found that first timers can go about a week early so it is not entirely set in stone.  

Raddling

Fitting rams with a harness that contains a paint block. The paint leaves a mark on the rump of each ewe with whom the ram mates. Lack of a mark tells the farmer which ewes should remain longer with the ram. Sometimes thick paint is applied directly to the ram’s chest rather than using a harness. This wears off more quickly and must be renewed regularly.

Rigwelted

Overturned. A heavily pregnant, broad backed ewe may roll over and be unable to right herself. She is rigwelted or couped. This causes a lot of problems – right your sheep as quickly as possible.

Rise

A sign that sheep are ready for shearing. The previous winter’s greasy wool is lifted away from the skin by new wool that is much easier to cut. The Rise is seen as a yellowish line. Shearers may ask you if your sheep are on the rise yet – that is- ready for shearing.

Rough grazing

Grazing on natural, unmanaged grass and other vegetation growing on mountain slopes, moorland etc. 

Ruminant

An animal (they are all herbivores) that ‘chew the cud’. Examples are cattle, sheep and deer but NOT horses. They digest more of a plant than ‘single stomached’ animals by having a ‘rumen’ (the first of several stomachs) where the plant material they have eaten are fermented by micro-organisms to produce proteins and sugars the animal can digest.                                                                                               

Wikipedia says “One of the most significant differences in hay digestion is between ruminant animals, such as cattle and sheep; and non-ruminant, hindgut fermentors, such as horses. Both types of animals can digest cellulose in grass and hay, but do so by different mechanisms. Because of the four-chambered stomach of cattle, they are often able to break down older forage and have more tolerance of mold and changes in diet. The single-chambered stomach and cecum or “hindgut” of the horse uses bacterial processes to break down cellulose that are more sensitive to changes in feeds and the presence of mold or other toxins, requiring horses to be fed hay of more consistent type and quality.”

Shearling

A young sheep between its first and second shearing. Sheep are normally sheared once a year.

Silage

Grass or other crops that have been cut, allowed to wilt but not completely dry out, and are then preserved in plastic wrapping or in a large mound or pit (called a clamp) from which all air is excluded. Silage is fed to livestock through the winter when fresh grass is not available. Not popular with smallholders because it only comes is large wrapped round bales that are very heavy and difficult to handle by hand. (Also watch that the seal has not been damaged during delivery which allows it to go off).  Also you need a sufficient number of sheep to eat the bale before it goes off.   Something in between hay and silage is haylage and also sold in this way.                                                                                                                      

Beware -big bales of silage made from salvaged hay crops could be very low in feeding value. Silages that are poorly fermented with a high pH can present a high risk of listeriosis when fed. When feeding silage, reduce wastage by offering only what the sheep will eat daily – do not allow silage to go stale.

Poorly made silage has a noticeable, usually disagreeable smell. Animals will not be keen to eat it and there will be a high degree of wastage. Some silages can be dangerous to feed.  Problem silage can have the following indicators

  • Rancid, fishy odour. Slimy, sticky texture
  • Mouldy silage with a musty odour
  • Smells of vinegar
  • Sweet smelling 
  • Ammonia odour
  • Smells like tobacco or burnt. Looks olive green.

For more information on making silage and analysing silage click here.

Stores

Animals bred for meat production sold before they are ready to be killed. A farmer breeds them and rears them through their early life when they are at greatest risk from disease but because they are small they need relatively little food. They are sold at market as stores to someone who has plenty of feed available and specialises in fattening them.

Straw

Is the stem and leaf residue left from the harvest of small grains, typically oats, wheat, and rice. Although sheep will consume some of it, it’s generally used as a bedding material. It’s very absorbent. 

Stubble turnip

Winter fodder or forage for sheep.

Teaser

A teaser is often a vasectomised ram or whether that is put in with the ewes before a ram to stimulate them to ovulate for breeding. Using a teaser helps to synchronise pregnancy and therefore lambing.

Tup

A male intact sheep. Another word for a breeding ‘ram’.

Unfinished/store lambs

Butchers will only buy lambs that have reached a certain weight and level of fatness. How long it takes a lamb to grow to this size varies according to breed, birth weight and food available. Some lambs finish sooner than others. On hill farms where there is not enough outdoor feed for lambs, any remaining at the end of the year may be sold as stores, to be finished on lowland farms during the winter and spring.

Wether

A castrated male sheep often used as a companion to a ram and as a teaser. 

Yow

A slang term for a female sheep.

Link

 February 9, 2012  post archive, sheep Tagged with: , , , ,
Jan 202012
 
grantown on spey 031

“It is a common myth sometimes believed by novice smallholders that sheep don’t need to be given water”

As with people, water is the most important “nutrient” that sheep need. How much they consume depends upon their age, and size, as well as temperature of the water and the amount of moisture in their feed. Sheep consuming wet grass or wet feeds (e.g. silage) won’t drink a lot of water because they are getting plenty of water from their feed. Conversely, they will drink more water if they are eating dry hay or dry, mature grass.

“Sheep don’t like to drink dirty water.”

Pregnant Ewe

For pregnant ewes, water intake increases by the third month of gestation, is doubled by the fifth month, and is greater for twin-bearing ewes than for ewes carrying a single foetus. A lack of water accompanied by a severe depression in feed intake predisposes ewes to all sorts of problems, namely unthriftiness, malnutrition and, possibly, pregnancy disease in the case of multiple bearing ewes. It is estimated that lactating ewes require 100 percent more water than non-lactating ewes.

Summer/Warm Weather

Sheep may consume 12 times more water in summer than in winter. Adequate intake of good-quality water is essential for ewes to excrete excess toxic substance such as oxalates, ammonia, and mineral salts.

How Much Does A Sheep Drink? 

 How much a sheep drinks depends on the sheeps growth stage, if she is lactating (producing milk for lambs), the ambient temperature and the moisture content of the feed they are eating.    

Daily Water Requirements

——————————————
Adult sheep 1-2 gallons or about 4 litres
Lactating ewes 2-3 gallons or up to 10 litres
Feeder lambs 1-2 gallons
Baby lambs 0.1-0.3 gallon or about 1 litre
——————————————

Temperature

Try to maintain water temperature above 35 F in winter and below 75 F in summer.

 Running Water

Sheep actually prefer to drink from running water rather than from still water . Running water is generally much healthier and less polluted than stagnant , still water .  Furthermore, sheep are afraid of water.  If they fall in, their coat of wool will soak up the water and pull them to the bottom. So they gravitate to water that is still. If the water is moving, the shepherd makes a dam that will cause the water to be quiet and still. Once that water is still, the sheep drink and are refreshed.

Health

Always keep clean drinking water available because sheep, unlike cattle, do not drink dirty water. If the water is not clean there will be a decline in the production of sheep. This will cause them to eat less, have trouble digesting food properly, be more likely to get digestive and metabolic problems.

Coccidiosis in sheep & goats

Illness such as coccidiosis can occur as a result of drinking water contaminated by sheep faeces or droppings.  This is a common disease of sheep and goats, especially when they are placed under stress:
  •  putting too many sheep and goats together
  • keeping sheep and goats in dirty, wet pens
  • sudden changing of feed
  • moving sheep and goats to a different location 
  • weaning (removing lambs/kids from their mothers).
It is an important disease because it leads to economic losses as a result of deaths, poor growth and treatment costs. It usually affects younger animals. The disease is most severe in
  •  lambs/kids 2 to 8 weeks of age
  • lambs/kids 2 to 3 weeks after weaning
  • adult sheep and goats moved to a new location or experiencing some other form of stress.

Kidney Stones In Rams

Having sufficient water also helps prevent the development of kidney stones in male sheep. Sheep and goats get sick by eating food or drinking water contaminated by the droppings.  It is also claimed that cider vinegar given regularly to stud males (tup/ram) will help prevent urinary calculi (stones).

Rain & Dew

When sheep feed on large amounts of new growth and there is precipitation (including dew, as sheep are dawn feeders), sheep need less water. When sheep are confined or are eating large amounts of hay, more water is typically needed. Sheep require clean water, and may refuse to drink water that is covered in scum or algae.

Winter & Snow

In the winter if there is snow, as long as it is not hard, sheep will eat enough of the snow to get all the water they will need.  However they do prefer warm water to cold water and may reduce their intake.  Drinking cold water slows the function of the rumen and can lead to loss of condition.   If you ever wonder why ewes are not producing enough milk for their lambs, don’t overlook the possibility that they’re not drinking enough water because it’s too cold.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Adding a little AC vinegar to the drinking water or storage tank will help to prevent algae growth, especially in the summer. ACV is a well-known water purifier, we add ACV every time we re-fill the water trough.  It also acts as a natural antibiotic, and we find it helps the sheep maintain their health in every season.
Cider vinegar helps maintain the correct pH in the body, which is probably one of the reasons it is so useful. Due to its potassium content, it is invaluable for all animals just before breeding, because potassium deficiencies cause blood vessel constriction, affecting the extremities and also it seems the cervix and uterus in the final stages of pregnancy; dystocia (difficult birth) is the result.
Apple cider vinegar can tarnish metal watering containers over time; only use it in plastic containers.

Garlic

 Do not add the raw garlic juice to the sheep’s watering trough. It will become rancid in a short time, additionally the natural oils in the garlic juice will rise to the top of the water and the rest of the juice will mix in the water. Both the juice and garlic oils are essential in treating parasites. Adding to water is not a recommended method.
Oct 232011
 
scotland flag

If you are a smallholder in Scotland who has animals or livestock then read on.

 

Did you know?

“Any person who keeps animals, or who causes or knowingly permits animals to be kept, must not attend to them unless that person has access to all relevant Statutory Welfare Codes relating to the animals while that person is attending to them, and is acquainted with the provisions of those Codes.”

Says who?

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (S.S.I. 2000 No. 442), Regulation 10.
It also states that :
– Any person who employs or engages a person to attend to animals must ensure that the person attending to the animals:
• is acquainted with the provisions of all relevant Statutory Welfare Codes relating to the animals being attended to;
• has access to a copy of those Codes while he is attending to the animals;
and
• has received instruction and guidance on those Codes.

How do I get access to the welfare codes?

In order to secure a high level of welfare in livestock and other animals, various codes of recommendation and practice have been issued on the Authority of the Scottish Parliament pursuant to section 37 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

click here for a general link or:

 The Five Freedoms 

The five freedoms are a set of recommendations for the welfare of animals in all environments.

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst; 

by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

2. Freedom from discomfort; 

by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease; 

by prevention and rapid diagnosis and treatment.

4. Freedom to express natural behaviour; 

by providing space, sufficient facilities and the company of the animal’s own kind.

5. Freedom from fear and distress;

 by ensuring conditions and treatment to avoid mental suffering.

“The Five Freedoms are basic ideals of welfare for farm animals, wherever the animals may be, such as at farms, markets, slaughterhouses, or in transit, and should be applied by anyone in charge of the animals or handling them. “

 

 

Sep 272011
 

We love our sheep at Fife Smallholder.  

Please check out our new page that shows the diversity of colours and sheep breeds we have.  Starter flocks are sometimes available for sale.

http://www.fifesmallholder.co.uk/goods/sheep

smallholder sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 September 27, 2011  livestock, post archive, sheep Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
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