Care of Sheep
It is important to disinfect the navel
The navel of a newborn lamb is a possible route for infectious agents. Navel cords more than 2 inches long should be clipped closer to the body. To avoid infections, navel stumps should be disinfected soon after birth. Spray or dip the navel area with an antiseptic solution such as Gentle Iodine (1% iodine), Betadine®, or Chlorhexidine (Nolvasan®).
Colostrum is the "first milk" that a ewe produces after lambing. Colostrum contains a high level of several nutrients that are important for lamb health and performance. Colostrum also contains a high level of antibodies against a variety of infectious agents. At birth, the lamb does not carry any antibodies because antibodies in the ewe's bloodstream do not cross the placenta.
It is critical that lambs receive colostrum during the first 24 hours of life in order to ensure adequate absorption of colostral antibodies. Antibodies are large protein molecules that can cross the intestinal wall and enter the blood stream of the lamb only during the first 24 to 36 hours of life. Absorption of these antibodies is most efficient during the first few hours after birth. It is recommended that lambs receive 10 percent of the body weight in colostrum by 24 hours after birth.
Sheep are vaccinated to protect against some of the common serious infectious diseases. Vaccination stimulates the body’s defence system to build immunity to a particular disease, by exposing sheep to either the live organism presented in a safe form (e.g. scabby mouth or anthrax vaccines), or to a killed or inactivated organism or part of an organism (e.g. the clostridial vaccines).
Vaccinations in an annual program, require an initial dose in the first year followed by a booster dose 4 to 6 weeks later to provide maximum protection.
Clostridial (5 in 1) vaccination
The clostridial diseases enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney), tetanus, blackleg, black disease, malignant oedema and swelled head in rams can all be prevented by vaccination. Vaccines are available either as 5-in-1, which protects against all of the above, or 2-in-1, which protects against pulpy kidney and tetanus only.
Lambs tails require docking to prevent flyblow. This should be done at 2-4 weeks of age.
De-Horning (Goats & Sheep)
Lamb and kids horns can be dehorned to prevent human and other livestock safety. This should be done at an early age, before 2 weeks old. This service is done under a sedative, with antibiotic and pain relief injection given. This service is available at McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre.
At McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre we are able to conduct faecal egg counts to determine your worm burden and advise an appropriate drenching regime.
Worming should be given for effective control for gastrointestinal parasites. Parasites in sheep and goat include:
- Barbers Pole Worm
- Small Brown Stomach Worm
- Black Scour Worm
- Large Stomach Worm
- Stomach Hair Wom
- Thin-neced Intestinal Worm
- Large-mouthed Bowel Worm
- Nodule Worm
- Large Bowel Worm
- Intestinal Threadworm
- Nasal Bot
- Liver Fluke
- Itch Mites
For more information on sheep and goat worming come in or give us a call.
At McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre we have individual drench options available.