Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Do I Do With a Chilled Lamb?

With winter lambing it is almost inevitable that you will have a chilled lamb. These are lambs who are born during very cold weather and whose body temperature drops below normal. They will be lethargic and if you insert your finger into its mouth it may feel cold. A chilled lamb should be warmed up slowly. Some of the methods used are to take them into a warm room, blow hair air across them with a hair dryer or dip them in a bucket of warm water. I like to move them to a warm room where they can warm up over a period of an hour or so. Once the lamb has warmed and is trying to stand, you can then let them nurse, drink from a bottle or tube them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Castrating Ram Lambs

Castrating ram lambs is not a necessity, but rather a choice. If you are selling wether lambs for show or rams for breeding stock this would be a necessity. However, many ethnic markets prefer an intact male lamb. In other words, they want a lamb complete with tail and testicles and without any blemishes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Docking Lambs

Docking lambs can be a simple process with a few precautions. The first precaution is to vaccinate lambs for tetanus prior to docking. Lambs who are docked at an early age should receive some protection through their mothers. These ewes would need to be vaccinated 4 to 6 weeks prior to lambing. Lambs who are docked at two weeks of age or older can receive their first tetanus vaccination at this time. This vaccination is often a combination shot for tetanus and over eating disease.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Producing High Quality Wool in the Winter

Producing high quality wool can be a challenge in the winter. Be sure to keep pens well bedded so that wool stays clean. You should also feed carefully to avoid getting any grain or hay across the backs of the sheep. In the spring when the sheep are sheared you can also skirt the fleeces to remove any badly stained areas, remove wool with heavy amounts of vegetable matter and to remove any manure tags.