Presentation on theme: "Teeth, tags, and a TSE SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist Western Maryland Research & Education Center University of Maryland Extension www.sheepandgoat.com."— Presentation transcript:
Teeth, tags, and a TSE SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist Western Maryland Research & Education Center University of Maryland Extension (301) x343
Todays topics Teeth – Mouthing sheep and goats to estimate age – Mouthing sheep and goats to determine soundness Tags – Methods of identifying sheep and goats – Ear tagging basics TSE – Scrapie in sheep and goats – Tagging requirements
Mature sheep and goats have 32 teeth Lambs and kids have 20 temporary teeth Molars Back teeth Incisors (front teeth) Dental pad no teeth Picture source: Merck Veterinary Manual, 8 th edition
Mouthing sheep and goats to estimate age You can estimate the approximate age of sheep and goats by determining the age at which the milk teeth are replaced by permanent incisors. Age varies by individual animal, breed, environment, and nutrition. < > 4 Old Source for illustrations: Adapted from Vatta et al. (2005) Goatkeepers' Veterinary Manual.
Lamb – less than 1 year of age All temporary Baby teeth Milk teeth
Yearling (1-2 years) 1 pair
2 to 3 year old 2 pairs
3 to 4 year old 3 pairs
4-5 years old – solid mouth 4 pairs
7-8 year old – Solid mouth < 4 pairs
10-11 year old broken mouth
11+ years old Gummer
Another way to tell how old a sheep is Mature sheep, > 2 years 2 spool joints Lamb, > 12 months 2 break joints Yearling, months spool and/or break joints
Identifying sheep and goats Permanent – Ear tags – Tattoos – Ear notches – Electronic ID Temporary – Neck chains or collars – Paint brands – Paint sprays – Markers or paint sticks
How to reduce ear tag infections Tag young animals Tag clean, dry ears Tag when humidity is low. Use smaller tag Avoid metal tags Punch a hole in the ear before inserting tag
How to reduce ear tag infections Apply lubricating antiseptic to male and female parts of tag Dip in iodine Soak ear tags in alcohol or another disinfectant before inserting. Cut out infected tags
How to reduce tag losses Insert tag 1 to 2 inches from skull – Thicker part of ear – Less snagging Put female part of tag on inside of ear – Less snagging Avoid large veins
What to do if animal loses a tag 4-H tag – Contact 4-H office Scrapie ID – Put in a new scrapie tag 1.Own flock/herd 2.Flock/herd of origin – Write down old number and new number Registration tag – Replace with a tag with the same number
[TSE] Scrapie Disease of sheep and goats. Affects central nervous system. Animals over 18 months of age Always fatal. Member of a family of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSEs). Other TSEs – Mad cow disease – Chronic wasting disease – Creutzfeldt-Jakobs disease
How does a sheep or goat get scrapie? Direct contact with an infected sheep or goat. Direct contact with infected placenta. Environmental contamination (?)
Can all sheep and goats get scrapie? Affects mostly blackface and speckled-faced sheep. Few cases in goats in U.S. A sheeps genetics determines if it will get scrapie if it is exposed. – R gene - resistance – Q gene - susceptibility They are still looking for resistant genotypes in goats.
-- MANDATORY -- Tagging requirement for scrapie program Tag all sheep and goats when they leave your property. – Sell to neighbor – Go to weigh-in and tagging – Go to fair – Go to sale barn Tag should be applied at the farm where the goat or sheep was born. Premise ID Individual animal ID Why? To trace back infected animals to their farm of origin and find other animals that might have been exposed.
Tattoo instead of ear tag A flock ID and individual animal number can take the place of an ear tag. A registration tattoo may also take the place of a tattoo if the animal accompanied by its registration paper.
What if... ? The sheep or goat you buy doesnt have a scrapie tag? – The seller is required to tag the animal. – If the seller doesnt provide a tag, tag the animal with another scrapie tag and record the sellers name and address so you can prove the animal wasnt born on your farm. The sheep or goat loses its scrapie tag? – Put in another tag and record both tag numbers (lost and new).
How to get FREE scrapie tags Contact John T. Swann at (410) or He will assign a Flock ID and order your free ear tags and pliers to apply them.