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Lambing and lamb care Andy Barrett Kingsway Veterinary Group Skipton.

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Presentation on theme: "Lambing and lamb care Andy Barrett Kingsway Veterinary Group Skipton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lambing and lamb care Andy Barrett Kingsway Veterinary Group Skipton

2 Outline of course Introductions Management of pregnant ewes Preparing for lambing Normal lambings Lambing problems Practical session Caring for lambs Caring for ewes after lambing.

3 Flock management Begins pre-tupping EWES: Check Body condition score Teeth Feet Udders Records Vaccination status TUPS: Check When do you want to lamb? Have you enough? Condition score Teeth Feet Genitalia Harnesses.

4 Early pregnancy (0 – 30 days) Fertilisation to implantation Embryo dependent on hormones Very sensitive to stress.

5 Mid pregnancy (30-90 days) Placental growth occurs Target bcs 2.5 Scan at 70 days Health issues include: Scab/lice Feet Liver fluke.

6 Late pregnancy (90-145 days) Good feeding essential, because Lambs double in size in last month Udder development occurs in last fortnight Feed according to: condition score, litter size, forage quality, weather Vaccinate against clostridial disease Feet Give copper supplement.

7 Problems in late pregnancy Abortion Vaginal prolapse Tremblings Twin lamb disease.

8 Abortion Isolate aborting sheep and mark them Clean and disinfect pen Do not mother lambs on Speak to your vet BE CAREFUL MANY AGENTS ARE ZOONOTIC!

9 Vaginal prolapse Fat ewes heavy in lamb Treat as quickly as possible Clean and replace Consult vet if recur Mark the sheep.

10 Tremblings Hypocalcaemia (low blood calcium) Especially horned sheep Often in poor condition Poor diet Often triggered by poor weather or movement Treat quickly, 100ml calcium s/c.

11 Twin lamb disease Last month of pregnancy Thin sheep Twins or triplets Insufficient feed Often triggered by bad weather Separate off, blind, tremble, sweet smelling breath Treat promptly and hard.

12 Preparing for lambing Be ready a week before! Staff availability Indoors or out? Go shopping!

13 Lambing equipment Bucket and warm water Lubricant Gloves Lambing loop Prolapse retainer Marker sprays Navel iodine Notebook Bottle and teats Tube feeder Colostrum Respiratory stimulant Thermometer Syringes and needles Calcium Glucose Antibiotic injection and spray Castration rings.

14 Signs of lambing A week to go Udder swells and becomes firm Abdomen drops Vulva becomes soft swollen and reddened.

15 Signs of lambing Start of lambing Separate from flock, restless Stop eating, watch at feeding time May star gaze and lick lips Dribbles of fluid appear Circling and nesting behaviour Start to strain Water bag appears Should lamb in 30 minutes.

16 When to intervene If a head appears at vulva After 30 minutes of non productive straining An hour after water bag bursts if nothing else appears If second lamb not born after an hour, or half an hour of straining.

17 Rules for lambing Remember 75% of ewe deaths occur at lambing time! Restrain/position ewe well Be clean Be gentle and patient, you are dealing with living tissue Use lots of lubrication Lift hindquarters if necessary Know when you’re beaten! Stop if you make no progress in 15 minutes.

18 Anatomy

19 Lambing

20 The second lamb

21 Normal presentation Both feet and head present (check they are attached to each other) Note direction of feet A hand in the anus can help.

22 Problem lambings: Foetal dystocia Malpresentation Mixed up twins/triplets Oversized single lambs Dead dry/rotten lambs Deformed lambs.

23 Leg back If there is room cup hand round foot and draw forward If no room put head rope on, repel lamb and draw leg forward.

24 Head back Attach ropes to both legs and repel lamb Manipulate head into pelvis, pass rope behind poll and into mouth Pull legs up.

25 Posterior presentation Note direction of feet Check joints to be sure Don’t waste time once the lamb is in the passage.

26 Breech presentation Tail present at vulva Repel lamb and with cupped hand pull one leg then the other into the vagina.

27 Problem lambings: Maternal dystocia Small or deformed pelvis Failure of cervix to dilate (ringwomb) Failure of vulva to dilate Uterine inertia Uterine torsion.

28 After lambing Revive the lambs Check back inside for another lamb or damage to the uterus / vagina Check the udder and teats Dip lambs navels Pen them up Ensure lamb feeds Watch for cleansing Mark,tail and castrate and turnout.

29 Newborn lamb care Colostrum is essential, source of food and antibodies 5kg lamb needs 250ml (1/2 pint) in first 4 hours Bottle or stomach tube if wont feed Have alternative source available Ensure lambs are well fed and mothered before turnout.

30 Problems of young lambs Hypothermia Imperforate anus Intestinal prolapse Watery mouth Joint ill Navel ill Fractured ribs/limbs Entropion Swayback.

31 Aftercare of ewes Vaginal prolapse Uterine prolapse Torn uterus vagina Nerve damage Retained placenta Metritis Staggers Mastitis.

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