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This presentation was originally given on December 8, 2008, at a Lambing and Kidding School at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).

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Presentation on theme: "This presentation was originally given on December 8, 2008, at a Lambing and Kidding School at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)."— Presentation transcript:

1 This presentation was originally given on December 8, 2008, at a Lambing and Kidding School at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).

2 Preparing for lambing and kidding Susan Schoenian Sheep & Goat Specialist Western Maryland Research & Education Center University of Maryland Cooperative Extension -

3 Lambing and kidding Determines profit/success of the enterprise. Can (shouldnt) be stressful. Can (should) be fun.

4 Last month of gestation The fetuses are growing. 70% of the total growth occurs during last month. Mammary tissue is developing. Colostrum is being produced. Immunity is developing. Rumen capacity is decreasing.

5 Proper nutrition is needed To prevent pregnancy toxemia, milk fever, and white muscle disease. To ensure proper birth weights. To support milk production.

6 Energy is the most limiting nutrient. Energy is the nutrient most likely to be deficient, especially in females that are carrying multiple fetuses. Calcium and selenium are also important. Protein requirements arent much higher than maintenance requirements, but extra protein will help female deal with parasites.

7 Feeding grain during late gestation It is customary to feed grain to ewes and does during late pregnancy. Proper amount varies with size of female, number of fetuses, and composition of whole ration. Usually ½ to 1 lb. per female per day. Start with a ¼ of a lb. and increase gradually.

8 Calcium (Ca) Calcium requirements increase during late pregnancy. Too much calcium in the diet can also cause milk fever, as the female is unable to metabolize calcium. Low blood calcium has been implicated in prolapses and ringwomb.

9 Meeting calcium needs Hay which contains half legume (e.g. alfalfa) will usually meet the requirements of ewes and does during late pregnancy. Pure legume hays will provide too much calcium (save these hays for lactation). If you are feeding a grass hay, you will need to supplement calcium through the grain. Free choice minerals do not guarantee adequate calcium consumption.

10 Selenium (Se) and vitamin E Mid-Atlantic soils are considered deficient in selenium. Inadequate selenium and vitamin E can lead to white muscle disease in lambs and kids. Minerals and feeds should contain adequate selenium. It is better to supplement Se through the feed than to give injections.

11 Management during late gestation Provide adequate space. Allow and encourage exercise. Provide plenty of feeder space. Check females frequently for signs of trouble.

12 Ewe lambs and doelings Can be bred to successfully lamb and kid at 12 months of age. Should achieve 2/3s of their mature weight before being bred. Should be housed, fed, and managed separately from mature females until they wean their first offspring.

13 Water Most important nutrient. Water and feed consumption are correlated. You need water to make milk. Clean, ice-free water available at all times.

14 Passive immunity Newborns will acquire passive immunity when they consume colostrum. Antibodies in colostrum reflect diseases on your farm. Vaccinations during late pregnancy will create passive immunity. Overeating disease/enterotoxemia Clostridium perfringins type C & D Tetanus

15 Periparturient rise of worm eggs After lambing and kidding, ewes and does have compromised immunity to internal parasites. Consider deworming, especially in spring. Good body condition will improve immunity. Increase protein in late gestation diet.

16 Preventing abortions Non-infectious Remove males Dont change groups No narrow openings Adequate feeder space Infectious Control cats Good sanitation Dont feed on ground. Feed coccidiostat Feed antibiotics Inject antibiotics Vaccinate

17 Getting ready for lambing and kidding Facilities Supplies Checking

18 Set up your barn or pasture Have a clean barn or pasture for lambing or kidding. Shelter is necessary during inclement weather. For shed lambing and kidding, set up jugs (pens) to put females and offspring after parturition. Have separate pens or pastures for pregnant and lactating females.

19 Gather supplies Halter Rubber gloves, protective sleeves, or latex gloves OB lubricant Nylon rope, snare, or leg puller Disinfectant Bearing retainer, spoon, or prolapse harness Antibiotics Thermometer

20 Lambing and kidding supplies Gentle iodine or other disinfectant for dipping navels. Lamb/kid feeding tube Frozen colostrum Milk replacer Teats/nipples for bottles Propylene glycol Calcium gluconate 50% dextrose Injectable Se/Vitamin E

21 Lambing and kidding supplies Lamb/kid cover Syringes and needles OB S-curve needle Ear tags Docking and castrating tools and supplies Hanging scale and sling Towels and rags Clean bucket Record book

22 Gestation length in sheep and goats ~ 5 months Longer gestation Later maturing breeds Male offspring Single births Heavier offspring Shorter gestation Early maturing breeds Female offspring Twins and triplets Smaller offspring

23 Start checking ~135 days after introduction of fertile males Check females frequently during lambing and kidding season. At last 4x per day Do not check females in the middle of the night.

24 Signs of parturition (delivery) Initiated by fetus Udder enlargement Enlarged swollen vulva Vaginal discharge Pendulous Abdomen Relaxed ligaments Separation from flock Restlessness Discomfort Anxiety Nesting behavior Stealing other babies. Reduction in appetite

25 Thank you for your attention

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