Advice Needed: Bringing a Lamb to school

shepherdO

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Hi all,

I'm a teacher, and since one of my triplets is now a bottle-baby, I was thinking about bringing it in to show my students. I work at an inner-city type school, and most wouldn't typically get to experience something like this. I'm not sure how long I'd bring it in for, but possibly the whole day, so that the kids could look after it in groups or something like that. Details yet to be ironed out!

Anyhoo, my worry is the whole issue with pregnant women and sheep. Does anyone know if the issue is related to the birthing process, the pregnant ewes, of the lambs themselves? Could it jeopardize staff in the building who are pregnant? What about students going home to parents who might be pregnant?

Thanks for your help,
ShepherdO
 

Baymule

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Good questions that I don't have the answers to. Even if the children washed their hands, they are going to hold and cuddle the lamb and would have "lamb" on their clothes. I have never heard of lambs being a problem for pregnant women.
 

Sheepshape

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Sheep problems which can potentially be passed to pregnant women are chlamydia,toxoplasma, listeria and Q-fever.......all pretty uncommon, with toxoplasmosis the most common over here (but very rare indeed).

Toxoplasma in sheep is often caught from young cats, and is a cause for abortion in ewes.

Advice in our turbulent little isle is that pregnant women should avoid being present during lambing, and avoid contact with any birth products or the newborn lambs. (Though abortion is the most common outcome of toxoplasma infection in ewes, milder infections can cause runty, snotty little lambs).
Once lambs are dried, they are less of a threat.

Looking at that healthy, lively-looking lamb, I think the chances of her having any infection are very low. However, as Baymule says, careful hand hygiene is essential, and advice to potentially-pregnant ladies that contact with newborn lambs is not advised.

If she were mine, I'd take her to school.....the children will be enthralled (not to mention all the adult members of staff). Contact with and education about other life forms is good way to promote a healthy respect for and balanced approach to animals.
 

mysunwolf

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Dry, healthy lambs are considered to not be a problem. I'm currently pregnant and work with my sheep all the time! Biggest danger is from actively birthing ewes. Second biggest is fecal matter that is ingested, so make sure the lamb has a clean diaper and that the kids wash their hands, and you should be fine. Please take this lamb to school, the kids will be thrilled.
 
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