Emergency Advice?

Legamin

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
244
Reaction score
403
Points
143
Location
Washington
Are your sheep used to entering a chute? If so, putting up sidewalls would help. How steep and tall is the ramp? Most sheep will follow where the first few go so maybe there is something about this barn that spooks her. Maybe move her to the group in the old barn and put one of that group in the new barn.

If her condition scale is down to a 1, is it possible that something else is happening to bring her this far down? Do a fecal for worm count, and worm her. If necessary, drag her into the barn on a halter and put her into a smaller isolated pen in case she is sick. Then you can keep closer track of how exactly much she is eating and drinking. Try heating her water and give her electrolytes. Hang a heat lamb over the pen. Use a standard100 watt bulb if she is carrying wool since a big heat lamb bulb might be too hot for her.
The ramp is about 25 degree incline. None of the other sheep think twice about running up or down it even in their immensely pregnant state. It is about 8 feet long and 20” at the top and a 4” step up at the bottom in order to decrease the incline. I’ve checked mouth, eyes, teeth, feet, feces and ears and she is sound. I have been feeding her outside with a pound of premium grain mixed with minerals and 6-9lbs per day of alfalfa/Timothy hay mix hung in a bag just for her. She has been eating will and I’ve noticed marked improvement both behaviorally and, hoping I am not being too optimistic, her spine exam is already starting to feel slightly improved. Part of that is over this week she has been getting a full belly (obvious visually) and has been chewing cud almost constantly. Her eyes look brighter and her movement is quickened. I would rate her a 1.5 (optimistically) if I was looking at her for the first time. But I want to see the same improvement over at least a month before I call her ’out of the woods’.
I opened up a couple walls in the nursery barn and gave them another 100 square feet which they have been taking advantage. I will be putting up robust rails on the ramp to give it a more ‘secure’ appearance on the off chance that this is a ‘fear of open sided bridges’ kind of thing with her perspective of the ramp. The other pregnant ewes are running up and down the ramp with ease and she has never been a loner so this is just a weird thing. Due to the weather I can’t put up a light for her until she comes in of her own accord. The electrolytes are a good idea but I don’t want to give the whole flock electrolytes so I will administer doses several times per day with a large oral syringe. She is drinking well and getting more than ample complex minerals with the pound of grain that she eats. I am fairly convinced that this is a weird psychological sheep thing after observing her for many hours over several days. i have always been slow and gentle with them rather than dragging or pushing…bribes are not out of the question. It’s just my way and it works well with this breed. Today at dinner time she walked up and pushed gently on my hand to get her head stroked…this is massive improvement in disposition from one week ago when she was demonstrating a slight malaise and ’dim eye’ not wanting to make any contact. I think this is going in the right direction…fingers crossed and job list checked daily!
Update today: Added protein lick bucket, 50lbs out near her food. The other ewes are sharing but she is focusing on getting her share. Did another exam today..there is definite build up of fat alone the spine from one week ago. A confident 1.5 on the health scale now and headed in the right direction!
 
Last edited:

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
26,207
Reaction score
69,417
Points
853
Location
East Texas
I totally agree with giving her extra care, treats, hand feeding, anything you can do to improve her health. Maybe they are not pets, but yeah, they are. LOL At least mine are. Some days they are pets, some days they are livestock and any time I'm working in the barn, lot or pasture, they are a curious nuisance. LOL

They sound like dream sheep, so sweet and social. I'd definitely be spoiling them. I looked up the registry for the breed, very interesting.


Please start a thread for your sheep! I'd love to see pictures and learn more about them.

I am glad that the ewe is improving and I hope she pulls out of this and decides to go in the barn. I believe with your care and concern, she will decide the barn isn't so bad after all. Keep us posted on her progress.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
7,368
Reaction score
25,661
Points
678
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Glad to read that she is showing some improvement. So what I got from further reading is that you did not change the sheep she was with, just changed the location for the whole flock. It does just sound like one of those "psychological" things for her. Hope that the sides on the ramp help.
Yes, they can be "pets" even when they are livestock. I have a couple of cows that will come up to be nosy and want to get scratched.... Nothing wrong with that in a herd of 10 or a herd of 100...

I had seen some of them years ago at Colonial Williamsburg on a trip there. We had dorsets at the time and these were pretty neat and I considered trying to breed some but the price to purchase was just out of my range at the time. We got out of the dorsets eventually and went to Texas Dall sheep.... my DS liked the horns on the dorsets but there was no money in the wool and finding someone to shear them was becoming a problem. The Dall's are hair sheep, impressive horns, and the rams get sold to hunting preserves. They are NOT a friendly breed of sheep being semi-feral, unless you have to bottle feed a lamb. But that is the way he wants them because they will be going to where the hunters do not want them to come up to them; but to be wary . The ones that don't have good heads and culls all go to the regular livestock market and bring good prices just as any other sheep/lambs.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
3,824
Reaction score
11,072
Points
533
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
But that is the way he wants them because they will be going to where the hunters do not want them to come up to them; but to be wary .

That brought to mind my 2 youngest boys going hunting at a hunting preserve. The y9ungest one wanted a hog so they found one BUT the problem was that the preserve has gotten a really good price in some 4-H hogs!

In order to be able to shoot the hog, DS2 had to keep chasing it away and throwing rocks at it to get it to go far enough for DS3 to be able to see it in his sight! :lol: :gig It is a great story about their first trip hunting.
 

Legamin

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
244
Reaction score
403
Points
143
Location
Washington
I totally agree with giving her extra care, treats, hand feeding, anything you can do to improve her health. Maybe they are not pets, but yeah, they are. LOL At least mine are. Some days they are pets, some days they are livestock and any time I'm working in the barn, lot or pasture, they are a curious nuisance. LOL

They sound like dream sheep, so sweet and social. I'd definitely be spoiling them. I looked up the registry for the breed, very interesting.


Please start a thread for your sheep! I'd love to see pictures and learn more about them.

I am glad that the ewe is improving and I hope she pulls out of this and decides to go in the barn. I believe with your care and concern, she will decide the barn isn't so bad after all. Keep us posted on her progress.
I added a 50lb mollasses and protein feed bucket today. She loved it and the other pregnant ewes are getting in on the sweet lick action. while she was distracted I did a short physical exam. I think I can positively say she has improved to a 1.5 health scale. i weighed her food intake and she is getting an average of 8 lbs of alfalfa‘Timothy grass50/50 hay per day and eating 1.2 lbs of 18% protein grain with full mineral diet added per day. Her belly has filled out and the back is looking straighter without obvious spine showing. She has a long way to go but I think within a month she will be well out of the woods.
I sure appreciate all the advice..the suggestions were generically great for most sheep and many of them are working for these sheep. My vet used to say ‘sheep are sheep’ until she worked on this breed…she is considering some of her own…
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
26,207
Reaction score
69,417
Points
853
Location
East Texas
Start a thread for this lovely breed! Pictures, we love pictures and lots of them! LOL

I'm so glad that she is improving. Mine are spoiled brats and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

Latest posts

Top