Sheep feed causing weakness and collapse?

CassyKay

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We're concerned that the sheep grain (dumor Lamb and Ewe) we have been feeding a few of our lambs and ewes is causing issues. Sometimes *as they are eating the grain* one will get suddenly weak, wobbly, and then find a corner to collapse in. Could this be toxins in the grain? Would that cause such a fast reaction? They are also getting free choice baking soda, loose minerals, fresh water, and hay.

It is probably worth mentioning that we have slowly introduced grain into these sheep's diet and feed them small amounts at set times of day so they do not get too much at once.
 
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wolf

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Once in awhile, I get the choking with a lamb that’s greedy. They snort, foam, cough, hang head, and keep moving to try and ease discomfort. I’ve actually started sitting with a fast-eater and tossed a handful at a time in their bucket to slow them down. I use Dumor’s, sheep & lamb, too - and never had an issue with their feed. It’s always clean. I never get a dusty, buggy, damp, or moldy bag like I occasionally get from the feed-store closer to me. I usually don’t find the bad bags till after I open them and dump them in the bin - then it’s too late to haul it back and complain. So I make the extra distance just to get the Dumor’s at TSC.
 

Show Sebright

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I would make sure the bag specifically says no copper. What minerals are you feeding? They may not be getting enough food or minerals to keep their bone structure and nerves good. Is it one sheep getting sick or are all of them? May be allergic. They might need more proton in their diet or calcium. I only give my lamb 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda when he eats (so 1/4 a day). I don’t know how this would cause collapsing though. Maybe give some pics of your sheep.
 

farmerjan

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One other thing... my son and ex-husband had a bunch of chickens that started getting sick and dying... my ex finally took some to the state lab and they did extensive testing and found out that there was something in the feed that was actually poisoning them... I forget what it was.. like 20 times the amount of some ingredient than was supposed to be in there. He had the feed bag and the feed in his can; sent it away and had it tested also....
They threatened to bring a suit against the Dumor company, and he was finally paid for the birds he lost. These were show chickens so there was some value above and beyond just a backyard laying type.
Personally, I would not use their feed except as an emergency if I ran out.. we have taken back several bags over the years. Our local feed mill is very good about their feed. I would take their feed over the dumor brand. I also had better luck with using Purina feeds even though it is more expensive. But again, my son has been using the store brand of Rural King's poultry feed and likes it for his bantams. I think they make a "mini-pellet" type that the bantams can eat and there is alot less waste than with the standard old mash feed. I only use pellets as the chickens do not have the waste.
Our cattle get a pelleted feed also, and since we feed alot more than most, we buy in bulk and it is delivered by the ton.

I would switch feed immediately and see if there is a difference... but I think that the suggestions that the sheep may be choking is as good a suggestion as any if there is some "greedy" eating right when you feed them.
 

Baymule

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I’ve heard to put fist sized rocks in their feed tub so they have to slow down on eating.

Changing feeds sounds like a reasonable idea. If they still are sick, it’s not the feed.
 
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