Sick ewes

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
None at all from what I remeber. Only time used twin lamb drench was on one of the sick ones
What about the amount of molasses being used? You mentioned before that the meal you were using wasn’t up to standard - what issues were showing? I doubt it but this could be a knock on from problems then 🤷🏻‍♂️ Or they could just be sheep doing what sheep love doing!
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
What about the amount of molasses being used? You mentioned before that the meal you were using wasn’t up to standard - what issues were showing? I doubt it but this could be a knock on from problems then 🤷🏻‍♂️ Or they could just be sheep doing what sheep love doing!
The molasses was restricted as such as I poured it over their silage twice day once I gave them fresh stuff. Meal issue was causing very little Milk and lambs weaker and bad joints from vitamin E lacking from the meal. Knew have issues with vitamin E in past wirh lambs so get extra added in meal each time
 

JD-Kid

Member
I take it they have been drenched with a good drench that is working fully
we had a few big ewes older ones scanned twins all there life took off sheep nuts and put on good grass went down like a sack of spuds
a few things that showed up gave ADE to them too late 1-2 weeks before lambing dropped the nuts that would of had calcium in them and young spring grass on paddocks with low ca high K levels
add a ström in to that mix and they tipped over like flys
the silage have any mould in it adding molasses might of made them eat it
had a bit of a look on some trials of Se and Vitamin E did not look to change milk out put I would be thinking low iodine for the weaker lambs and low calcium for the milking and joints ..
the low calcium could be lack of vitamin D lack of sunshine or higher levels of grains in diet
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Get them a crystalyx out Sharpish. See how they take it. If they hammer it they are either hungry or need something serious. Mine have crystalyx out in spring now instead of mag buckets.
A good thing about mineral tubs is their very good barometers about what the sheep actually need. If any buckets are under half full 3 weeks post lambing with me they are left there as a just incase and if the lambs need them a few weeks later. The last few weeks I havnt seen any ewe go near the mineral tubs - showing that the mineral levels of the animals must be good.
 

JockCroft

Member
Livestock Farmer
This may sound a silly suggestion, but do your sheep have access to salt. It is an essential often forgotten.
I have been told by very experienced sheep men that if being fed silage for more than 8 weeks, the rumen needs a salt intake to balance its bugs. Personally don't like feeding silage to sheep, much prefer hay.
Salt blocks are cheep and easy to hang on a post or put in a tub. Certainly helps to balance body fluids for lambing.

I would suggest refined blocks, rather than Rock or Himalayan salt, as these contain unknown quantity's of minerals that could be antagonists that would just wreck essential mineral uptake.
 
I think the only way you're going to find out what's happening is a PM and blood testing.

It does sound as if it might be listeria
I think you'd be better feeding the molasses separately from the silage or use a good quality bucket like Lifeline ewe and lamb. Putting some Crystallyx out now and as said already seeing how quickly they take it would be useful
 

ladycrofter

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
Not a fan of blood testing, every sheep is an individual. What comes across as an average flock deficiency won't help the ones that are having serious problems. I would do everything suggested here - get tubs and salt licks out, a good dose of mineral drench, and more feed. Also good hay for a while. I would jag them the whole flock with a half dose of calciject, symptoms or no. Feed change alone won't fix it because their appetite is surpressed.
Your symptoms of twitching and blindness are textbook advanced mag/calcium deficiency IMO; are their ears cold? Another classic symptom. Watch for them blinking too often to get it early.
We have then hitting the calcium hard this year at the first sign of problems and usually taking more than 1 day's dose to correct problems. Some years hardly use any, in spite of same feeding/grazing routine so must be weather and grass growth related.
It's just one of those things, don't kick yourself! Every year we earn something new 🙄.
 
Not a fan of blood testing, every sheep is an individual. What comes across as an average flock deficiency won't help the ones that are having serious problems. I would do everything suggested here - get tubs and salt licks out, a good dose of mineral drench, and more feed. Also good hay for a while. I would jag them the whole flock with a half dose of calciject, symptoms or no. Feed change alone won't fix it because their appetite is surpressed.
Your symptoms of twitching and blindness are textbook advanced mag/calcium deficiency IMO; are their ears cold? Another classic symptom. Watch for them blinking too often to get it early.
We have then hitting the calcium hard this year at the first sign of problems and usually taking more than 1 day's dose to correct problems. Some years hardly use any, in spite of same feeding/grazing routine so must be weather and grass growth related.
It's just one of those things, don't kick yourself! Every year we earn something new 🙄.
I find a blood sample can be very informative.
I never treat an animal with Ca, Mg etc. without taking a blood first, it won't always be analysed, but if the patient doesn't respond to treatment, it's something to refer back to.

A pack of 50 vacutainers is about a tenner, and the vet probably won't even charge for a handful of tubes.
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
I take it they have been drenched with a good drench that is working fully
we had a few big ewes older ones scanned twins all there life took off sheep nuts and put on good grass went down like a sack of spuds
a few things that showed up gave ADE to them too late 1-2 weeks before lambing dropped the nuts that would of had calcium in them and young spring grass on paddocks with low ca high K levels
add a ström in to that mix and they tipped over like flys
the silage have any mould in it adding molasses might of made them eat it
had a bit of a look on some trials of Se and Vitamin E did not look to change milk out put I would be thinking low iodine for the weaker lambs and low calcium for the milking and joints ..
the low calcium could be lack of vitamin D lack of sunshine or higher levels of grains in diet
The ones that died inside I put down to silage but was careful as way mine get fed every mouthful gets given to them by hand so see if it’s clean it not
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
This may sound a silly suggestion, but do your sheep have access to salt. It is an essential often forgotten.
I have been told by very experienced sheep men that if being fed silage for more than 8 weeks, the rumen needs a salt intake to balance its bugs. Personally don't like feeding silage to sheep, much prefer hay.
Salt blocks are cheep and easy to hang on a post or put in a tub. Certainly helps to balance body fluids for lambing.

I would suggest refined blocks, rather than Rock or Himalayan salt, as these contain unknown quantity's of minerals that could be antagonists that would just wreck essential mineral uptake.
Haven’t given any salt before. They be inside from mid December until they lamb from end feb onwards. Never had issue before. Some years they be in 2 or 3 weeks earlier
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
I have 1 or 2 crystal licks left so il put them out. In past done all age ranges off ewes blood tests and levels were perfect in everything after bolus was given and marginally low before bolus was due from previous timings off blood tests that were done
 
I have 1 or 2 crystal licks left so il put them out. In past done all age ranges off ewes blood tests and levels were perfect in everything after bolus was given and marginally low before bolus was due from previous timings off blood tests that were done
The bloods may have been perfect but sheep are still giving problems and keeling over.

From what I see on your regular threads about sheep having pretty serious bouts of ill health and poor performance, I would suggest getting a health professional involved.
TFF members may have a lot of collective knowledge, but none of us are on your farm looking at your sheep so it's really of limited value.
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
The bloods may have been perfect but sheep are still giving problems and keeling over.

From what I see on your regular threads about sheep having pretty serious bouts of ill health and poor performance, I would suggest getting a health professional involved.
TFF members may have a lot of collective knowledge, but none of us are on your farm looking at your sheep so it's really of limited value.
I have spoke to the vet while she’s been here this past lambing but never seems to have any suggestions. There doesn’t be any sheep only experts around this part off the world to hire and if do find one that is good u can bever get hold off them when you want them. I could write a book about the issues that this fsrm is having for years and years and it’s worse and worse. But if I have no control over the money end off things it’s hard to do what’s needed. Grass and soil is one huge issue here. Growth been excellent around here for 2 weeks now. And my paddocks are taking at least 4 to 5 weeks to grow long enough to last 35 ewes longer than 4 days. I know it’s good to have them eat and move fast but when the next paddock and previous paddock hasn’t grown before they are next in there there’s not much I can go but slow them down a few days
 
Everyone I know that has sent ewes for a PM they’ve always come back inconclusive 🤦🏻‍♂️
Pretty much! Or if you give them a clue of what may have been they cause of death the results suggest exactly that.

When I worked in research the vets sent a euthanized lamb off for PM by mistake.
The lamb had a leg growing out of it's chest, the PM gave cause of death as the lamb having been too long in the birth canal and causing the inhalation of birth fluids.
I hadn't the heart to report back that the cause of death was 10ml of IV Pentobarb
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Pretty much! Or if you give them a clue of what may have been they cause of death the results suggest exactly that.

When I worked in research the vets sent a euthanized lamb off for PM by mistake.
The lamb had a leg growing out of it's chest, the PM gave cause of death as the lamb having been too long in the birth canal and causing the inhalation of birth fluids.
I hadn't the heart to report back that the cause of death was 10ml of IV Pentobarb
A friend had a few ewes die pre lambing and they have a lot of ewes!!! Booked one in for a PM, inconclusive, next day took another but it was alive in the pickup and they put it down outside the PM centre, results came back as dead to long so couldn’t do the testing, inconclusive 🤬 it would have still been warm when they received it
 

Is Red tractor detrimental to your mental health?

  • Yes, Red tractor increase my stress and anxiety

    Votes: 286 97.6%
  • No, Red tractor gives me peace of mind that the product I produce is safe to enter the food chain

    Votes: 7 2.4%

HSENI names new farm safety champions

  • 126
  • 0
Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
Top