Frustrated!

I’m seriously starting to wonder if we should just cull our entire flock of sheep and start fresh.  I may be only half serious but it’s not the first time I’ve had this thought.  The footrot was not a big deal and has completely resolved as far as I can see.  The lamb losses this year and the ensueing chaos stretched my patience.  Now, we’re dealing with what may very well be a few innocent abscesses.  Or, it could be caseous lymphadenitis aka “CL”.  Google it.  Reeeadd about it.  Pray for us.  ARRRGGG!

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7 thoughts on “Frustrated!

  1. Angie

    I did google it. Wow. How big is your herd? Where did you get them from? I assume you got them from a reputable shepherd and with your veterinary experience, probably gave them a pretty good once-over. Many of the webpages I read stated that it can be spread through shearing nicks. I can’t remember if you have sheared already this spring and whether you did it yourself…?

    I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating this is for you.

    Reply
    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      At this point our herd is relatively small (luckily). We have 7 ewes and 7 lambs. The ewes we purchased from 4 different farms, all which we trusted and thought were reputable. We did shear ourselves last year with help from some friends. We used our friend’s shearers which could be a possible source of infection since I don’t know much about the health of his flock. I’m fairly confident, however, that any diseases found in our herd probably came in when the ewes where sent out to be bred. At the time we thought 7 ewes were easy enough to take to the ram and planned for 2009 to be our last year doing so. Whether or not we do diagnose the flock with CL I still regret sending the ewes out. We had to deal with the lameness issues after and they just didn’t get the personal attention we offer at home. If we keep going with this flock we’re probably going to select one of our own ram lambs to breed most of our ewes next year. Ideally we will eventually operate a closed flock to avoid problems like this.

      Reply
      1. Kathi

        I too raise sheep and have had a “closed flock” for many years now. It’s the only way to go………you will eliminate this headache you are having. Don’t “beat yourself up” over this situation, things happen, you’re learning some important lessons here.

        In breeding or line breeding has been used in livestock to attempt to produce animals with repeatable traits. Close matings run the risk of concentrating genetic mutations and potentially can result in birth defects or poor performing animals. When I say close matings I am referring to parent to offspring matings or full sibling matings, just keep that in mind if you choose to keep a ram lamb for your ewes.

        I am awaiting lambings from four ewes right now, I’m on the vigil watch. I have one ewe that produces multiplies, usually four; this year I believe she may have five. I’d certainly prefer her to just have twins or triplets. The risk of malpresentation would be less likely with fewer.

        Good luck with your sheep. I’ve got my seedlings started, all tomatoes and peppers are up and ready to be tranplanted into bigger containers.

  2. Angie

    Thanks for the follow up information. I am learning a lot from you. Thank you. (Although I am sorry you have to go through all of this.)

    Reply

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