Saturday 21 May 2016

Vaccinating Lambs and Tailing Sheep

 Last Sunday I had a fair few working here. My dad and brother had come to give me a hand with all the drainage/clearance work we were doing in preparation for the extension.
Nick, A young lad who sometimes works on my fathers farm, also came to help. He really keen on helping with anything sheep, and has some of his own, so I seized the opportunity and got him to help me vaccinate the lambs as they're at the age where they should have their first stage of injections.

Nick and me - stupid hat optional.
These injections are nuder the skin, I bought a special syringe for the job that automatically fills after each injection and has a cap on the top so it sterilises each time as well, clever stuff but it did take me a little while to figure out! 

Treating feet for scald due to the long grass
Whilst we were doing that we also checked every lambs foot for scald and treated them locally rather than treating every animal en mass. 

 I also took the decision to tail all the sheep. This is a job that Nick was dead keen to do, so I caught and held the ewe whilst he used his battery trimmers to dagg them. 

It's around the time of year when fly strike will become a problem, so rather than chemically treat them with a fly repellent (which I will have to once they've been sheared next month), dagging them removes all the muck they've built up over winter, which in turn removes where the flys will lay their eggs. I like to think it's a fairly proactive approach that reduces my need of chemicals, although I'll still have to keep a careful watch for maggots.
Lambs waiting for their mummies. 
The lambs are looking pretty healthy and they've started to eat their creep feed as well. Hopefully these lambs will finish faster this year than last.
Anyone else been tailing sheep or vaccinating lambs?


  1. My dad used to get what he called "the dagg locks" from a local farmer. He would put them in his water barrels that collected water off the roof of his green houses. Nasty smelling barrels, but they were great for the garden!

  2. we used to do that as well. always chose a nice dry day to collect the dags but it is an excellent feed for the plants. We were given the tip by an old boy in the local gardening club. My barrel has just been emptied out so time to start again. as churn dash said - barrel not very floral but it does the job.


  3. We don't take the tails off our sheep here. When we first got the flock they all had their tails intact, and as we watched them we could see that they used them to swat any flies and other insects away. They don't seem to have any trouble with dags and fly strike, possible because during the heat of the summer they are short coated because of having been sheared.
    Our vet does the Spring worming for us when he comes to take the annual blood tests, and we just do the Autumn one.

  4. There's a growing flail-ex here over using medical vaccines and antibiotics on stock. I watched a one hour special not long ago, with some doctor from a government agency ranting and raving about the practice. He said it is creating "super bugs", which are impervious to our current antibiotics and vaccines. He said 700,000 die in the world each year from super bugs that can't be treated with any viable medicine as a result of the practice, and that if something isn't done, the world wide total will be in the millions in a few years. How he came up with these numbers I don't know. My concern is that our government here will panic and start banning this and that, with the resultant loss of food supplies causing things like meat to be come unobtainable for the majority of U.S citizens.

  5. We never used antibiotics on our sheep because they always had healthy grazing and good animal practices. We did vaccinate and worm them because they can die on you in an instant, sometimes. (Well, lets face it, some sheep just keel over for no reason). Superbugs spring from antibiotics not vaccines. Animals stay healthy if they are not crowded in filth like the big commercial outfits. local from small farms. Or raise your own if you can


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