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Author Topic: Large bald spots on wool sheep  (Read 205 times)

JLaFon

  • Joined Mar 2019
Large bald spots on wool sheep
« on: March 05, 2019, 06:19:57 pm »
A few days ago I realized one of my new Finnsheep ewes had some balding underneath her long fibers, I was guessing stress from being moved. But now one of my shetland ewes has a very large bald spot. It didn't look like lice or mange, but I am quite new to the world of sheep so may have missed something, however both of their skin is clear and not scabby or red and I couldn't see any lice. We were hoping to have shorn them by now so that we can treat them for lice and such, but it has been an insanely cold Feb and March. I suppose they could be rooing, but completely bare skin? and in so much snow?  Any help appreciated! I'm not sure if my shetlands are pregnant, but almost certain on the finnsheep, so treatment is tricky.
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 12:33:54 pm »
Difficult to say but guess rooing as it has been very unseasonaly warm  , with lice and  mange mites   sheep never rest from rubbing ,nibbling their fleece  and  foot scratching their body

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 06:45:03 pm »
That looks like scab to me.  Get vet to take a scraping and confirm before treating.  Have you noticed them pulling at their wool?  The area is where she can reach with her mouth.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 12:25:33 am »
That looks too bald to be rooing, I think.  And wool slip from stress doesn’t usually leave totally bare skin either, although it can; it usually comes away after there’s been a bit of regrowth so that there’s at least some fuzz of a covering.

On my screen it looks to almost certainly be some sort of parasite.  Get a scraping from the edge of the area to the vet if you can.  If it’s lice or similar, they will quickly scurry away from the light, so you need to do it at the edge of the area, and quickly, as soon as you lift the wool away from the skin.

However, catching the little blighters can be difficult, even for a vet, so you may find there’s nothing to find in the scraping even so.  In which case the vet should be able to advise the best product to use for the most likely candidates.

Here, we use a Spot On if necessary for winter lodgers.  You can part the wool along the spine, between the shoulder blades, to expose the skin well enough to get it onto them. 

In the past I have also used Crovect to treat sheep for extoparasites in winter.  Again, part the wool along the spine, in this case the product is applied in a line as close to the skin as possible, using the fine point nozzle.

I think the meds themselves are not contraindicated in pregnancy, so presume it is the handling which you’d rather avoid.  However you would have had them shorn had the weather been better ??? 

In the UK we don’t shear pregnant ewes, but I know they do in some countries.  But the stress of a pour-on, or even an injection, is surely less than for shearing. 

Having been a newbie sheepkeeper myself in recent enough memory - thirteen years ago for me - I can tell you that yes, handling by people they don’t know, and especially by inexperienced people, can be quite stressful for them, and can cause problems in pregnant ewes.  Once they know you, and you know what you are doing and handle them competently and confidently, stress is significantly less - for them and for you!   :D. But it looks as though you may have a medical issue that will cause worse problems if you leave them.

Do you have a farming neighbour who could help you?  Or even would the vet help you treat them, or at least get you started with them?

If it is parasites, you will need to treat them all on the same day, and probably then move them to a different field / housing or they will get re-infected.  But again, the vet will advise once the culprit is known, or on the probabilities.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 06:48:15 pm »
Good post Sally, not accurate on the shearing front though. Some people (including me on occasion) do shear preggers ewes in the UK (drove past a flock this morning that had clearly been shorn). Seen flocks of over 1000 shorn at housing, increases forage intakes, lamb birth weight, you can fit 10% more sheep in your shed and the ewe may/may not be more likely to seek shelter once turned out when weather is bad so helping the lambs - you can see whats going on easily! Good management tool in some circumstances IME.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 06:53:24 pm »
Oh, well thanks for enlightening me, Me! 

Would there be a max date (ie, weeks before lambing) after which you wouldn’t shear? 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Large bald spots on wool sheep
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 07:56:01 pm »
The lambs are growing fast in the last 6 weeks so from then, wee FW article here: https://www.fwi.co.uk/livestock/husbandry/livestock-lambing/shear-lambing-improve-flock-performance

 

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