NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Ewe won't eat/ruminating poorly (if at all)  (Read 558 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Ewe won't eat/ruminating poorly (if at all)
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2019, 08:26:16 am »
If she will eat hay but not grass, I wonder whether she has a problem with the front teeth/pad, so that biting stems off the ground is unpleasant, but pulling stems which are already cut and chewing them isn’t a problem. 

Great news that she’s eating something well, though!  Well done for persevering! 
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
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Pomme homme

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Ewe won't eat/ruminating poorly (if at all)
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2019, 09:15:14 am »
Thank you, SallyintNorth and kanisha, for your contributions. She's eating both grass and hay, but only if it's fed to her. Similarly she won't eat pellets or grain unless these are fed to her. Whilst obviously this is positive, I don't want her to get used to being fed so that she sees no need to feed herself. Thus as the sun has come out today, I'll put her in my small home paddock and observe her. I'll check her teeth and pad later on. 

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Ewe won't eat/ruminating poorly (if at all)
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2019, 11:17:21 am »
Have you checked her urine for ketones? I do think you may have a long-term problem wrt to fatty liver disease especially if you do feed concentrates during the summer...

Pomme homme

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Ewe won't eat/ruminating poorly (if at all)
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2019, 01:04:35 pm »
Thank you, Anke. I have had fatty liver disease mentioned to me before but I'm disinclined to think that this is the problem.

As to concentrates, the answer is no - except in the run up to and the period after lambing. My sheep spend the summer on grass with only a little grain to keep them coming to my call.

Compared to a fortnight ago, the ewe has exceeded all my expectations. She's alert, steady on her feet, regained her strength, eating good quantities of hay, supplemented by Sodilene morning and evening, ruminating and drinking water of her own volition. Hopefully soon I'll be able to turn her out onto grass during the day - although I'll bring her in at night because, in the last two days, winter seems to have arrived in earnest in my part of the world.   

 

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