NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Wiltshire horn shedding  (Read 2907 times)

Yeoman

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
Wiltshire horn shedding
« on: February 15, 2012, 10:45:16 am »
It's my first year with a few Wiltshire Horn ewes. 

I noticed this morning that one of the ewes has lost some of her long winter fleece in several places along her flanks.  Now I know that self shedding is a characteristic of the breed but isn't it a bit early?

Although we're in a relatively 'lowland' part of the country (Northamptonshire) we did see temperatures down to minus 14C last week so it would seem rather early to thing of shedding one's winter woolies!

I gave thought to a dog attack but there are no injuries or blood.  I watched quietly for a while and the ewe concerned did deliberately rub her side against a fence post to dislodge some of the long fleece.  Having examined her I can see that the areas concerned are still covered with the shorter fleece near the skin so there is no bear skin or redness etc showing.  So all the signals just point to an early 'moult' but I just wanted to check with you guys to make sure...

Any thoughts?

Many thanks,
Mark.
Voss Electric Fence

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 11:14:40 am »
Mine haven't started to shed yet - but that is what it looks like when they do start - I have known shedding to start mid/late Feb and be all over by April in milder years so its not uncommon.

daddymatty82

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 08:24:33 pm »
lice? maggots?  could it be an irritant of some sort?

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 08:29:08 pm »
Our Llanwenogs shed a bit this time of year, one ewe sheds her whole fleece every year by spring and the others are a bit motheaten. Guess it's a natural thing :sheep:

Yeoman

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 10:21:39 am »
So nothing to worry about then, thank you.  I'm certainly not wearing any less clothes yet!

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 03:20:26 pm »
Id start to worry if the skin under where they have been rubbing looks raw or bloody...otherwise they are just doing what they do. 

Elissian

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 09:33:23 pm »
a couple of my wiltshires are shedding along their flanks, haven't had this before but their skin looks healthy so i feel sure it's fine. The weather has been rather erratic maybe they think its quite warm for feb!

Yeoman

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 10:08:31 am »
Thank you all.

Not withstanding the couple of bits of snow it has been a very mild winter so I suppose they know what they are doing!

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 01:27:23 pm »
Well i have to say it looks like it's been snowing in our field today. Bits of fleece everywhere and some very tatty ewes. Funnily enough it's only the pure Llanwenogs that shed, the cross Wenog/hampshires don't but they have a wonderful thick fleece on them.
We caught some up just to check no beasties making them itch but no they are fine skin nice and pink.
Started to pull some fleece away to tidy one girl up and it was like pulling a thread in my knickers :o it just kept coming away!! had to stop or would have been there all day ;D

Brijjy

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Mid Wales
Re: Wiltshire horn shedding
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 02:20:11 pm »
My old wilts ram started shedding one winter when there was snow on the ground and the temperature was hovering around freezing. He was fine with it. I wouldn't worry unless it is showing signs of illness.
Silly Spangled Appenzellers, Dutch bantams, Lavender Araucanas, a turkey called Alistair, Muscovy ducks and Jimmy the Fell pony. No pig left in the freezer, we ate him all!

 

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