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Author Topic: Ewe off her feed  (Read 6414 times)

LOCHBYRE

  • Joined May 2011
Ewe off her feed
« on: May 01, 2012, 01:01:37 pm »
Hi all,
 My 2 year old ewe is suddenly off her feed, she lives out and has a 3 1/2 week old lamb at foot.
I feed a little mix twice a day at the moment, and she's usually one of the greedy ones  ::), but this morning she is off on her own with her lamb and I can see she is grazing a little but doesn't want any feed.
 Went back to check her just now still the same staring into space a bit and won't come near me, ususally will feed out my hand.
Any ideas ? if I could catch her it would help ....... she seems a bit scoury too but can be prone to this anyway.
 ???
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Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 02:49:45 pm »
Does the ewe have any other symptoms? Is she steady on her feet?

LOCHBYRE

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 06:29:03 pm »
No other symptoms at all, just back from teatime feed and she came over to me sniffed the feed and walked off with her lamb, then stood staring into the distance......if she didn't already have a lamb i'd swear she was going to go into labour  ???
X

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 06:31:43 pm »
try ivy or dock leaves, if they wont eat them then they are in trouble....

LOCHBYRE

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 06:39:34 pm »
Ok I'll try that , thank you !

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 09:59:29 pm »
And willow.  All my ewes adore any type of willow but especially the soft flowering bits  :yum: :yum:  It is supposed to be a natural painkiller (aspirin??)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 12:18:24 am »
Yes willow contains salicylic acid which is aspirin, also lots of minerals and so on under the bark.

Is she one of your Shetlands or a Soay?  If it wasn't for the staring off into the distance I would say that she just doesn't need that much concentrate now.  We are giving ours just once a day and tailing it off to stop in a couple of weeks if the grass carries on growing well.

When was the flock last wormed?  Did they get a flukicide?
Has there been a sudden flush of grass growth which would account for the scouring?
With a single lamb I doubt she will have a metabolic problem such as twin lamb, especially so long after lambing.
I feel that you do need to bring her in and have a look at her udder to make sure there's no sign of mastitis (a single lamb tends to feed on just one side)
Also have a look in her mouth and see if she is losing a baby tooth and growing an adult one - she could just be teething and hard feed would hurt.
Other than that I can't think of any other causes.....
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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LOCHBYRE

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 06:31:52 am »
Thanks fleecewife, I 'll see if I can get hold of any willow  :)
She's Keri one of the rescue shetlands I got from you , she's such a wee poppet and usually has her nose into everything  ;D
Yes I 'll be doing the same hard feed wise, they are up on the hill just now the sheep so grass still v slow but I split the feeds into 2 lots as otherwise my bucket is a bit heavy to lug up the hill  ::)
Mastitis was my worry, once I'd googled  :P
I'll try again this morning to see if she'll let me catch her, if not it'll be reinforcments by tonight ......... Allan and Kirsty  ;)
MTA, wormer with fluckaside given beg March.
Thanks everyone  :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 06:33:50 am by LOCHBYRE »

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 08:29:18 am »
Just a thought, with all this rain grass has looked nice and lush but has grown so quickly it is lacking in trace elements such as magnesium. If she's staring into space it can be an early sign of magnesium deficiency (Grass Staggers). Is her jaw trembling at all and is she weak limbed? May be worth giving her a combo of Magnesium and Calcium which does no harm to try and may just turn her around. I know there is Calciject and Magniject but I'm fairly sure there's a joint one too. If she's off her feed she's more at risk as this would likely have traces of both calcium and magnesium in it.
There is another surprisingly common condition which has a long winded name I can't recall. It is a brain infection which any ewe is prone too. We had a young ewe (no lambs) who started with the staring off and not coming for feed when usually very keen. She then got very disoriented and wandered as if blind and ended up in the beck one night. We had to gather her in a sling and carry her back to treat her. We used a combo of Magniject and Calciject thinking these to be the likely deficiences but she continued dowhill still for some time before recovery set in. It soon became obvious that she had gone blind which accounted for the aimlessness. With careful observation, antibiotics, vitamin and mineral drenches she became quite recovered even to the point of her sight returning and went on to lamb successfully.
I don't want to scare you but just bear in mind that any deficiences can cause havoc particularly with a ewe who has just lambed having already had great demands on her system. Try the Caliject/Magniject route as they really should help.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 09:01:54 am »
Yep wholeheartedly agree pedwardine, we've had two with grass staggers this week, was going to post separately on forum but here will do, watch out for this, the grass is growing and both ewes had twins on them.
Anyway buckets with Mag are out and both ewes had Hypermag injections and have made a good recovery.
Ours didn't stare off into distance but went off their legs. Legs going in all directions we had to carry one ewe back accross the field in an downpour!

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 09:09:00 am »
The brain infection is called Cerebro Cortical Necrosis (CCN). I recall ProRumen helping.

LOCHBYRE

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 09:20:00 am »
Thanks for the advice everyone  :thumbsup:
Well she has shocked me completely this morning ........ she's fine !!!!!!
Came running over to the feed trough, stood still while I felt her udders, all fine too  :)
She then munched away quite content, looking at me as if to say............"what...stop staring !!!!"
Phew , not sure what was wrong yesterday but whatever it was has gone  ::)
Mineral buckets out in the field right through lambing and still out now  :)
Thanks so much again people x

MrsJ

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 09:49:09 am »
That's sheep for you!  Glad she's feeling better.

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 10:10:40 am »
So glad she's ok. :thumbsup:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Ewe off her feed
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 11:13:47 am »
Thanks fleecewife, I 'll see if I can get hold of any willow  :)
She's Keri one of the rescue shetlands I got from you , she's such a wee poppet and usually has her nose into everything  ;D

 :wave:  I'm glad she's ok today, and you did well to spot her off day so promptly.

The fact that she's one of the rescues means that she could be more susceptible to problems.  For everyone else, these were 3 ewe hoggs which, with another larger ewe, were bought by someone as some kind of fashion statement.  They didn't have any idea how to look after sheep, and the poor things were left all of the winter before last, on a scruffy piece of ground with no grass, but anyway it was frozen most of the winter and under such deep snow that the sheep couldn't scrape down to any grass there was.  I think they must have survived on the tips of rashes as they weren't given even hay.  Someone made the owner move them and feed them, but they were then in with a mare and her colt, which wouldn't let the sheep near the hay.  They were then taken off the owner for welfare reasons, and one of the hoggs was found to have severe fly strike, so we took them to nurse them back to health. Lochbyre then very kindly gave them a caring home.
I can't remember if Keri was the one with strike, but even if not, the harsh conditions of her first winter could account for her temporary glaikit fit. Good that you could get her in and give her a good inspection.
Does she go for digestives?  If they like those then even if they are off their food they will usually eat them, and get some sugar on board.
Keep an eye on her and consider Calciject if it happens again - it doesn't do any harm and could possibly prevent a major problem  :sheep: :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 11:15:34 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

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