Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: At my wits end!  (Read 7344 times)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 09:01:11 am »
The day the vet came out to see our dog-savaged lamb, he mentioned that the same morning he'd been called to a cattle farm up the road. There were 2 half eaten calf carcasses and the farmer was incredibly stressed about what's going on. Until we knew for sure a dog had attacked our sheep there was all sorts of theories about what was roaming locally. I really hope you get to the bottom of this, it sounds awful for you  :bouquet:
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 01:26:16 pm »
It is awful not knowing the reason, and even more weird that in three of the cases I was away from home.  The first casualty was Dixie, one of my favourite Gotlands ewes, she was an adult.  This happened in September after I had been in Cornwall for four days - she had been fine when I left.  I came back to find her skull and backbone in the field.


The next two casualties were this year's Gotland lambs; a ewe lamb and a wether.  Both cases happened in November.  There was no skeleton at all of the ewe lamb, just a pile of fleece and the remains of her hind legs.  The wether I found whole, with a hole in his side.  I took him for a PM but it was inconclusive as he had been scavenged and wasn't fresh.


All the above three had died in roughly the same place, near a badger sett.


The fourth was the Herdwick ram lamb, he was in a small paddock with a Gotland ram lamb. All that was left of him was a pile of fleece, skull and backbone.


All of them except the adult ewe I had not checked them for a day or two as in two instances I had gone away and the most recent I had been ill!  So they couldn't have been dead for more than one or two days.  With the adult I had been away for four days so she could have died any time then.  All of them had been absolutely fine when I checked them last.


My fields are totally stock fenced with metal bar gates.  I had not been giving them extra feed as they had enough grass.  In fact the sheep I lost had the best grass of all the fields!  They had not moved grazing.  No other livestock shared the grazing (except now all the ewes are in with the horses as their field is the best drained with a large field shelter).  No roofing felt/polystyrene had blown in - I always remove any rubbish I find beit baler twine or bits of plastic bags.


I am going to ask my vet (he used to farm sheep); I've also been trying to ring my neighbour who has sheep grazing on his land but he's been out.
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 01:59:42 pm »
Both Pasteurella and Enterotoxeamia can kill a healthy (looking) animal within 24 hours. I took my wetherkid to the vets in the evenning as I felt something wasn't right. Vet didn't find anything! Kid "waltzed" out of the surgery on a lead, much to the amsuement of the other customers there - he was dead by the morning!
Re-vaccinate your stock!

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 02:02:11 pm »
I'd be tempted to rent or buy one of those wildlife cameras, if you think it's happening in the same spot, and you are satisfied that they were all *jabbed properly* with Heptavac etc.  You certainly have lots of wildlife around given the amount and speed of carcass stripping, so it would be interesting to see what you have around.  Alternatively, sit out and watch quietly on a full/fullish moon - you will probably find that you don't need to sit out all night long before you see something.
I've had one lamb drop dead overnight for no apparent reason, and it's body was still in perfect condition the following morning, and we have plenty of foxes around and a whole city of crows in our trees[size=78%].[/size]


I'd also see if you can find someone to check on them every morning for you if you go away.  If it happens again you need to get the fresh carcass to the vets for a PM to check for disease, or the cause of the wounds identified.  There's no point if it's not fresh.

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 02:10:08 pm »
I have rung the vet and he said that he doubts very much foxes or badgers would actually have killed the sheep - if it was a predator it would most likely be a dog or big cat.  He said I shouldn't need to vaccinate if they have already been vaccinated which they were, but I should use a flukicide (even though they all had Fasimec Duo in October).


The thing with the vaccination is that they will all be due again in February (a month before lambing) so if I vaccinate now do I do them again in Feb  ???
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 02:12:20 pm by Remy »
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
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Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2012, 02:11:30 pm »
two questions is it possible for the badgers to have gotten into the paddock where the last one died?

on the days when you are not there or are sick what is different about the routine?

I hate to ask this but....... when you are not there is the dog let out unsupervised to do his bits and pieces.

It would sound by all accounts as if the badgers are responsible for profiting from the remains of a carcass but is it feasible that they could have access to all the paddocks and even if they did why would this only happen when you are not present? 
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2012, 02:16:56 pm »
Badgers could feasibly get in under a five bar gate.


Nothing is different about the routine when I'm not there.


We did have an awful suspicion it could have been the Staffie x we have rescued as hubby lets the dogs wander around the yard when I'm not there and he doesn't watch them all the time like I do - but it couldn't have been possible she could have got the Herdwick, and she'd have had to jump two five bar gates into mud in order to get to the sheep, and she hates getting dirty!


It's such a mystery ..  :-\
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2012, 02:38:06 pm »
When were the lambs vaccinated (both shots)? and when were the adults?


I would fluke them again for sure - 10 weeks after the last dose - or now, make sure you get the dosage right - don't under dose.  Use that same product if that's all you have - a combination product is not ideal, but the flukicide in it is the best type for now.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2012, 02:57:26 pm »
If a badger could get into the paddock then I don't see why a staffie cross couldn't.  Don't consider only the five bar gate but the rest of the fencing. A JRT can scale a six foor fence by climbing the fencing like a ladder.  If the dog is only unsupervised when you are not there there is one very BIG reason to suspect the timming of the deaths is not coincidental.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2012, 08:58:37 pm »
She couldn't have been implicated with the Herdwick as she hadn't been out on the day he must have died ..
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

cleopatra

  • Guest
Re: At my wits end!
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2012, 10:23:15 pm »
If a badger could get into the paddock then I don't see why a staffie cross couldn't.  Don't consider only the five bar gate but the rest of the fencing. A JRT can scale a six foor fence by climbing the fencing like a ladder.  If the dog is only unsupervised when you are not there there is one very BIG reason to suspect the timming of the deaths is not coincidental.


my big fat labrador can squeeze under stock-fencing.
we had a missing sheep once, 2 days after the dogs were going bonkers in the middle of the night. all we found was the skull and spine and legs. she was lying under trees so what ever ate her, ate her quickly and completely.  it was v embarassing handing over the bones to the knackerman as it looked like she'd been dead for months.

my 3 dogs took down a deer once when unsupervised, which is very rare as i usually know exactly where they are.

 
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