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Author Topic: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!  (Read 7665 times)

pippa_foster

  • Joined Jan 2009
4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« on: January 13, 2009, 01:24:30 pm »
I have a little "small holding" - we keep Kune Kune pigs in our woods, and have 4 existing sheep:
 two  6year old huge rectangular romney marsh/kent wethers (Clarkson 8) and Paxman 8) ) that used to be sop lambs... and a  Soay wether, and a one-eyed  Jacob female ( ?lambed before?) No idea how old they were when we got them, 14 years ago.. :-\ Our sheep are effectively pets/advance team before the shetland ponies are released on a patch of field, and we use their wool as bedding for our pigs, mixed with straw, which they love!

A neighbour (who has an organic farm, and therefore couldn't keep them) found 4 wandering sheep, and we put them in one of my paddocks while we put up notices and tried to find their rightful owners, but no one locally has any idea where or who had them. No tags, very thin, and they were covered in dried mud up to the belly - had obviously been kept in deep boggy conditions... We are pretty sure they were dumped, or "released" rather than escaped. Closer examination revealed one ram with horribly overgrown feet, full of foot rot which has duly been cut out, all hooves cut back to normal size eventually, and well sprayed with terramycin. How long would it take for hoof to grow to about 4 or 5 inches, splayed out? I presume he's over a year old!?! and seems very interested in our other sheep through the fence! However, he's only the size of a labrador, barely past my knee.. is he full grown? Are these southdowns if so, or the olde english babydoll southdown? any ideas? I can provide pictures!
Will he ("Darwin") try and mate with our elderly Jacob? Is it possible she could conceive? would it be dangerous for her?
There are also 2 slightly smaller tegs/young females ("Collins" and "Huxley") and 1 young uncastrated one ("Dickens") - I would say nearly a year old? Feet needed trimming (all had foot rot too, but not quite as bad) not massively overgrown, and they don't appear to be pregnant yet.
Dickens also had a small bald scabby pink patch on his back, near his tail - rain scald? previous fly damage? also treated with terramycin whether it will help or not? any other suggestions as to what it could be? My existing sheep are normally horribly healthy, with ad lib hay and field shelters -spoilt creatures! I believe in prevention rather than cure, so I don't know much about these conditions they get, which seem to be related to poor management/neglect?
I think they are Southdowns from looking at some breed pictures - like teddy bears, but they do have mottled pigmented skin on lips/nose/ears (pure southdowns should have uniform dark skin I believe) and are really very small, which make me wonder if they are Southdowns. Are they rare?
They seem otherwise healthy, and I have wormed them and put them in a small paddock on their own but not really sure what to do with them, although I'm happy to keep them. I do have individual paddocks so I can separate boys and girls if necessary, but would prefer to keep them all as a group if I am keeping them, but don't intend to pay a vet to castrate them.
My mother suggested we should just eat them, as we can't breed them without knowing they aren't related.
I do have holding/flock numbers, but I obviously have a tagging dilemma. Problems with taking them to the abattoir as they have no tags at the moment. How do I deal with the tag issue? Just put my own in? Not sure I can claim that I bred them.....
Does mutton get "ram taint"? I assume lambs are castrated for a reason, even if they are slaughtered before reaching sexual maturity? When will the girls become sexually mature? (if they aren't already, Darwin not interested though).
Sorry about all the questions, but everything I read seems to give different answers... They are quite cute and friendly though, so doubt the mutton idea will not come through as I have now named them, much to my husband's consternation! "No, please not more animals..." seems to be his usual phrase.
 


kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 05:29:06 pm »
pics would be interesting what colour? white presumably?
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

pippa_foster

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 09:13:01 pm »
yeah, white, white faces and legs, but fleece beige ish - but this could be dirt! is it possible to post pics to the forum?

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 09:23:50 pm »
pippa..........save your pics on photo bucket, then post link here....its actually quite easy! OR click the link additional options below the reply box and click browse.....then add a pic from your computers my pictures folder.
Make sure you shrink them first!

I would also say.....immediately contact your local animal health office and tell them you have some untagged strays you intend to keep....they will be very nice and advise you to tag with your own flock number S tags. I would worry if there are entire males as the females with them will probably already be in lamb.....hence the no interest in the girls!

Get the vet to castrate them if you must keep them as pets or eat them......sounds hard but the only choice as ANY female sheep of any age can get in lamb!

Good luck.....ps don't forget to give them a good dose of wormer and spot on for any nasty little visitors they have bought with them!
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

pippa_foster

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 08:22:07 pm »
Hi, thanks for your advice woollyshepherd. I had already called Animal Health, once we gave up on the advertising for their rightful owners. But still waiting for them to call me back... They seemed a bit bemused that I'd bothered to call about 4 unwanted sheep.
I wormed them when they arrived, and they have been kept isolated for well over a week, still appear normal and healthy. I have split boys and girls now, but don't really have enough small individual fields (that don't have assorted piggles or piglings in) and the sheep ignore mains electric, so ideally would put ALL boys together (2 new rams, and my 3 wethers) and put the new girls with my elderly jacob ewe, in with my larger horses (also so they all have access to hay and field shelters). Is there a standard time to keep new 'stock' in isolation? Will it be ok to keep two (small) rams with 3 wethers or will the rams be aggressive towards each other? I guess I'll just have to eat them if so. :'(

With regard the 'spot on' - what do you mean? I usually worm with ivermectin or fenbendazole and they get vetrazin'd for fly once spring starts - what am I missing???? I used Frontline on an elderly angora goat with a lice infestation (on my vet's instructions!) but not familiar with a 'spot on' for sheep. What does it do exactly? Recommended brand / generic name for the active ingredient?
Re the girls - if they are less than a year old, you think they could already be pregnant?  at what age do they start seasoning, ie if i work out (ish) when they were/could have been tupped, I know when to start looking out for inbred babies to appear... I do breed horses and Kune kune pigs, and my mother used to have a flock of about 80 ewes, so I'm sure we'll cope between us if we are expecting! I did a bit of lambing when I was in my teens ::) 
I have much more knowledge on horses/pigs/people (nurse, in my spare time!) so hope I can repay any advice I receive!
Pippa
Pippa

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 12:25:12 am »
Spot on is a deltamethrin based pour on for lice and ticks!

Pic......I 'think' it could be a poll dorset or poll dorset cross........very similar if not! Do not think its a southdown....in fact the more I think about it I'm sure its a poll dorset
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

pippa_foster

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 10:56:24 am »
any advance on the breed? this is Darwin, the other boy. Still in love with Paxman.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 02:04:15 pm »
Yes Breed IS a POLL DORSET or more likely a poll dorset cross with something else.....pedigree sheep rarely 'get lost'
Here is a pic of a poll dorset

Dickens is very poll dorset type but Darwin IS very Southdowny.......Its probable they are all crossbred meat lambs that were 'lost on purpose'
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 02:06:39 pm by thewoollyshepherd »
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 07:26:30 pm »
I think they may be Ryeland or Southdown or crosses. Look at the fleece all the way down their legs. the tussles I have with shearers over hairy legged sheep.
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 08:27:03 pm »
Kaz you could be right......just thought strays likely to be more of a common crossbred, and Dorsets have hairy legs too ::)....

What ever they are they look very muddy and obviously have found a good home which is what matters!
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 06:28:05 am »
That's definitely all that matters at the end of the day.

All the best with them
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

pippa_foster

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: 4 little sheep found wandering .... advice needed!
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 06:53:42 pm »
I think I have answered my own questions about rams - large-animal vet is coming on wednesday to do horse vacs and teeth etc so I'll ask about the funny scaley bit on Dickens back, and whether castration is a viable () option, having butted me, ALOT :-[ :-[ because the bemused and violated Paxman wanted to be stroked, and Darwin got v. jealous!
we have a B&B, and a public footpath running all the way through every single paddock, so can't have a violent(ish) animal around and risk being sued.
Or he'll be mutton!
I wasn't being controversial about what breed they are - 4 people who have seen them, admittedly mostly Darwin was closest, all said Oh, Southdowns? It didn't occur to me that they might be more than one different breed or cross?  but I agreed, certainly dumped, but I doubt it was someone who knew what they were doing with them. Thanks again for all your responses - are the breeds you mention 'rare' then? Darwin might be even rarer soon...

 

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