Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Brittle horns  (Read 6465 times)

LecturerGem

  • Joined Jul 2012
Brittle horns
« on: July 16, 2012, 12:43:21 pm »
Anybody that breeds horned sheep, please help.  I have three Hebridean lambs born in April (2 girls and a castrated male).  One of the ewe lambs has quite large horns for her age and size but they seem very brittle and she cracks and chips them very easily.  Has anybody had this problem before?  I am just wondering if it may be a dietary issue or if they will just strengthen over time.  Thanks

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 01:11:18 pm »
I would definitely get them a sheep mineral lick and see if they improve.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 06:14:50 pm »
A Gremlin just stole my long reply  >:(  so here's a shorter one:
All lambs horns are prone to breaking, and the outer cover can even be torn off the core (use cobwebs to stop the bleeding).
Don't handle your horned lambs by their horns - in fact you shouldn't really handle adults by their horns, but sometimes it's inevitable.
The problem with your lamb could be genetic - what's her dam like?   
Is she four horned or two?  Four horns are even more likely to break than two, which is one reason it's so difficult to get a good four horned Heb.
Yes, make sure they have a mineral lick, especially during gestation.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 07:52:21 am »
Agree with all Fleecewife has said.  By chipping and cracking do you mean just surface cracks and chips or something deeper?  If the damage is only shalllow then don't despair as the situation may well improve as she matures.  I had a Jacob ewe lamb I retained last year despite a similar problem because I liked her and much to my surprise when I sorted out the show team this spring she was an easy choice.  A mineral drench wouldn't hurt if  you are concerned about a mineral deficiency. 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 11:35:47 am »
If it's just surface cracks you can use horse hoof conditioner stuff - sorry, can't remember its proper name.  We use it on the tups horns to clear up any fighting or head bashing damage.  We reapply when the horns start to look dry again, or get algae growing on  :o ;D  and leading up to shows.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

LecturerGem

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 09:11:26 am »
I have put mineral blocks in the paddock this morning and they all went straight for them (can't believe I didn't think of that before!!)  She has two horns not four and has chips and cracks around the top of the horns but the whole horn is very delicate.  See photos :)

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 11:40:50 am »
looks more like scurs than full horns for this reason they would be brittle and prone to breaking.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 12:14:23 pm »
They look ok to me, in that the current growth at the base looks ok.  I would say it was lack of minerals when it was younger.  Keep it on the lick and it'll be ok.  Defo don't handle the horns, and try to keep it away from anything it can catch them on (yes, i know thats hard to do!).  Some just come out fast, long and thin, some are slow and fatter.

I had a ram lamb recently knocked its horn sheath off.  Blood everywhere!  I'd never heard of using cobwebs for that, but i'll remember it from now on!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 05:45:19 pm »
Cobwebs cobwebs everywhere, until you need one in a hurry then there's not one to be found  ::) ;D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 06:13:15 pm »
If it's just surface cracks you can use horse hoof conditioner stuff - sorry, can't remember its proper name.  We use it on the tups horns to clear up any fighting or head bashing damage.  We reapply when the horns start to look dry again, or get algae growing on  :o ;D  and leading up to shows.
Could it be Keratex Hoof Hardener?????? there are lots like Naf Hoof Moist but they tend to soften the horns... in wet weather horsey people use the hoof hardener!
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 06:51:27 pm »
Quote
Cobwebs cobwebs everywhere, until you need one in a hurry then there's not one to be found
  :D Rarely a problem here  ::) I tell everyone I save them on purpose, it's biological control  ;)

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Brittle horns
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 09:42:19 am »
Cornucrescine is good for horns  :thumbsup:
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

 

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