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Author Topic: Dead sheep  (Read 9147 times)

robate55

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Suffolk
Dead sheep
« on: October 08, 2010, 06:51:55 pm »
I need some advice. Have just been out to feed the sheep & my husband found a dead lamb ( 6 months) at the end of the field. When I herded them yesterday I did not see count them but feel sure I would have noticed it at the other end of the field. All seemed fit at that time. This sheep is mangled there are no guts or thoracic contents left. Its hind quarters are missing. I do not think it has been dead too long as it still has eyes which are just cloudy & is only a little smelly.
Does this sound like a dog attack or is it likely to be scavengers eating it? We have been in today & yesterday & heard nothing but it is quite a long way away.
Rose

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 06:57:47 pm »
Could've been a fox.

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2010, 07:07:15 pm »
Aww sorry to hear, its never a nice sight or feeling.  It really makes you feel sick, like you've somehow neglected them even if they have had the best upbringing ever.

It could be almost any carnivorous animal that eaten or taken a chuck from a fallen lamb - birds, badgers, foxes, dogs .. . . .

Its more likely that its died of its own accord and then been eaten than been chased and killed without you noticing.

Ta

Baz

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2010, 08:29:27 pm »
ahh not nice, you could have a look along the hedgerow and see if you can see any blood or pieces of flesh? also if you leave it there and wait one night you will see it returning to finish it off........but still will not give you the answer of how or why it happened..
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

robate55

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Suffolk
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2010, 08:34:37 pm »
Hi - no signs of any bits of flesh any where but some wool near carcase. I do have photo but they are not pleasant
Rose

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 08:39:24 pm »
we all know what a partally eaten carcass look like, is there a river or water nearby? it could even have been mink they will eat the behind first, even when its still alive, not pleasant
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

robate55

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Suffolk
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 09:19:42 pm »
There is no river about but are probably mink around here. The pheasants & dumped cockerals we have found in the past have been disemboweled so we have blamed mink. Have to be a lot of mink though as it was well eaten, I suspect more likely fox & badger.
Rose

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 09:51:22 pm »
I'm sure it won't be this, but just in case check the others for any fly strike.  It can be a bad time of year and it is very quick if anything has a bit of dirt on its behind or a small injury.  And then of course something eats at the carcass

All the best
Sue
Dark Brown Eggs
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 10:01:41 pm »
if it was full sized at 6 months its less likely to be a fox that actually killed it. On the other hand a dog will tend not to eat so much, just chase attack and kill :-( have experienced that one :-(((), and likely some other sheep would be injured too if a dog attack.

I would say if the lamb was full sized something natural has happened to it and then something (fox etc) has chewed at it. If less than full size, could have been fox or badger etc attacking a healthy lamb.

robate55

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Suffolk
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 10:16:23 pm »
Yesterday checked all lambs & found 2 with a bit of fly strike on their backs. I was not expecting it so much at this time of year on sparse pasture & not round backside so I think this may be the initial problem. What ate him afterwards is a guess. Two others are looking well as we have them inside now. I'm thinking I have not checked well enough while I've been ill. Feeling very guilty.

Rose

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2010, 11:05:08 pm »
whatever got them (natural or in my case a dog attack in the night killing one and hurting another) you always feel terrible. Dont beat up yourself about it, the fact you care about it makes you a better animal keeper than many will ever be. And you will have your eyes peeled for future strikes.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2010, 09:54:53 am »
Having kept sheep I would say it is almost impossible to be certain you have no fly strike until it is almost too late. 

For those unsure typical signs are restlessness - running a few steps and stopping often with head down, nibbling at themselves, scratching on posts or branches and lots of others too insignificant to mention.

As an old shepherd caught leaning on the gate by his employer said "I be a'watching of your sheep Master"  Look at them just grazing.  Any sheep which is doing something unusual especially if they are away from the flock has usually got something wrong with it

I am very "anti" sprays and chemicals, but it is about the only thing I have found which gives real peace of mind.  Autumn is a real problem.  The days are damp and warm and you don't need many flies to start the damage.

I think flystrike is the worst thing about keeping sheep :(

all the best and don't let it get you down to much - It happens to the best of shepherds :(

Sue
Dark Brown Eggs
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 05:59:49 pm by darkbrowneggs »
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2010, 10:43:40 am »
You're not the first and won't be the last to be caught out with fly-strike. As said, by the time you see that something is seriously wrong it's usually too late.
If it was a dog attack you would see injuries on the face and neck as the sheep would face up to the dog. I would say that the sheep had died and then been eaten by fox and badger.
Put it behind you and tell yourself you have learned a lesson from it.
I would check sheep thoroughly every couple of days in hurdles if you don't have too many.

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2010, 01:56:47 pm »
Thats good advice Sylvia, I was caught with some fly strike this year, only noticed it because I round them up into hurdles every day or every other day, I saw the flys diving into the fleece,  evidently its only the green flys that lay the eggs and 3 to 4 days and the sheep is dead.  Its happened to all of us at some point I think, next year I will use the click so I wont have to treat every 6 weeks.

good luck
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

Pony-n-trap

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2010, 09:57:30 pm »
What you have described, I had exactly the same thing a couple of months ago, still had his eyes but no back end or innards.  I was thinking badger but neighbours up here in NE Scotland are convinced it is a big cat!!!

 

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