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Author Topic: Soft poo  (Read 2113 times)


  • Joined Mar 2017
Soft poo
« on: February 27, 2018, 09:09:05 pm »
First time sheepkeeper here, so apologies in advance for the usual newb questions.

I have two pregnant ewes (both with twins). I’ve had them nearly two weeks now. Their due date isn’t clear, could be imminent, or mid March-ish.

Up til now both have been fine, eating well, learning to come to the bucket. Very keen to eat their “cake”. And normal poos.

This morning one came to feed as normal but the other stayed lying down. I approached her and she got up but seemed lame and ran with some stiffness and a limp. She couldn’t be tempted to eat her cake. Even when scattered on the ground she sniffed it but didn’t eat it.

I called the vet who advised me to bring them both into the barn for a couple days, and prescribed glucose drench, calcium injection and an anti-inflammatory injection (as she had a touch of foot rot which was treated last week with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory by the vet). I administered all as instructed. The ewe very quickly began eating fresh hay. The vet said maybe she was close to lambing, but no one’s really sure.

When I was bringing the ewes in, I noticed some softer pats of poo, a sort of olive green colour, but didn’t know who’d done it. A short while ago I decided to look at both of their lady bits to see if they were swelling up, and check their teats and discovered the ewe that was off her food this morning has a pooey bum. Soft and sticky rather than runny.

Any suggestions?  Do I need to call the vet again? And what’s the best way to clean her bum? It’s very sticky and pooey under her tail (she has a long tail). Sorry for the long post!


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 10:55:01 pm »
Is she eating again now then?

How much cake have you been giving them?  I'm no expert, but I wonder if you might have overdone it and caused acidosis?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 10:57:19 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined May 2010
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 11:25:09 pm »
For cleaning her bum, dag off the worst bits, then a bucket of warm water and a cloth/sponge helps, right up under her tail.  Once she's clean keep her that way so she's not contaminating the lambs when they're being born.

How much hard feed were they getting before they came to you? And how much now?  A sudden increase isn't good, rather it should be increased gradually to the right amount.  What breeds are they?
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 06:25:37 am »
They are badger faced (torddu) sheep.

She is eating now. She’s been happily munching hay and even nibbling straw from a clean bale I put nearby to use but didn’t need.

I have a 500ml plastic measuring jug that I scoop the cake with. The farm where I got them from told me to give them a “handful” each twice a day. The vet, who I had out the second day after I got them, told me to feed them just under half a jug each, twice a day, which is an increase over my size of hand full, but I have no idea what they had before as the farmer scattered them on the ground in the field.

I ensure they only eat their share by giving them separate buckets. Yesterday because I scattered the pellets for the poorly ewe, I suspect the other one at both portions so I skipped their full evening portion. But did give them a tiny bit directly from my hand as a way of bonding with them (they are slowly learning to not be scared of me - baby steps). But mostly they just ate hay. They have fresh water too.

The drench (net tex twin lamb) was meant to be given twice yesterday but as she had a messy bum, and was up and happily eating, I decided not to stress her out and do a second drench.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 06:28:15 am by SafeHaven »


  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 06:41:59 am »
For info, I bought a bag of the feed they were already on from the farmer, for continuity. (Super Ewe Extra Rolls Plus)


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2018, 07:42:32 am »
Worms.  Sheep get a rise in worm numbers in the two weeks before lambing.  This could cause runny poo.

Badger Nadgers

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Derbyshire/North Staffs
  • Teeswater & Hebridean
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 09:07:52 am »
Worms.  Sheep get a rise in worm numbers in the two weeks before lambing.  This could cause runny poo.

As could feeding onthe ground, albeit less so for rolls than corn.  Pop it in a trough or similar and they're not eating dirt.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 09:52:31 am »
My BF's are due to begin lambing on Sunday.  Single bearers are getting 250g twice a day, twin bearers 450g.  If not scanned it's probably better to feed a single ration then bump it up if they produce twins, rather than risk a big single.  If on hay and hard feed the faeces should be quite hard and dark brown. 


  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 10:18:24 am »
They are both scanned with twins. I think poos are firmed up today. I had a look this morning but will have a proper look around when I get back after lunchtime.

I’ll weigh out an amount of the feed and mark it on the measuring jug. Thanks for the guidance. :)


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2018, 12:54:38 pm »
Olive green in colour suggests she has eaten something green  , if she had overeaten the nuts then you would be looking at sandy /grey coloured same as the nuts


  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Soft poo
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 05:22:13 pm »
I examined the sheep in question and the soft poo from yesterday had dried up. I was able to pull a lot off with my hands, and trimmed what I could. She seems back to her normal self now. She didn’t finish her cake this morning but she had just had the twin lamb drench. I’m wondering if that affects her appetite? Anyway, I washed her backside as best I could with warm water. She’s all clean now, and there are no soft poos in the barn. (I brought them in yesterday on advice from the vet).


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