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Author Topic: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?  (Read 2419 times)

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« on: April 07, 2019, 09:27:57 am »
Hi, Id be very grateful for some advice from you good people. Ive had a ewe who lambed twins nearly 3 weeks ago now. All was well after lambing, I kept her and her twins in for 3 days to make sure all was well as in the past this ewe has rejected one of her twins. All seemed fine, they were turned out with the other ewes and lambs. 10 days post lambing noticed her looking very down and lethargic in the field, brought her in and called the vet who diagnosed metritis and mastitis, vaginal discharge and very cold quarter of the udder. Kept her in a pen with her twins outside and bottle fed them.

She has now had 10 days of synulux, some norflor and pain relief and is looking much brighter, talking to her lambs and picking at fresh cut grass, hay and a few nuts. The black quarter of her udder is obviously going to slough off but the good quarter has milk.

My question is, although vet is coming tomorrow to check her over and I can talk to them about it then but would you think she could be turned out with her lambs which I could continue to top up with milk in the field or should I keep them separated? Many thanks in advance.  :wave:

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 10:26:28 am »
If sheís only got 1 quarter working Iíd take a lamb off and just turn her out with 1- hopefully that wonít be too difficult if youíve been topping them up anyway. If sheís finished the synulox and is bright in herself Iíd turn her out but keep an eye on the bad quarter for flies when it sloughs off. Then cull her once the lamb is weaned.


I had a ewe with mastitis about 3 weeks after lambing last year- topped the lambs up whilst she was treated and she got milk back in the infected quarter. Turned her out with 2 but they were the worst lambs of the group due to the setback. Interestingly her udder was fine at weaning and tupping so we took a chance and tupped her as cull price was on the floor... she had triplets (adopted one onto another ewe) got an infection in one teat and her lambs are again the worst in the field. So lesson learnt she will go cull and mastitis is now a 1 strike and cull affair.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 10:50:05 am »
Just to check I'm reading this right, the lambs have been separated from her for 10 days and drinking from a bottle?

I'm not sure I would put the lambs back in with her. Have you been milking her un-infected quarter out? If you haven't I would of thought it would be drying up after 10 days and I'm not sure she'd let the lambs drink.
Even if she does, it'd be preferable to only let one lamb back in with her so you'd be left with one orphan?


I think I'd wait until she's recovered, dried up and cull the ewe, raising the lambs myself.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 11:31:49 pm »
If you havenít any other bottle lambs, then I would definitely leave them both with her and top them up in the field.  Personally Iíd probably do that anyway if itís not too much extra work. 

Keep topping up at least twice a day and wean early, otherwise they might become a bit aggressive in seeking milk from her and cause another bout of mastitis. 

I did not read your post to say that the lambs were not still with her, so my answer assumes they are still with her and feeding.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 01:23:13 pm »
Thanks for the advice. Vet was very pleased with the ewe but we both felt she would be happier out in the paddock so Ive turned her out today and she is much better, grazing and looking after her lambs (they were separated from her by hurdles when she was inside as when she was very unwell, they were virtually knocking her over, trying to feed). Her good quarter is still producing some milk but I am planning to top the lambs up in the field.

Bit worried about one of the lambs who the vet felt had a low grade infection, he's not wanting milk very much from the bottle and looking hunched up, although is trying to feed from ewe in the field. He's had antibiotics. I might bring the family in at night so they don't get too cold and then both lamb and mum are due for more antibiotics tomorrow before I turn them out again. Do you think that's doable?

Sorry, forgot to say, havent got any other bottle lambs so difficult to only keep one lamb on her, all my other ewes have lambed now too, so no prospect of fostering one on. Will definitely cull her once lambs are weaned but just want to get her and them through this first.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 01:25:53 pm by lesbri »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 06:12:59 pm »
Itís completely doable to bring the family in overnight and turn out by day, yes.  Iíve reared many families this way.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 11:51:24 am »
Plan seems to be working apart from had trouble catching mum and lambs to bring them in for the night yesterday! So new plan is to make a smaller area with hurdles within the paddock so they will hopefully be easier to catch. Mum is much happier outside and is grazing nicely.

Im going to continue bottle feeding lambs first thing in the morning, last thing at night and midday in the field until mum's udder sloughs off and heals as she is on antibiotics every 3 days until that happens. Ill keep them in at night unless we get some warmer weather and then plan to integrate them back into the flock once the udder is healed, bottle feeding lambs once or twice a day as they need. Phew, hope this works out!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 12:32:34 pm »
Could be weeks or months before the udder heals well enough to sell

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 02:31:11 am »
Could be weeks or months before the udder heals well enough to sell

Was about to write the same.  My experience is itís usually a couple of months or so
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2019, 02:17:19 pm »
Hi, updating on this - its been working well having the ewe out on grass with her lambs - she is looking much better and udder gradually sloughing off, still on antibiotics every 3 days.

Ive been bottle feeding the lambs, the ewe lamb is going great, taking 2 full bottles a day very well also picking at hay, grass and creep. The ram lamb has never taken milk very well, he's had 2 lots of antibiotics and pain relief from the vet now but although he is also picking at food, still doesnt take much milk, maybe 50-75 ml twice a day reluctantly. He always looks as if he has a full belly but he looks very poor and hunched up falling very much behind his sister and you can see his spine and hips easily.

I dont know whether its worth further investigations or just see if he picks up. His mum loves him much more than his sister and he still tries to feed from her. They are nearly 6 weeks old now so I had hoped he would have improved by how if he was going to. Anyone any thoughts?  TIA. 

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2019, 03:55:35 pm »
Why do you need to keep giving AB'S when the worst is over , I would just be spraying with blue spray to keep dry and still antiseptic , may need to cover with crovect as the flies will be attracted . You are describing a pot bellied poor thriving lamb from lack of milk , he may improve once he eats more grass or maybe not

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2019, 05:58:20 pm »
Thanks Shep, the vet advised me to carry on with the antibiotics every 3 days until the udder had completely sloughed off and healed. The flies are starting to bother her so I bought some Net tex fly repellent and will try to get some blue spray from the vet., Ive only got purple. My shearer is coming in mid-May so was trying to avoid Crovect if possible but he has said if I need to use it to go ahead.

Do you think its worth still trying to catch the ram lamb twice a day to try and get a little milk down him? The ewe lamb comes racing over for her bottle but he won't. Im thinking if he's taking so little milk is it worth it?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2019, 08:04:52 pm »
As said above it may take a long time to heal back to pink flesh , so your not going to keep up the ab's for maybe months ? When I said  crovect I meant on the damaged area only  if you see flies bothering her , this is why I would blue spray her to dry up and protect or  pine tar spray is another good product that does the same    (  blue spray from vet only , pine tar from your local ag shop ) . The lamb is about 5wks old now so probably not good to stress it  trying to catch for so little milk intake .

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2019, 08:32:29 pm »
Thanks, that makes sense. The vet had told me the udder should be healed in 2-3 weeks but I can see now that will be far from the case. Ill stop the antibiotics now and just keep an eye on the udder for flies etc. and get some blue spray to help dry it up. Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Recovering ewe, when to turn out?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2019, 12:23:36 pm »
Just to outline gangrenous mastitis/black bag  for everyone -- the quarter goes cold and hard turning motley  then black and blue and finally black , the black skin dries out and cracks exposing  pus .  The black skin falls away leaving fleshy lumps  attatched by tubes which can often bleed when sheep runs and knocks it , this can take months to get to a fleshy lump with no bleeding or pus , so you need to watch and protect from black and blow flies

 

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