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Author Topic: sheep sicking up its hard feed.  (Read 1013 times)

jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« on: December 25, 2021, 03:16:16 pm »
hello, I am Jemma and new here so not to sure how to do all this!!

I have 6 sheep and this will be my first time doing lambing. I have had them all since orphans 2 of them are 3 years, 1 is 2 year and other 3 are this years lambs.
One of this years lambs seems to be sicking up its hard feed (ewe nuts and small amount of sugar beet) just don't know why it is? Am I giving it too much? it has always been the 'weaker one' but don't know if that's anything to do with it.

Don't know if anyone else has experienced this but would love to know why it is!?

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2021, 10:46:35 am »
Hi  :wave:


It could be too much food, a problem with teeth, having eaten something toxic...tbh we can give you any number of reasons but we would be stabbing in the dark. If it has happened once it is possible that it ate too fast on that occasion but any ongoing problem needs a vet. I would remove access to hard feed until you have sought vets advice. 

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2021, 10:49:51 am »
Some times a sheep eats to fast and a nut/roll gets stuck and then they can look quite scary jumping up off the ground with all 4 feet or just the front feet , tons of  drool and lots of head shaking with sometimes grunting noises until they dissolve or dislodge the item  .   Or if there is a problem with a slack tooth then feed can be  dribbled out the side of there mouth . Sheep only truly vomit when they have eaten large amouts of a poisenous plant such as Rhodadendrum

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2021, 12:48:01 pm »
Hello and welcome Gemma.
You don't say what breed your sheep are, but I'm wondering if nuts are not just too big for your hogg? You could try pencils or coarse mix if the problem continues and the vet doesn't have any answers. Another advantage of smaller feed is it takes them longer to eat it, so keeps them occupied in winter. I never use nuts for my Hebrideans.  I have also never used dried sugar beet - do you soak it first?  As a non-user I don't know if soaking is best, but others can advise on that. Or is it whole beets to gnaw on?
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jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2021, 04:33:13 pm »
Hello, they are all just texal crosses! In with a texal ram.
When I brought the sugar beet they said you only hav to soak it for horse but hav a feeling my sheep won't eat it if I soak it!!! I think I will start just putting it on the grass not in the trough because they will eat slower with it on the grass....thanks for all the help :)

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2021, 05:48:46 pm »
Understand you're new, but you're brave if you have this year's lambs running with a texel tup. Texels aren't the easiest to lamb due to their heads and I wouldn't lamb this year's lambs, I would give them a year before running with the tup. But that's me.

I have lambed year olds, by accident, never again. They lamb at 2 here.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2021, 05:57:33 pm »
I have borrowed the ram off a friend and he has never had a problem with the lambs getting there heads stuck so hopefully it will go okay!!🤞 I have put the lambs in but they were really early in the year lambs and they are a good size I did ask a few people before I put them in and they said they would put them in so 🤷...... can't really do anything about it now!!!! 😬

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2021, 07:46:14 pm »
Understand you're new, but you're brave if you have this year's lambs running with a texel tup. Texels aren't the easiest to lamb due to their heads and I wouldn't lamb this year's lambs, I would give them a year before running with the tup. But that's me.

I have lambed year olds, by accident, never again. They lamb at 2 here.


Everyone screwed up their faces when we bought some pedigree limousin heifers in calf to a pedigree limmy bull. “Have the vet on speed dial”, “you’ll be lucky to get their calves out alive” were some of the remarks. Calved easier than most of our crossbred cows  :innocent:  not really much the OP can do about ram choice now is there?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2021, 08:41:47 pm »
No, but it's not too late to make sure they don't get overfed while pregnant, resulting in bigger lambs and possibly even narrowing of the birth canal, compounding the issue.

With older Texel type ewes going to a Texel tup, many farmers wouldn't cake much while pregnant if possible, to avoid the overlarge lambs issue.  But depending on where you are, it can be a challenge to keep the ewe from getting twin lamb disease and to also have enough input to ensure a good milk supply.

It's even more tricky with hoggs, who are still growing and so must be fed sufficiently while pregnant.

If at all possible, it is very much worth getting the ewes scanned, and probably not feeding any carrying singles, or you could well end up with very large lambs that are a struggle to get out.

But back to your original question, ruminants can't actually vomit at all, so it sounds to me as though it's that she's ejecting food she can't swallow.  Possibly because it's too dry, or the nuts are too big to swallow but competition at the trough means she's trying to wolf down as much as she can as fast as she can.

When using sugar beet shreds, we always soak them thoroughly in at least the same volume of water, and for several hours, be they for ruminants or equines.  (They will swell to more than twice the size at some point, and inside the rumen or gut if a greedy sheep or horse has eaten too many of them can cause bloat / impaction, with disastrous consequences.  So I prefer they do their swelling up before ingestion.)   Then mix the soaked shreds with the hard feed before putting it in the trough, so that the whole feed is moist, which will help with the swallowing.  And ensure there is plenty of room at the trough so that all the sheep can eat at the same time without the bully sheep hogging it all.  (Which usually means two or three times the length of trough that you think you should need!  Or as you say, spread it out in a long line on the grass, but again, making sure every sheep can eat at the same time, without being bullied off.)

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

jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2021, 09:45:37 pm »
Wow thanks for that is a real help!😊👍👍

jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2021, 10:03:04 pm »
Would anyone know of a sheep scanner near Berkshire??

Nikkijw

  • Joined Apr 2020
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2022, 09:04:58 am »
Hello, i have a similar sounding problem with one of my hand reared orphans. He eats just a few mouthfulls then shakes head, stamps feet & frothy dribble & food flicked out everywhere. Vet thinks its a reflux issue. Mine seems to be best on our local farmers home grown corn mix. He is 2 now & super apart from that issue. Hope you get to the bottom of it, good luck

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2022, 08:24:54 pm »
Would anyone know of a sheep scanner near Berkshire??


With only 6 sheep it is not economic to get a scanner in. It is more important to get a live lamb without problems caused by one that's too big.  Although I used to do pregnancy scanning - with only 10 ewes to lamb I don't get them scanned now. However I feed best quality hay and they have access 24/7 to a Rumenco high energy and protein feed block.  That way they can take what extra they need from the feed block without the potential of overfeeding those carrying singles. I get decent sized, vigorous lambs from this system. The ewes have plenty of milk and those with twins can then be fed extra once lambed if necessary. The economies of feeding the ewes according to how many lambs carried are greatly exceeded by the  cost of scanning such a small number, and since using a suitable the feed block, I haven't had a case of twin lamb disease for a couple of decades.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

jemma.gibson

  • Joined Dec 2021
Re: sheep sicking up its hard feed.
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2022, 09:57:30 pm »
Thank you for all you help, she is doing a lot better now since soaking the sugar beet and hasn't sick any up since.....and thanks for all the help with before lambing things!!!

 

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