Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sore teats :-/  (Read 10977 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2016, 11:00:15 pm »
Sadly I have to agree with MF - although there will always be exceptions, of course, so a small flock-keeper may decide to give a ewe another chance, and be prepared to monitor closely and take action if necessary.  In a commercial flock, it's pretty much always a bad idea to retain ones that have suffered such issues.

Which said, we know we sometimes lose track of one we've marked to go (illegible tag and marked neck wool fell off, for instance) and don't always have someone giving us that problem next year - which could suggest she's recovered.  Or that she's been culled anyway, selected out at pre-tupping inspection, perhaps, or was geld, or died. 

Which said, if your ewe was trying to rear triplets this year, you could decide to never let her rear more than two, and always take one off at 24 hours.

But.... My ewe who got mastitis when her second set of triplets proved too much for her (and she'd never allow me to top them up) appeared to have recovered - but every year thereafter until I saw sense, I ended up taking one of her twins off, because although her udder seemed fine, she clearly wasn't producing enough milk for two.
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

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2016, 12:07:06 am »

Hi Pharnorth, yes that does sound quite similar to what we had. We went for the nuclear option of removing and bottle feeding all lambs, keeping the ewe on restricted grazing and milking her twice a day, just enough to relieve the pressure. I'm sure a commercial farmer wouldn't have done that, but we decided it had the fewest downsides. I'm pleased to say that everything has deflated ok with no sign of mastitis, and the sores have healed (see the first pic attached). She still has a sore on that teat, but the chewed bit has healed up ok.


The other ewe's sores healed up ok. I'm still not sure if it was orf or not. One of her lambs had some small scabs on its nose, but only that lamb, which makes me think it could have been something else {any thoughts folks?}. She has ended up with really lumpy boobs though, which is not good (see second pic attached).

I do wonder if our problems this year were down to lambing too early (Easter onwards) before the grass had really come through. We had some pretty cr@P hay this winter, but up until three weeks ago the ewes were still munching it in preference to the grass, which I think tells us we messed up. The ewe who had problems lost a serious amount of back fat over the few weeks before and after lambing, so I think she possibly ran out of reserves just when the lambs needed the maximum amount of milk. {This is only my pet theory, so feel free to tell me this is a load of rubbish!} My current thinking for next year is to sponge the ewes for lambing over the early May Bank Holiday. Still to decide though.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2016, 01:06:29 am »
Well done on getting the ewes healed, or at least en route to.

You may well find that those lumps aren't palpable by pre-tupping checks, Womble.  I've seen worse disappear without trace.

Lambing onto poor grass is certainly a risk factor.  Were you feeding cake?

The one thing you can predict with certainty is that grass and weather defy prediction.  We've had super lambings in March, and dreadful ones later in April.  Early May really ought to be okay, though, I'd agree. 
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

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2016, 07:06:47 am »
> Were you feeding cake?
Yes. Possibly not enough though.

My logic for early May is that the grass should be through by then, but we should still get the lambs away on (mostly?) grass before winter. One interesting thing for me is watching what our neighbours do. They all lamb at different times, in different ways and for different target markets / times. One nice thing about being a smallholder is that by selling direct to our customers, hopefully we'll be able to keep our prices the same regardless of timing.

I predict that next year will be beautifully sunny from 15th March onwards, then May will bring torrential rain, sleet, hurricanes and hail :-\ 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 08:14:52 am by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2016, 07:09:04 am »
Really helpful advice everyone.  Thank you very much. I hear what you say regarding culling and will give it some careful thought.  She is a 4 year old ewe, I bought her 2 years ago she had already had one lamb and last year had a second single. This year she had twins.  I am inclined to agree with Womble's thoughts on grass. Mine lambed at Easter and it worked ok this year but the field I have post hay making this year is smaller and I have had a fair amount of hay supplementing the grass, but also some cake.  It may well have been bringing them in for 48 hours for the Shearer (see separate thread) that was the final straw. Next year I will keep a larger field available for them but it has just been sprayed with weed killer so no good right now.

The sore doesn't look as bad as Womble's ewe, I'll try and get a photo later. Part of my dilemma is I go away on holiday Monday. (Post lambing pre showing lull ha ha). I have an experienced friend who will keep it all going but need the right decisions now regarding the ewe so he is not left having to make decisions or unnecessary work if I can avoid it. I think it is either treat the sore and ask him to keep a careful eye on her or take the lambs off her today but if I do that they won't be getting top ups.  I can at least get the lambs on a small but lush paddock.  What would you do?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2016, 01:36:06 pm »
How old are the lambs, pharnorth?  And how long will you be away?

I'd hesitate to take lambs off when about to go away, and leave friend making sure ewe doesn't develop mastitis, I think.

But then, if you think she might develop mastitis from the continual irritation of the existing sore...   :thinking: ???
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

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2016, 06:44:09 pm »
This is all so hard!  It seems that there's so much luck (and some judgment) in working out what will or would be best for any particular ewe and her lambs....
Pharnorth, if no mastitis as yet you might consider getting your ewe injected with a long acting ab which will prevent any mastitis taking hold.... so that if the teats remain sore / open to infection whilst you're away, at least mastitis would be unlikely.  We have administered draxxin (from vet) to address this risk.... It has meant that we have been able to keep twins on our ewe, and we use sudocrem every other day now on her lesion.  We are not hugely hopeful that the lesion will properly heal whilst the lambs are with her, but so far she is managing to feed them both...
Her twin lambs did have orf, and her less damaged teat looks a little like Womble's 'improved' photo - we are regularly putting sudocrem on that one too.
Womble - who knows if your lamb had orf... but scabby above mouth and below nose does sound orf-ish.  We are still touching every available piece of wood for the fact that (so far) none of the rest of the flock have shown any signs of it, and it cleared up on the twin lambs a week or so ago...

As for predicting when the grass might grow - it seems that ours only only really started about two weeks ago - defying all our cunning plans to be able to offer relatively late lambing ewes fantastic grass... ho hum

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2016, 07:53:58 pm »
The lambs are 10 weeks. I am away for 18 days. It is still raw but the hard lump has gone, it all feels quite normal now behind the abrasion and she does not seem too uncomfortable with me touching today- yesterday she was clearly not happy.  The picture is just before I put udder cream on about an hour ago.  I will keep a close eye on her tomorrow she is quite an assertive ewe so I wouldn't be surprised if she has decided to wean the lambs herself as some milk but not lots. 

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2016, 09:45:44 am »
Yesterday the sore was somewhat improved. The second udder was dry or very nearly so and the damaged one had a pretty minimal amount of milk so I reckon she has self weaned so antiseptic cream, udder cream and leave them to it. Got my experienced friend checking he over the next few days.  Note to self do a better job on grass management next year.  I reckon it was the 48 hours in waiting for the Shearer finished it off for her as she thought she was weaning!  Just ended up with a lot of seedy fleece so won't make that mistake next year either. I'll just invent soma more mistakes I guess.

Red

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2016, 11:06:50 am »
Sorry haven't been on here for a few weeks as too many jobs to do with my flock! So we've had score teats before and I washed the udder with a soft spong, warm water and liquid paraffin, worked a treat as provided comfort and helps to soften the skin when cracked, I then covered in sudocreme with a few drops of lavender oil and gently massage in everyday for a good week, result was happy ewe and really soft and mended udder ... Naturally took the lambs off and put in a pen next to the mum so no stress and plenty of cool fresh water to drink.
Red

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2017, 07:57:53 am »
It's happening again, dammit!!  The same ewe, but caught early this time. She just has the start of what looks like a cut or teeth marks on the udder. She has three lambs, three weeks old and seems to have plenty of milk for them.

What to do..... what to do....?  :-\
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2017, 08:59:40 am »
Have you checked the lambs for misaligned jaws?  A year on her milk production ability will likely have declined somewhat.  Could be staph. dermatitis again - sort of thing that's around anyway and likely to kick in when the ewe's immune system is lowered post-lambing.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2017, 09:53:37 am »
if your ewe was trying to rear triplets this year, you could decide to never let her rear more than two, and always take one off at 24 hours.

But.... My ewe who got mastitis when her second set of triplets proved too much for her (and she'd never allow me to top them up) appeared to have recovered - but every year thereafter until I saw sense, I ended up taking one of her twins off, because although her udder seemed fine, she clearly wasn't producing enough milk for two.

:(

It looks like the lambs don't agree with you that she has plenty of milk for them.  And/or they're very greedy, and/or she has weak teats.

Are you feeling cake? 

I don't know what the grass situation up there is, but we've got nothing down here in North Cornwall :(.  Mid May and we're still feeding hay :(
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

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2017, 10:18:17 am »
Yes, I think you're probably right Sally.

Our grass isn't what I'd want it to be - plenty of sun, but no rain in weeks, so it just hasn't grown. We also couldn't put them in the best field until yesterday because the builders needed access.

I was SO hoping not to have any bottle lambs this year too  :-\ .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2017, 04:38:01 pm »
We only ever left triplets on two ewes one year - it ruined them, udders were never the same again.  We will never leave three on again.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

 

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