Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Tempting a ewe to eat  (Read 785 times)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Tempting a ewe to eat
« on: March 09, 2021, 07:03:06 pm »
I have a ewe that had a caesarean 48 hours ago- for the first 24 hrs she was eating well, but last 24 hrs off her food totally. Tried ivy, cut grass, coarse mix, nuts, hay, silage, barley. She picked straw when I bedded her pen tonight and has licked her lifeline lick half heartedly but that’s it. She’s retained her afterbirth and the vet saw her today for which she’s had a cocktail of anti inflammatory, calcium, glucose, vet only antibiotics, oxytocin and vitamins. But I need to get her eating and wondered if anyone had any grand ideas I've not tried yet  :thinking: 


landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 07:57:07 pm »
Carrots?
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2021, 07:58:10 pm »

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2021, 08:43:06 pm »
Our sheep love carrots - they squabble over them - but they have to be hand fed. They won't have them in a bucket lol!
Good luck with your ewe.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 08:55:53 pm »
Carrots, apples, bananas, grapes, brambles, willow, Christmas trees (if you can get them), willow herb if you've got any dried ones somewhere.  Dried grass or soaked grass nuts/sugarbeet, spring onions (yes really).  Gorse (that's been mashed up). 

Poor girl is probably feeling pretty miserable and sore at the moment.  Good luck with her!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2021, 11:38:42 pm »
I have tried making a porridge of digestive biscuits in water, then feeding into the side of the mouth, over the tongue, using a large bore syringe (no needle obviously) a little at a time.  Hold her chin up a little until she swallows.  The best type is a catheter tip syringe, the kind used for a lamb feeding tube.  Digestive biscuits will give her sugar and roughage, which might keep her rumen going. If she likes that then she will progress onto bits of biscuit, again pushed onto the back of her tongue, which have the added incentive of crunchiness.
If your trees are starting to break buds, she may take leaf buds and pussies from willow if you pick them for her, or stems of sprouting broccoli. I'm sorry I don't know where you are Twizzel, but you may have cow parsley leaves appearing, she should love those and clover.
These should start her wanting to eat again  :fc:  but I expect she's had enough for a while.
Is she passing urine, wind (both ends) and pellets? If not stand her every time you go to her.
Good luck.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 11:41:50 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 11:53:04 pm »
Turned her nose up at carrots  :roflanim:  chewed them up and spat them out. Won’t eat ivy or grass put into her mouth either.


She is drinking, urinating (I think), not really passing poo as she’s not eating anything to digest. I wouldn’t mind betting her rumen has packed up to be honest, it wasn’t moving much when the vet listened earlier. She has no problem standing, in fact she is stood nearly all the time. She just stands facing into a corner mostly. I think if no improvement in 48 hours I’ll have to put her down, sadly spent enough on what is already a cull ewe. Her lambs are taking a bottle readily  :unwell:


I’ll have a look for some cow parsley tomorrow.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 01:46:30 am »
A shock such as surgery can cause the rumen to stop functioning, so it is important to detect if she is burping or passing flatus. She won't eat if her rumen has stopped.  Put your ear against her side to listen for borborygmi (a grand word for bowel sounds) Try the digestives, even without making porridge if you are short of time, just in case they help.  Even if this ewe doesn't survive, it will be good practice for the next one you do want to survive. It's early days to give up on her.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 12:57:30 pm »
Went to the shop, forgot the biscuits  :roflanim: 


The vet suggested drenching with strong coffee which we’ve done, and is dropping out a sachet of off food powder so will mix that up later and give it her. She’s bright enough and wants her lambs, but just won’t eat. Apparently the caffeine in coffee kick starts the rumen and gets the guts going again, so hopefully will see some improvement soon.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 02:23:52 pm »
Fingers crossed for her (and you.)  It's a good sign she is interested in the lambs.  We had a ewe took a while to come right after a caesarian, the vet said to leave the lambs with her, even though we were having to bottle feed them, "to give her something to live for".
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

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 02:54:53 pm »
Fingers crossed for her (and you.)  It's a good sign she is interested in the lambs.  We had a ewe took a while to come right after a caesarian, the vet said to leave the lambs with her, even though we were having to bottle feed them, "to give her something to live for".


Absolutely. I let her out of her pen this morning for a leg stretch and she called and took her lambs with her. So that’s something I guess  :thinking:  I won’t take them away yet, just top them up which isn’t a problem to do.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 08:32:03 pm »
Has she had a good shot of B complex to stimulate appetite and Pro-Rumen to help gut flora?  Small amounts of anything are good at this point... grapes may be worth a shot.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 08:42:02 pm »
Has she had a good shot of B complex to stimulate appetite and Pro-Rumen to help gut flora?  Small amounts of anything are good at this point... grapes may be worth a shot.
She had neovit (vitamins) yesterday. Tonight she had 2 litres of off-feed drench which is specifically formulated to get the rumen up and running  :fc: 

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2021, 10:20:50 am »
Seems the coffee got her guts moving, and the off feed drench sorted her rumen... she's eating this morning and chewing her cud  :excited: :excited:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Tempting a ewe to eat
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 11:19:18 am »
Brilliant news!  I've never heard of giving them coffee before...  Possibly a safer source of caffeine to Irn Bru, which was what I had been going to suggest if she still wasn't right! 
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

 

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