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Author Topic: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?  (Read 1877 times)

ShroppySheep

  • Joined Apr 2018
Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« on: April 15, 2018, 05:59:17 pm »
Hello .... new to here.
Having messed up the ewes vaccinations this year pre-lambing, what can I vaccinate the lambs with prior to docking/castrating?
Our first lamb is 5 days old now and Iím basically freaking out as was told to castrate/dock by 5-7 days?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 09:12:58 am »
If the ewes had been vaccinated in previous years they will still have produced antibodies, just not quite as many as if they'd had a booster.

So you can't vaccinate until the youngest lamb is three weeks old or you will interfere with the maternal protection.

If you have any cades, you could vaccinate them at two weeks I would think.

You'll need to ring sooner than that, yes.  Most of us like to do that around day 3 or 4, so long as the testicles have dropped.
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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 10:14:14 am »
Lambs must be ringed within seven days of birth.  If the ewes had their vaccination booster within one month of lambing the antibodies in their colostrum will protect the lambs for several weeks.  Our lambing period started on 4th March and ended three weeks later.  I will be giving all the lambs their first dose of Ovivac P Plus on 22nd April and the second four weeks later.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 11:19:42 am »
Our first lamb is 5 days old now and Iím basically freaking out as was told to castrate/dock by 5-7 days?


I'm not sure we're understanding your question properly, @ShroppySheep ?  What I mean is, I don't think there is any link between castrating / docking and vaccination at all - they are two entirely separate activities in my book?


As the others have said, castrating / docking (if using an elastrator) must be done within the first week of life.  However, Heptavac / Ovivac must not be given before the lambs are at least three weeks old.


If I were you, I'd ring them now, and then give them their first vaccination once they get to three weeks old, followed by their second vaccination 4-6 weeks later.

Does that help?  :thinking:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

ShroppySheep

  • Joined Apr 2018
Re: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 11:37:30 am »
the Heptavac covers for tetanus right so lambs are meant to be covered for vaccines before docking etc just in case? Turns out I was reading a NZ article which says if the ewe wasn't given booster 4 weeks before lambing then the lambs can have Lamb Vaccine at docking ... but we don't have lamb vaccine over here and they seem to dock later by what I can gather?

Spoke to the vet and she's said the lambs should be ok just keep an eye and vaccinate at 3 weeks and dock/castrate as normal.

We only have a small flock and some of them aren't due the booster yet so they will pass on some anti-bodies.

I think I just made the mistake of reading some info on the internet and basically it told me if all my ewes hadn't had the vaccine 4 weeks before lambing all the lambs will die, and I panicked a little!

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Vaccinating Lambs - what to give at docking?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 12:53:18 pm »
Because they are run extensively in new Zealand, thousands of sheep, they are now likely to do surgical docking (cutting the tails off) rather than rubber rings within the first week, leaving open wounds that are at risk of tetanus, but the lambs will generally be old enough that mum's antibodies have worn off, so vaccinating and docking can be done together.
If unsure, doctor Google may give you answers that aren't appropriate to your situation, your best bet for a vaccination/flock health plan is your vet as they will usually know most about local conditions and can help you tailor any treatments to your specific situation (number, type of sheep, land, local conditions).
I'm glad you've made contact with your vet, do discuss with them regarding ongoing treatment, hope all goes well.

 
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