Monday, November 18, 2013

Hoof Care


Hoof care is extremely important for the well being of your flock. Sheep with hoof problems will fail to thrive and meet their full genetic potential. Hooves should be regularly checked for overgrowth and disease.

The diseases affecting the hoof are foot rot, foot scald, foot abscess, foot and mouth disease, bluetounge, soremouth and laminitis.

The condition of the hoof depends on the breed of sheep,the genetics, the farm management and the soil condition.

Lameness in a sheep is a sign of several foot conditions many that are serious.

A perfect hoof should be flat at the bottom and have a boxy shape.

Sheep grazed on rocky dry land usually need less hoof care than those grazed on moist rock less land. Sheep in high rainfall areas will need their hoofs checked more regularly.

The two most common disease of the foot in sheep are footrot and scald.

Foot rot is responsible for 90% of lameness in sheep. A rotting smell of the foot is a sign of footrot

Ewes that have excessive hoof growth have their health jeopardised. They are of high risk of developing arthritis, joint and tendon problems. Some ewes need regular hoof trimming depending on where they graze.
Avoid the trimming of ewes hooves that are in late gestation.


How To Trim The Hoof

A pair of hoof trimmers are used to trim the hooves.
The sheep should be restrained, you can do this by placing them on their rump  in the shearing position.
You can also use the tilting squeeze table. The sheep is tilted on its side while being restrained.
There is also the sheep deck chair. Which  makes the job alot easier.

We trim the hoof so that the hoof matches the angle of the coronary band. At the end of  trimming the bottom of the foot should be parallel to the coronary band.

Avoid trimming too deep. This can lead to bleeding, lameness and infections. If there is bleeding, hold up the foot and apply blood loss powder. A tetanus should be given if there is excessive bleeding. The foot should be kept free of debris for a few days and monitored.

You need to remove any excess debris from the foot.
The toe and the outside hoof wall are trimmed down to where fresh sole can be seen and the bottom of the foot is parallel to the coronary band. Stop trimming once you see the first sign of pinkness. You trim from the heel to the toe.
Do not leave the toes too long or too short.
Take off small amounts of hoof wall and toe at a time to prevent mistakes.

The inside wall of the hoof can also be trimmed. It should be trimmed a little bit lower than the outside wall.  The heel regions may need to be trimmed. A plane is  used to help even up the surfaces and remove any dead sole.
The sheep's dew claws should  be trimmed, don't trim too deep as this can lead to a heavy bleed.
When you have both sides done check to see that the sheep has correct foot balance.

Remember dry brittle hooves are difficult to trim so let the sheep stand in a moist area for a while before you start the trimming. Water softens the hooves making them easier to trim.




Footrot

With adequate farm management your flock should not suffer from footrot. Huge profit loss will be suffered from flocks inflicted with footrot.
Footrot is an extremely painful and devastating disease when left untreated. Your sheep will be very affected by this disease. There will be weight loss and lameness in the sheep.
When both front legs are affected the sheep will walk on its knees a shameful sight.
With footrot there is a distinctive rotting smelling discharge.

Footrot is caused by two bacteria Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacterioides nodusus along with environmental conditions that aid their growth. Both need to be present to cause the footrot.


The environmental conditions that aid the footrot  are mud, warmth and poor sanitation.
Infected sheep spread the disease. The Flock may become infected when new sheep are brought into the flock. You must ensure that the infection is dealt with or there will be reinfection. The nodusus bacteria stays in the soil for up to 21 days.
Fusobacterium can live in the hoof for 10 to 14 days. Sheep trucks can be contaminated with footrot and spread the infection.

Diagnosis

Lameness is a major sign of footrot but may not be  in the early stages of the disease. The area between the toes becomes moist and red. The infection attacks the sole of the hoof  weakening and separating horny tissues. Both feet can be infected and there will be the  characteristic foul smell.
Contact your vet to get a definite diagnosis as footrot can be confused with other diseases such as abscesses and footscald.

Prevention

Proper sheep management at all times.
Never transport sheep in a truck that has not been cleaned and disinfected.
Trim the feet of new members to the flock and monitor them closely for the first 30 days or so also keep them isolated from the flock for 30 days.
Don't use facilities where infected footrot sheep have been for at least 2 weeks.
Don't buy sheep from an infected flock that seem unaffected.

Treatment

Footbathing, you can use a walk through foot bath or a stand in foot bath for 5 to 10 minutes.

A strong antibiotic treatment as provided by the vet.

Foot trimming when possible to remove the infected parts of the hoof, this reduces the area where the bacteria can hide. Do not use trimming as your only treatment as this could increase the severity of the disease.

Dry chemicals can be used. Zinc sulphate can be placed in a box and the sheep walk through it. This will not cure the sheep but it will decrease the spread of the footrot.

Topical medications after the trimming of the hooves.

Oral therapy such as zinc sulphate  0.5gram for 21 days can help in the treatment and prevention.












Friday, September 27, 2013

Predators On The Sheep Farm


Many farmers experience high and costly livestock loss every year from farm predators. It has become unpopular to use poison and traps so many alternative solutions have been introduced.
If a farm has had predator loss it will more than likely have repeat offences this is why good farm management is needed in order to eliminate predator loss.

If you find a dead sheep or lamb on your land you first need to understand weather it was predation or scavenging. Was the sheep killed by a predator or did it die off something else and was scavenged.
You need to become an amateur  CSI detective and look for clues to deter weather  it was predation or scavenging.
The key clue is the blood on the carcass and the kill site. Bleeding can only occur before or shortly after death. Hemorrhaging and subsequent bruising will not appear on a sheep that has been scavenged. In extra woolly sheep you may need to shave the neck to check for tooth punctures and bruises.
In relation to a new born lamb if you want to deter weather it was killed by a predator or stillborn you will need to figure out weather it breathed, walked or drank before it was eaten.

Did the lamb walk? The soft membrane on the lambs feet wears of quickly if the membrane is intact then more than likely the lamb was still born or died shortly after birth.

Did the lamb breath? If the lamb has breathed the lungs will be pink, light and spongy and will float in water.
The lungs of a stillborn lamb will be a dark purple red colour and will sink when placed in water.

Did the lamb drink? There will be milk in the lambs stomach if the lambs drank. You can also check to see if the plug is still intact on the ewes teat.

Another  indicator of a predator attack is if the flock are  more nervous that usual.

Are there signs of a struggle, drag marks, predator droppings or hair.





Sheep have many predators coyotes dogs, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, lynxes, eagle's foxes wolves ravens vultures. In Ireland the main threat are dogs and foxes and of course the knackers who steal other peoples sheep what you might call sheep rustlers. Your sheep may be taking a trip up north.You will know that the predator was of a human kind when you see an empty field.

Here are some tips on who the culprits are.
If a dog has done the killing here are some tell tale signs.
  • Wounds to numerous live sheep on areas other than the neck and head.
  • Clumps off wool strewn around the field.
  • Splintered bones may be left behind and torn ragged tissue.
  • Usually skin and muscle will be ripped from the flank, hind quarters and head.
  • Sheep will be very nervous after a dog attack as the dog attack will be long in duration usually more than 1 dog with alot of chasing and fooling around.
  • Dog attacks are usually long, drawn out and are inefficient.
  • Dogs usually attack from the side or rear with wounds on other parts of the body.
  • If there are more than 2 or 3 sheep killed then it is more than likely a dog attack. Dogs attack usually for fun not for food they enjoy the chase and harassment of the attack therefore there are more injuries and deaths to the sheep over a larger area.
  • Dogs will attack sheep of any age.
  • Dogs rarely eat or move their kill they may chew on the carcass if they do eat it will be from the outside in.
  • Droppings may also give clues to who did the kill.

LIVESTOCK GUARDING DOG
The Fox on the kill
  • The fox is not hunting for fun like the dog he wants a good meal from his efforts. The fox enjoys small prey such as young lambs and kids but if it has to it will go after larger prey like sheep. 
  • Foxes attack the throat of their prey but sometimes kill with multiple bites to throat and back.
  • The red fox is more likely than the gray fox to kill lambs
  • Foxes do not have the strength to hold down larger animals so repeated bites are what are used to subdue larger animals
  • Foxes prefer the viscera and start feeding behind the ribs
  • Many prefer the tongue and nose and eat the head of small kills
  • Foxes may bring the small lamb to their den to feed their young
  • Foxes rarely cause severe damage to bone of the kill



Predator Control

Non lethal predator control is the most humane system to protect your livestock and reduces the risks of harming your own pets and stock.

Fencing
A fence can act as a system to keep your stock in and the predators out. The problem is that many predators can jump dig squeeze their way past your fence.
You can use woven wire fences and electric fences.

Frightening devices
Frightening devices are used to ward off potential predators. Usually predators are fearful of  sudden noises and this will deter them from entering your field.
There is the electronic guard which uses two scare tactics, light and sound.

Life stock guardians.
Life stock guardians are becoming more popular. There are life stock guardian dogs, donkeys and llams.

Translocation
This is the capture of the predator and the release of it in an area where it can do no harm.

Farm Management
If you have new born lambs its best to keep them in a shed for at least 24 hours as they are easy prey for the fox and other predators.
You have a risk of losing newborn lambs if they are left out to pasture too early.
You should bring the lambs and ewes in at night to the shed or nearby.
Don't have your new lambs in areas where the predators can hide and stalk your prey. Such as wooded areas, hills, creeks etc.

Pet lambs are at more of a risk of predation as they are more trusting and not as nervous.

There needs to be regualar inspection of the sheep.

Take note of your sheeps behaviour are they broken up into groups, are they nervous.

Check on your sheep at different times of the day

Bells on a number of the sheep in the flock

Ensure that you discard of any dead animals on the farm as the carcass will attract unwanted predator attention to your farm.

Plastic collars
The collars cover the sheep or lambs cheek and underside of the neck. This protects the neck where most predators do their kill from.

Prevention is very importenat as if the predator gets one kill it will come back again and again.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What Sheep Eat




Sheep are part of the ruminate classification of animals. Like cows they have 4 chambers in their stomach. Sheep are mostly grazers.

At birth the lambs rumen and reticulum are  not yet functional. They start to nibble on dry feed which stimulates the development of the rumen and reticulum. This is why the lamb needs to eat creep feed.
At around 2 weeks old the lamb can be introduced to the creep feed. Creep feed is highly digestible for the lamb, it is feed that has been ground, cracked, rolled, pelleted for the lamb. Lambs cannot digest whole grain this is why they need creep feed. At around 60 days old their rumen and reticulum are fully functional. The lambs that are fed creep will have quicker rumen development than the lambs that are only feeding on forage.

Sheep are natural grazers, they eat grass, forbs, clover  hay, silage and weeds. When you are introducing grain to sheep and lambs you must do it slowly. They will produce too much lactic acid which can be fatal for the sheep if they eat too much grain or if they are introduced to grain feed too quickly.

Sheep love forbs, it is their first choice when they are out  pasture grazing . Forbs are  flowering plantS. Sheep will graze on the pasture for about 7 hours a day. They also consume alot of water they must always have access to fresh water.

Sheep are fed grains as a supplementary feed. Grains are the seed part of cereal crops such as oats barley corn. The grains are usually fed to pregnant ewes, ewes that have young lambs and when a ewe needs to put on weight.

Whole grain is better for the sheep than processed grain. They will have less stomach upsets with the whole grain.
Sheep chew the cud.Chewing the cud is when a food bolus is regurgitated, rechewed and reswallowed.

Sheep are also fed supplementary minerals that are purchased in farm supply shops to make up for anything lacking in their diet. Supplementary minerals can be fed in a powder form or from a mineral lick bucket. The mineral lick bucket is convenient as the sheep can take a lick when they feel the need.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Care of Sheep With Horns


 
 
Some breads of sheep have horns. There are breads where just the rams have horns and others where the ram and ewe have them.
The sheep's horns will grow throughout their life with most growth during the first three years of their life.
The horn has blood flowing through it and will bleed alot if cut. The sheep's horns curl and spiral. Partial horns are called scurs. Many are of the opinon that the horns give more beauty to the sheep.

You must be extra careful when dealing with horned sheep. A puck from a horned sheep can do more damage than a polled headed sheep.
Don't bend over when feeding or maintaining the horned sheep, even the quiet sheep are capable of an unpredicted attack.
There must be care and maintenance done with the horns of the sheep.
The horned sheep can get themselves into trouble by getting their horns stuck in fences, feeders and trees. This can be distressing for the sheep if caught too long. It can put their lives at risk from predators etc.



Broken horns may need vetinarey assistence. There can be alot of blood  with a badly broken horn. You can apply syptic powder to stem the bleeding. Flys may be a problem.



Keep an eye on the horn growth. Dont let the horns grow too out of control. If the horns are bringing discomfort to the sheep it will need to be cut.



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Docking Lambs Tails





Docking is the shortening of the lambs tail. A high percentage of farmers dock their lambs tails.
The sheep's tail protects its udder and vulva from weather extremes.
Some buyers do not like a docked lamb they prefer undocked especially some ethnic buyers.
Not all breads of sheep need to be docked, some breads have short tails such as the Icelandic and Shetland.
The docking of the lambs tail prevents fecal matter gathering on them.Docking the tail reduces the occurrence of wool maggots.
A lambs tail should be docked before they are 6 weeks of age.
You should not dock a wet lamb or in wet conditions to prevent infections.





The most popular and known as safest way to dock a lamb is to use RUBBER RINGS known as Banding

  • The lamb will experience some pain for 10 to 20 minutes
  • It is the best method for lay people
  • You use rubber rings and an elastrator tool to apply the rings
  • Be hygenic and do the procedure in a clean area to prevent infection
  • The tail is pulled through an open elastic band,it is released and then tightened on the tail cutting of the blood supply to the tail
  • The tail falls off after a week or two
  • Do not dock a wet lamb
  • The lambs can be given lidocaine to reduce the pain
  • The use of the rubber rings is called banding
  • The lamb needs to be protected against tetanus before docking





It is important not to dock the lambs tail too short as it could lead to the death of the lamb. It is reccomeded to leave enough tail to cover the ewes vulva and the rams anus.
If the tail is too short it will cause rectal prolapse because the musles and nerves of the anus of the lamb are damaged. It is also thought that vaginal prolapse can occur with too short a tail.



Monday, May 20, 2013

The Sheep's Age And Their Teeth




You can estimate the age of a sheep by looking at its teeth.
The lamb is usually born with no teeth.At one week the baby teeth will erupt. They will be on the front lower jaw. At 2 months the lamb will have 8 baby teeth.
These baby teeth will be replaced by permanent incisors.
When the lamb is one years old to 19 months old it will have 2 central incisors and 6 baby teeth.
From 18 months to 24 months it will have 2 central incisors, 2 middle incisors and 4 baby teeth.
From 24 to 36 months it will have 2central incisors, 2 middle incisors, 2 lateral incisors and 2 baby teeth.
At 28 to 48 months the lamb will have 2 central incisors, 2 middle, incisors, 2 lateral incisors and 2 corner incisors. All the baby teeth have been replaced at this stage.



When a sheep is 5 years their teeth will begin to move apart, break and fall out. At 6 to 8 years old there will be wide spacing between their teeth.
A sheep has no top teeth just a dental pad. Old sheep with aged teeth will not eat as well as their younger counterparts and will loose condition.
You can only estimate the age of a sheep with the condition of their teeth due to the fact that the breed of the sheep will impact the condition of the teeth, the type of feed will make a difference on the teeth and also the country that they graze on.
A sheep with no teeth is called a gummer. Sometimes when a sheep has no teeth it is removed from the flock.














Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When to Put Lambs Out to Pasture


A healthy lamb that has a good bond with a ewe who has adequate milk can be put out to pasture at one to two weeks.
If you have a smaller paddock close to your home with nowhere for predators to hide in it would be ideal for a newborn and ewe. Foxes like to stalk their pray behind coverage like tall grasses, rocks,  bushes and trees. If you want to put the lambs  with the ewe out  into pasture ensure that the field is small flat and closely cropped.
Dont put too many new lambs and ewes into the same field as the lambs and ewes can get confused and loose each other. You should number the ewes and lambs with each other. As the lambs get older they can be put into larger groups of ewes and lambs.
Try not to pasture the new lambs near streams or rivers as there is a high chance of losing lambs to drowning.
Ensure that there is some form of shelter in the field as with bad weather conditions there could be lambs lost to chilling and hypothermia.

 
 
 

When you are sending your lambs off to pasture ensure that you have adequate fencing. This will keep your lambs and sheep in and the predators out of the field.
If you have good grass you will not need to supplement with hay. If   the grass is not too lush there will need to be a provision of hay.
Sheep usually prefer   to eat weeds over the grass.
You should have a hay rack in your field. The hay rack will reduce waste and is more hygenic. Provide a morning and evening feed of hay.

Ensure that your stock has access to fresh water at all times. But ensure that your water container is lamb safe.  Many lambs are lost from drowning in water tanks.
Your average sheep can consume gallons of water a day.

When you are pasturing lambs you should use woven wire fencing.
Having sheep and cattle pasture together can reduce predator loss.
When the lambs and cattle have bonded together the lambs will seek protection amongst the cattle when they see a predator approaching.




Pasture can be high in energy and protein when its in its vegative state but when its rapidly growing its high mositure content is not as nutritious. The high mositure content can cause loose stools in lambs.

When pasture plants mature they are not as high in protein and energy thats why one needs to have pasture field rotation. You need to clip the pasture to keep it in its vegative state.

Lambs that are born on pasture tend to eat pasture quicker.
The rumen of young lambs are developed through eating grass not grains.
Grass and the ewes milk are the most natural and organic way to feed the lambs.
Lambs develop better on the pasture than on the  force feeding of grains.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Early Lambing or Late Lambing Advantages and Disadvantages


One of the first things you must consider when managing a sheep farm is when to have your lambing season. You must decide weather to have early lambing or late lambing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.You need to consider the interaction between lambing and your other farming activities. Your labour resources, the food markets, your farm buildings, your farm budget, feed prices, state of the world economy and many other factors should effect your decision. In the past decade there has been and increase in late lambing.

Early Lambing

Early lambing occurs in winter and the start of spring. Early lambing fits in better with the full time farmers schedule. With early lambing there is more time to do the spring schedule of land planting, calving, setting the seeds for the summer harvesting.With early lambing you have money in the bank by the time the summer months arrive.

Lambs born in winter are usually sold for a higher price than those born in the spring. The Easter markets usually have the optimum prices for sale of lamb.

Its easier on the farmer to aid a ewe in trouble when shes inside.

Unprdictable weather has less impact when you have your lambs and ewes housed.

You can carry more ewes on the pasture, as feed requirements are at a maintenance level. Lambs are not competing for the limiting resources.

Housing of the lambs and ewes for winter lambing is a big consideration in your decision making process. You must have adequate lambing sheds for the winter. An area for the ewes to give birth, pens for lamb and ewe, an area for lambs and ewes to mix and an area for the ewes that are in waiting to drop.

With winter lambing there are some health problems that can affect your lambs and ewes due to the close proximity and weather. There is higher risk of mastitis, scours and pneumonia.
There is an increased chance of lambs chilling and freezing during the winter.


Spring Lambing


Spring Lambing reduces the amount of labour, expenses and facilities needed.
Spring lambing takes place in March, April and May. The ewes and better reproductively during the spring lambing season.
Suffolk, Dorset, Hampshire and Rambouillet are common crossbreeds used for spring lambing.
There is less assistance and supervision than the winter lambing.
Crossbreeds are recommended for spring lambing.

The farmer gains from having the lambs graze on the spring, summer and autumn forages.
Spring lambing coinsides with the natural breeding cycle.
Ewes and lambs can take advantage of the lush grasses.
You need better pasture management with late lambing.



There is a higher risk of internal parasites during the late lambing season.

As the new lambs are born with less supervision and assistance there may be an increase in mortality rate and  they are easier prey for predators as there are out in open fields.

Some reports suggest that it is cleaner and the ewe bonds better  with the lamb when it is an outside spring lambing.

There is less sheparding control with outside lambing. It is difficult to catch and help a ewe lambing outside.



Autumn Lambing


It is more difficult to get your ewes breeding out of season and autumn lambing is out of season for the natural breeding. Conception rates are low. Fall lambing has less of the problems that winter lambing has in some ways as  lambs can be born outside, there is less chance of lamb chilling and hypothermia. Early autumn lambing can be aimed and a different market. The christmas market and the ethnic market.
There is a reduction in the risk of paracites and predators during autumn lambing.
There is more interference with the ewe to get an autumn lambing. There needs to be hormonal manipulation of the ewes natural reproductive cycle. The will also be the need to select a specific breed. You will need to  introduce light control.




Friday, March 8, 2013

Sheep Lambing Signs



In the hours before the ewe gives birth there are some noticeable signs that she is in labour. The ewe will be uneasy and show signs of sickness. No two ewes show the exact signs but there are many common traits. Its vital that you are aware of the signs so that if there is need for intervention you are on site.
Check your ewes every four hours so that if a ewe is having difficulty she is not left to struggle too long on her own. Some ewes can be quite dramatic in the hours up to the birth and some can be quiet relaxed.
I have seen a ewe that every year would clear the rest of the ewes out of the shed while she was in the process of lambing.


 Signs of Lambing
 
  • The ewes udder will be bagged out a few days or a week before she is about to give birth. It becomes bigger and harder the closer to birth.
  • The teats will stand out about a day before lambing.
  • The belly sinks also around the day before birth.
  • The vulva will get pinker and more swelled.
  • Hollow area appears in their flanks.
  • When the lambing is close the ewe usually will not come to feed with the other ewes.

  • The signs can be different depending on whether the ewe is lambing indoors or outdoors. If outdoors the ewe will move away from the rest of the flock as she will be looking for a sheltered place to give birth. She will perhaps go near a wall or tree. Out doors its easier to see the ewe separating away from the flock.
  • Sometimes a ewe close to dropping the lamb will be bleating for a lamb our will show interest in other ewes lambs.
  • She will move away from the flock and look rather perplexed.
  • A clear liquid will appear like a string from their vulva.



 

  • The water bag will then appear. There are two water bags,  a larger one protecting the head and a smaller one lower down the back. The water bag may appear in two different ways once it exits the ewe. It may burst once it is released and hang like a membranous string or hang out not burst but a fluid filled bag. 
  • Lambing from the expulsion of the first water bag may take less than an hour.
 
 
 

  • At this stage the ewe will be anxious and start scraping and stamping on the ground. She will be circling.
  • She will perhaps grit her teeth.
  • She will then lay down and start forcing.
  • The closer to birth the more intense the forcing and straining.
  • The ewe should have dropped the lamb within an our of the water bag appearing and longer and you may need to give her assistance.
  • The sheep can deliver the lamb standing up or laying down.
  • If the lamb is coming out correctly you will see its head and two front legs. When you see the nose and two front legs you can relax knowing all is going well.
  • Even if the lamb is dropped perfectly the lamb may still need your assistance. If the lamb is born with the amniotic sac intact it could drown so you will need to burst it and remove the mucus from the lambs nose to allow it to breath.
  • Some lambs are not quick off the mark and need encouragement taking their first breath. You can do this by tickling its nose with some straw rubbing its back or gently swinging the lamb by its back legs side to side.
  • Watch to see that the ewe bonds with her lambing licking it and encouraging it to suck. The vigours licking is importent stimulation for the lamb and helps trigger hormones in the ewe that help accelerate the production of milk. Once you understand that there is a bond you can dry the lamb off some more and apply the iodine on the naval.
  • If the ewe has  had a difficult birth you should give her an antibiotic injection and watch out for vaginal prolapse in the hours after the birth. Speak with your vet if she suffers a prolapse which can be treated by fitting her with a harness.

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lamb Pneumonia




 
Lamb pneumonia is an infections disease that is caused primarily by the bacteria pasteurella hemolytica.
Detecting the signs of pneumonia on time is critical for the chance of survival of a lamb with pneumonia.
The most common cause of death in young lambs is lamb pneumonia.
You will usually notice the symptom's of pneumonia during the advanced stages of the disease.
Your lamb is more at risk of getting pneumonia if he/she is housed in a damp drafty enclosure. Contaminated milk and feed  also puts the lamb at risk. Inadequate colostrum intake at birth and exposure to extreme cold and rain is a precursor for this disease.
 
 
.
 
 Pasteurella hemolytica is a bacteria that is found in the respiratory and digestive tract in alot of lambs. Most newborn lambs are exposed to this bacteria but do not develop the disease that can be caused by pasteurell hemolytica as they have a natural resistance. Their resistance to this bacteria is usually only compromised if they have not had adequate colostrum and are living in an unhealthy environment.
Another organism called mycoplasma may also cause the disease.
 
Lambs that recover are prone to relapse and can develop a hard cough during the feeding period that can cause a rectal prolapse in the lamb.
 
Lambs who have had a difficult birth are more prone to pneumonia.
 
An unhealthy living environment for a lamb comprises of dust, damp bedding, high humidity, large amount of ammonia, excessive heat, inadequate ventilation in these conditions the risk of a pneumonia outbreak in the lambs is high.
 
 
 
 Signs and Symptoms
 
Poor Suckling
 
A healthy lamb sucks from the ewe at regular intervals. The lamb is vigorous which sucking. There is strong head movement with tail wagging. A sick lamb will have poor suckling. No vigour in his suckling.
 
Nasal Discharge
 
Healthy lambs will have a small amount of nasal discharge. When you notice an increased amount of nasal discharge then its time to be alarmed. You should look at your lambs regular to notice changes.
 
Fever
 
The normal rectal temperature of a lamb is 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. A lamb with pneumonia will have a higher temperature.
 
Loss of Appetite
 
Loss of appetite can lead to starvation and death. The lamb that losses its appetite will loose weight quickly.
 
Weakness
 
A sick lamb will be  on its own not interacting with the other lambs. The lamb will separate perhaps from its mother. It will sleep and will have difficulty standing.
 
 
 
 
Treatment
 
The lamb needs to have its fever treated. Given antibiotics such as penicillin. Keep the lamb hydrated providing electrolytes and lamb milk. You may need to feed the lamb via stomach tube. You should bring the lamb indoors beside a warm fire or provide a pen with a heat lamp.
 
Prevention
 
If there is an outbreak all the remaining  lambs should be treated with an routine antibiotic.
Ensure that the living quarters of the lambs are well ventilated and not overcrowded.
Provide fresh bedding as often as possible paying particular attention to the fresh births.
Do not house the lambs in a heavily drafted area.
The bedding needs to be dry as to prevent lamb chilling.
Colostrum intake must be adequate.