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.