Killing with Kindness

I continue to get calls from people that are bottle feeding lambs that are six to eight weeks old. The recommended wean age is thirty days. Over that is a problem. They acquire abomasal bloat, a condition that is almost always fatal, and the few that live are probably misdiagnosed. Bottle feeding and poor quality milk replacers increase the incidence of this phenomenon. Full fed bucket or machine is the best route to follow. Provide lambs creep, hay and water and wean them at thirty days. I know they are cute, friendly, and sometimes a pet, but DON’T KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS, and when you wean it is a total wean. No cheating.

About Ask-a-Vet Sheep

Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer’s own practicing Veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when “prudent use” is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.
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