Tuesday, July 24, 2012

He's back

I went to check on Abraham this morning. Brought the bottle of Valbazen with me. And more minerals. He still has the knot under his jaw. I wonder if I am giving him enough.

Then I had to go to Tractor Supply. Found some electrolytes with vitamins and minerals. Got some. While I was standing in line, the guy behind me asked how my sheep were. It was the guy I got my 1st three ewes from. The Katahdin-Dorper ewes last June. I asked him if they were having problems with worms. He said no, that they rotate pastures. I said I did too. But am having such a hard time getting them under control.

Then it hit me. They only have hair sheep. My hair sheep are fine. The only sheep having a hard time with the worms are the Finn sheep. The wool sheep. I hadn't even thought about that til just then. It's Lucinda, the black ewe, and Darla, who is Abraham's mother. She is half Finn and half Suffolk. And Abraham, who is mostly Finn. And I got both Darla and Lucinda from the same place. Hmmm.

So now I am wondering if I want to just use the 2 hair sheep rams to breed the ewes next. And not use Abraham at all. I don't want to pass down his bad genes. I need to go ahead and just butcher him in the fall-winter. And maybe not have any more wool sheep. Just the ones I have now. But not breed for wool, just meat.

I brought Abraham back home with me. He's in the back yard with my buck, John Henry. I mixed up a pail of electrolyte water for him. And I'll go ahead and  give hime a little more wormer tonight. He seems to do better in the mornings and nights. These wool sheep don't like this heat at all.

I have a lot to think about. But that has hit me like a ton of bricks.


White Sheep Farm said...

I have Cheviots and Shetlands both are meat/wool sheep. The Cheviots have a hard time with the heat, much more than the Shetlands. But are twice their size.
As for "breeding" bad genes, it is just a BAD worm year! Like I said I worm 2 x a year and have NEVER lost a sheep to worms,, nor do I plan to.
I'm not big on the hair sheep at all, do I think they are any healthier than wool sheep ... no, your other sheep may have worms just as well, some will just show more signs than others. Think about it, they are ALL eating oof the same pastures.
And for the worms, studies have shown that they have 21 day life cycle, that is why rotation is key. i always try to have a clean, fresh pasture ready. If I can't then hay, hay, hay!
I know people who keep shep on a dry lot all year ... wool breeder ... I don't think her sheep are healthy ... she does.
It is all trial and error, and what works for one may not work for another.
Just keep a good eye on him, did you give him recommened dose?

Kris said...

You are right about them all eating the same pasture. So why do some just have a worse worm load than others? I guess I need to do fecal samples and take to the vet to get analyzed to see what we are really dealing with here.

I have given him 4cc of Ivomec again this morning plus another shot of Penicillan. Plus electrlytes in the water and hay. He's in the back yard with the buck on plenty of grass. I just got home from the market and checked on him and he's out there eating and peeing a lot. So I know he's drinking. I'm also giving all the sheep a Dumor sheep feed with alfalfa pellets and sunflower seeds. Plus an organic loose mineral that I give them free choice.

So if the worms are more active every 21 days, should I rotate them before that? Like 18 days or so? And them mow or bushhog where they just were? Or wait longer than 21 days?

Thanks so much for your input here. I love my sheep and hate when they are sick. So I need to know as much as possible.