This morning we took advantage in a break in the terrible weather to bring in the sheep for worming. Sheep can make a wonderful home for all sorts of horrible parasites, so it’s vitally important that they are treated reasonably regularly to keep them healthy and worm free other wise they can lose condition and go downhill very quickly.
The ewes had been dosed in December, before we purchased them at the mart, so they were about due a top up, while the lambs had yet to receive any protection against worms. As there have been no major sheep presence on the farm for over 20 years (bar the Blackface sheep that are wintered down here) it is unlikely that there would be anything present but it’s still better to be safe than sorry!
Bringing them in also gave me a good opportunity to have a good look at how the lambs were getting on, check their condition and treat a couple that were a little lame.
I’m really lucky that I’m able to take advantage of having such a fantastic sheep run and race (literally) on my doorstep, which makes jobs like this so much easier. We ran the ewes and lambs in to a large holding pen and shut them in together, making the lambs easier to catch. You can see from the photo above just how much the lambs have grown, especially when you see them next to their mothers!
From here, I would catch one lamb at a time and treat them with an oral drench (I used Oramec, for those of you who are interested.) before lifting them over the flakes into an adjacent pen where Iona would re-spray any identification marks that needed refreshing.
Once the lambs were finished, we ran the ewes down and in to the race where they could be treated. They were each given a larger dose of Oramec before I checked their udders for any signs of mastitis. We had one case, the ewe was treated with a jag of antibiotic and some anti-inflammatory, and she was marked for culling. Selecting for culling is not the most pleasant job but I picked out 5 which I felt would be unable to raise lambs successfully again next year. These will be sold after their lambs are weaned off.
Once the aforementioned lame lambs were checked on (they were suffering with a little bit of an infection to the gland between the toes), the ewes and lambs were reunited and run up the road to fresh pasture.