Sheep: Unusual lambing issues an eye-opener for students
With the exception of a small number of second repeats we have now completed the lambing season at Lyons.
Attention is now shifting to maximising grass and lamb growth in the difficult weather conditions that have persisted up until the time of writing.
Lambing went well this year with lambs demonstrating great vigour and ewes lambing down with good colostrum and milk supply.
As ever, we did record one or two unusual issues, and while not having any detrimental impact overall, they proved interesting for ourselves and the students alike.
We had one triplet bearing ewe who was very large, because of a massive fluid volume in the uterus.
In the latter stages of pregnancy this resulted in the development of bloat, which was treated by the insertion of a trochar. Ultimately this ewe was induced to lamb and produced a small set of triplets who required a lot of care for a few days.
More worryingly, ewes with young lambs at foot were attacked by dogs shortly after turnout. Luckily these were spotted before any damage was done, but dog owners do need to exercise great care in the control of their animals. A dog attack can have detrimental short and long-term effects on a flock and is very distressing for flock and flock owner alike.
Perhaps there is just greater reporting of these incidents in the various forms of media but the problem does appear to be getting more common.