SHEEP FARMING - REARING OF RUMINANT ANIMALS | THINGS A FARMER SHOULD KNOW

Introduction
            Ruminant Animals are animals with a complex stomach unlike the non-ruminants that have simple stomach. They are animals having four compartment stomach namely: rumen reticulum and abomasums. They eat and digest forages or plant based feed by swallowing it first and allowing it to get moistened in the rumem which is the first compartment of  the complex stomach. The swallowed food is later regurgitated by the animal and re-chewed to break down the plant materials for digestion. This process is called rumination of chewing the cud. Examples of ruminant  animals are cattle. Sheep goats camel water buffalo giraffes antelopes to mention but a few. However we shall limit our discussion in this study to cattle sheep and goats that are commonly found in our environment.

            Ruminant animals are categorized into two main classes based on their body size namely. The large ruminant animals and small ruminant animals. Examples of large ruminants are cattle water buffalo giraffe camel etc while small ruminants are sheep goat antelope etc. ruminants have an advantage of the ability  to eat and utilize law quality fibrous food that cannot be eaten by human non-ruminants.

ORIGIN AND DOMESTICATION OF SHEEP
Sheep was first domesticated in the new stone age. Evidence for the domestication of sheep dates to 9000 BC in lraq. DNA analysis has shown that domestic sheep are descended from two ancestor species one of which is the moufflon. The moufflons comprise ovis musion and Ovis orientalis. Although the second ancestor has not been identified both the urial and argali have been rules out. The urial (O. vignei) is found from northeastern run to northwestern india. It has  ahigher number of chromosomes (58) than domestic sheep (54) which makes it an unlikely ancestor of the latter but it interbreeds with the moufflon. The arguli sheep (O. ammon)  of inner Asia (Tibet, Himalayas. Itay mountains tien-sha and pamir) has 56 chromosomes and the Siberian snow sheep (Ovis nivcold)  has 52 chromosomes. This soay ram demonstrates the wide variance in sheep traits  that belts the prototypical appearance of te animal. Historical records show that sheep provided primitive pastoral people with meat wool tallow skin and milk.  
Sheep Terminologies
Sheep:                        the entire ovine species
Lambing:                   the act of giving birth to lambs in sheep
Lamb:             sexually immature sheep of any ex
Ewe:                           female sheep after reaching sexual maturity or after producing an offspring.
Flock:                         a group of sheep kept together
Mutton:                      meat from mature sheep used as food
Flecece:                     another word for wool from sheep. It is used for clothing
Ram:                           adult male sheep
Docking:                    cutting of lamb’s tail keep the animal clean
Shearing:                   process of clipping wool from sheep
Tupping:                    act of mating
Bleating:                    sound produced
Advantages of sheep production
As compared to other classes of livestock. Sheep possesses the following natural advantages.
1.      Sheep help control weeds.
2.      Sheep production does not require elaborate facilities and equipment.
3.      They are particularly good in the utilization of more arid type of grazing
4.      They are good at utilizing wasteland and are also excellent scavengers.
5.      Sheep consume roughage as their primary feed.
6.      Compared to cattle, they produce more liberally in proportion to what consume
7.      Some breeds, e.g. the wool type produce two products-wool and lamb available for market at two different periods of the yea.
8.      Their returns come quickly; lambs may be marketed 8 months after the ewes are bred.
9.      Sheep droppings are particularly less subjected to wastes because of the way they are dropped and tramped into the soil.
10.       Their young ones, if properly fed, may be marketed when about a year old.
11.       Their energy requirements are lower than those for other livestock enterprises. Also the energy requirements for fibre production by sheep are lower than those for synthetic fibres.
12.       Sheep are highly adaptable an non competitive with humans for feed.
13.       Sheep are easy to handle and generally require little input.
14.             They reduce risks of losses to owners by being cheaper to replace.
15.             Subsistence farmers keeping sheep need very small amounts of purchased animal feed because their stock can manage on very poor quality roughage if required.
16.             With a 20% death rate a farmer with five sheep or goats will still have four animals. Whereas a farmer with one buffalo or cow is likely to be left with nothing
17.             Sheep milk is the most nutritious milk on sale in the world today. Because of its high calcium content, sheep milk is also very good for the prevention of osteoporosis and for those people already suffering from it.
18.             Sheep milk is an excellent raw material for the milk processing industry especially in cheese production.
19.             Sheep with their small body size high productive capacity and rapid growth rates are ideally suited to production by resource-poor stallholders.
Disadvantages of sheep production
1.      Sheep are subject to attack by predators including dogs
2.      They are less resistant to discases or injuries
3.      Sheep are susceptible to a number of parasites e.g worms
4.      For the wool breeds, in the international market have always been politicized and moreover synthetic fibres is  stiff competition with the wool
5.      Sheep require better fencing than do cattle.
Factors to consider when starting sheep raising
            In starting any livestock enterprise. Certain factors such as land breed of stock and infra-structural facilities and their cost need be adequately considered.
1.      Land: Under extensive grazing conditions, land requirement is 1.6-4.0ha per 100 sheep. However under intensive management a well established pasture of 1 ha would support 26-40 sheep.
2.      Breed: advisable to use breeds adaptable to the ecological zones where the enterprise is to be set e.g for this zone use the west African dward or the yankasa.
3.      Infrastructure: An office accommodation for a large enterprise adequate fencing because of their size require chain link fencing or close fencing. Chain links are at present very costly, so wood posts plus wire but designed to be close will be adequate.
4.      The foundation stock: foundation stock for starting sheep rearing enterprise should be purchased from reputable sheep breeding farms or government farms. This would ensure purity high genetic quality and freedom from disease. Unfortunately however, the numbers of available breeding farms are limited. The open market therefore becomes the place of choice for the purchase of breeding stock. In purchasing animals from the open market attention must be given to the animals health age and physical appearance.
5.      Health: All ewes selected must be in a thrifty vigorous condition. They should have every appearance of a life of usefulness ahead of them and give every evidence of raising strong healthy lambs. Such animals should be free of catarrh diarrhea and  skin diseases. Also ensure that animals are free ectoparasites such as ticks and fleas.
6.      Age: It is advisable to buy sheep 11/2-3 years old. The age of sheep could be determined using their teeth. The lamb has narrow teeth known as milk teeth. At 12-14 months the 2 center incisors are replaced by two large broad permanent teeth while those 3 years have permanent teeth. At 2-21/2 years they have 4 permanent teeth while those 3 years have a permanent teeth and at above 4 years, they have 8 permanent teeth.
7.      Physical appearance:  Animal with physical defects such as lameness. Blindness and  malformed toes should be avoided lean and stunted animals should be avoided. Purchased animals should be fine looking active have bright eyes ad fine (rather than seruffy and rough) coats. It is advisable to buy in small batches from as many gentic variability as possible. Initial health precaution: it is good husbandry practice to quarantine newly purchased animals for I month before introduction to the herd.
Breeds of sheep in Nigeria
            A breed is a collection on individual within a species which share a certain number of morphological and physiological characters which are passed into their progeny as long as they breed among themselves. There are many breeds of sheep but these are generally subclassed as wool class. Hair class meat class and dairy class variety breeds. Dual-purpose breeds are bred for both wool and meat.
            The Nigerian breeds are mainly the hairy type and there are four breeds: the west African dwarf: yankasa. Uda and Balami however, other breeds which are of less importance exist which include the Bororo and the Ara-Ara found in Niger and Anambra states.
Balami
            This breed of sheep has also been called the Bororo various times because it is associated with the people of Borno tribe. Balami is the features. It is big predominantly white with a convex facial profits. Ears large and  droopy the fail is thin and long. Males have horns while horns are absent in females. Matured males have dewlap Balami is a fast growing animal with a good potential for milk production. (About 3-5kg) for singles 2.5-3.5kg for twins). Weaning weight of 18kg is possible at 12 weeks of age. Yearling weight is 35-45kg for ewe and 45-60kg for rams. Its ability to survive under arid conditions  is a character peculiar to this breed and can be exploited in the utilization of non arable lands.  
Uda (Ouda)
            Also called the Fulani or Bali-Bali. This breed is found throughout the sahel and savanna zones of tropical Africa. The cost colour is black or brown in front and white behind. They are large in size with matured males measuring up to 84cm height at withers. The breed is long legged thin and long tailed with a moderately long. Floppy ears males carrying horn which could be large emerging sideways and slightly backwards with a Taoist mature rams weight 55kg while females weigh 45kg. this breed thrives best in hot dry environment it is particularly adapted to extensive grazing and is known for its trekking ability. Uda its suffers poor survival outside domain medium size breed.  


Yankasa
            This is perhaps the most numerous and widely distributed Nigerian breed of sheep. Yankasa is found throughout the sahel. Sudan and guinea savanna zones. It is intermediate  between large long legged uda and Balami and short legged west Africa dwarf. The breed has a typical white cost colour with black patches around the eyes ears and muzzle and sometimes the feet. Ewes may have pass around the neck. Males have which is curved. Matured rams weigh 30- 45kg and ewes 25-30kg.
West African Dwaft sheep.
            Also called fouta Djallon. Djallonke this breed is found in the whole area of the forest betl. The breed strives well in its area of occurrence which is known to be infected with testes  fly hence the assertion that is the breed is trypo-tolerant matured female have tassels while matured males have spiral or crescent shaped horns and a heavy mane. The breed has a slow growth rate maturity and cessation of growth is between 18 24 months. The breed is highly prolific and incidence of twining is high (55-58%) matured females weigh 20-25kg and matured males weigh 20m-30kg.

The Bororo
            The Bororo is a large-long legged breed of sheep said to have originated f from chad. It has white posterior and pendulous white ears. Mature weight is between 45 and 55kg.
The Ara-Ara
            The Ara-ara also known as Tuareg has its origin from Nigeria and is predommantly white or fawn. The rams of the sheep breeds have horns but polled strains could be existing as had been found with the west African Dwarf sheep.
            Experience has shown that the different breeds of sheep are adapted and perform best in their specific ecological zones. Because of the variations in the amount of rainfall. Temperature and relative humidity all of which indirectly affect performance farers are advised to raise those breeds that predominate in their ecological zones. Thus while the Yankasa and Uda are suitable for the Guinea and Sudan zone. The west African Dwarf and Yankasa breeds should be raised in the humid forest and Derived savanna zones.
Procuring foundation stock for breeding
            Ideally foundation breeding stock should be purchased from reputable sheep breeding farms or government livestock investigation and Breeding Centres LIBC so as to be certain of their purity high genetic quality and freedom from diseases. Unfortunately such sources are too few at present and where they exist, the number of breeding animal available for sale is limited. This leaves the open market as the main sources of breeder stock for farmers.
            In purchasing animals from the market major consideration must be given to the animals health age and physical appearance. The behavior and posture of an animal are reflections of its health status. Age can be determined from the number and size of teeth. Therefore the farmer is advised to:
1.      Buy animals that are from obvious diseases such catarrh. Diarrhea and skin diseases. Also ensure that animals are free of ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks on their bodies.
2.      Avoid animals with physical defects such as lameness. Walk the animal around to find out blindness and malformations.
3.      A lean or stunted animal should be avoided. Buy only alert, fine looking and active animals with bright eyes and fine coat.
4.      Ewes (female sheep) should be between 1.5 and 3 years of age.
5.      A -1.5 to 2 year-old sheep has two broad (big) central teeth, a-2 to 2.5 year-old has 4. While those aged about 3 years have 6 big teeth
6.      Buy in small batches from many markets in different localities so as to have animals that are as unrelated as possible and to have genetic variety in your foundation stock.
Management systems in Nigeria
A number of sheep management systems have been described in Nigeria . these management systems range from free range to tethering in subsistence production to confinement in semi-intensive and intensive systems.
Extensive or traditional system
            In Nigeria the system of husbandry is mainly traditional with individuals keeping 2 to 4 animals on which investment is minimal but potential returns are still high. These systems of husbandry are characterized by trekking and exposure to high ambient temperatures. Animals lose body weight while moving. The traditional system of management is characterized by high incidence of diseases and parasitism, together with the adverse effects of tropical climate. Other characteristics include losses to stealing motor accidents poisoning by crop farmers and conflicts between livestock owners and crop farmers losses to predators and indiscriminate mating.

Semi-intensive system
            The semi-intensive management system is intermediate between the intensive and the traditional management system. The system involves grazing of the animals on any available herbage during the day and housing them during the night. On the other hand the sheep is still fed in the morning and in the evening. Animals were observed for disease problem and veterinary care was provided.
Intensive system
            The intensive system would involve complete confinement of the animals either in pastures or in pens where feed and water are provided. Here crop residues such as rice straw and bran cassava peels brewers dry grain are provided. Improved nutrition could be achieved through the use of cut and carry grasses legumes or browse supplemented with salt slicks. Under this situation adequate nutrition is ensured and the welfare of the animals is constantly monitored with full veterinary care being provided. The greatest advantages of this system are effective conversion of crop residues or supplement to products of high biological value such as milk and meat. There is control of reproduction improved performance and hygienic conditions collection and use of faecal materials as farm yard manures reduction in cases of parasitic diseases control of sheep against auto-knock downs and little or no damage to the environment.
Nutrition
            Sheep must be adequately fed for optimum performance poor nutrition is one of the major factors limiting the productivity of indigenous ruminants in Nigeria. In order to develop a viable ruminants industry animals should be fed properly. Though sheep feed mainly on roughage (grasses legumes brose etc). it is necessary to give them supplements in order to improve their production. Proper management of the breeding flock improves productivity and reduces lamb mortality. Essentially feeds contain energy protein fibre minerals vitamins and water feeding of sheep depends the age of the animal physiological state of the animal (lactation pregnancy) and the quantity of the roughage being fed.
Feeding of Adult Animals
            Hay or crop residue should be provided always in addition 1-2kg. animal/ day of legume hay e.g. groundnut haulms beans pod cowpea residue. Animals at this stage need feed for maintenance. It is therefore not necessary to over feed them.
Feeding of pregnant sheep
            In addition to supply of hay a farmer should feed good quality legume hay at the rate of 1.5-2.5kg/ Animal/day or concentrate can be fed at a daily rate of 200 -300kg/ animal/day. But higher levels of feeding can be maintained especially during the last month of pregnancy when the foctus grows very rapidly and causes an increased demand on the mother’s food supply Good feeding results in the following.
-      Provides nourishment for the developing foctus and usually results in a strong kid lamb at birth.
i.                    Good feeding enhances the development of the udder and  ensure adequate milk production
ii.                 It builds up body reserves of flesh on ewe.
iii.               It prepares the dam for the difficult task of parturition
This practices of enhanced feeding just before parturition is referred to a steaming up.
Feeding of Nursing or Lactating females.
            This group of animals can be fed like pregnant females but the level of feeding should be slightly increased. This is to ensure that the dam produces enough milk for feeding the offspring. In addition hay and concentrate supplement should be provided at the rate of 300-500gm/Animals/day. Adequate feeding of lactating ewes increases the survival rate of the lambs increases the resistance of diseases of the young-ones and ensure a fast growth rate.
Feeding of Growers
            A supplement of 0.5-1kg legume hay/Animal/day in addition to free choice feeding of roughage is sufficient for this class of animals.
Feeding of Breeding Males
            When males are not in service they should be maintained on good grazing or crop residue ad lib plus 1-2kg legume hay/animal/day. About a month to being used for service they should be place on good grazing or crop residue plus 300gm of concentrate mixture. This practice of enhanced feeding prior to breeding is referred to as flushing.
This has the following advantages.
i.                    In males it increases the quantity and quality of semen produced.
ii.                 In females it increases the number of ova shade.
iii.               Ensures a greater chance of turning/triplets in the dam.
iv.               Increases the conception rate.
Care should be taken to prevent the overfeeding of the male as this will lead fattening which is not desired in breeding males.
Housing equipments and other facilities
            Housing is important requirement for intensive sheep production. Housing is essential for overnight shelter and provides security against predators for the sheep. Also it provides protection against rain and cold. Some of the importance of sheep houses are.
Protection from adverse weather condition
            The major function of a sheep house is to protect the animal from adverse climatic condition such as sunshine rain wind or cold. For the most part adult sheep are equipped to withstand cold due to heat produce during the fermentation process but young lambs have not yet develop this mechanism and should therefore be protected sheep do not like being drench be heavy rain nor excessive such particularly when the sun is at its height. These can clearly be seen by the attempts the animals make to seek shelter from excessive sun or rain.
Better surveillance
            When sheep are kept together in a house the owner can better observe them. He is therefore in a better position to notice sick animals and treat appropriately before the disease is spread.
Protection from predators
            By the provision of a house sheep are protected from predators such as dogs snakes thieves accidents and other harmful vices.
 Easy handling
            Handling is easier animals can be caught and flock management is improved because it allows for certain management practices such as isolation of rams outside breeding season and weaning to be carried out. Other management practices such as identification docking and castration can be done easily.
Feeding of supplements is easier
            This is because animal of the same age physiological state such as yearlings gestation fattening weaning can be kept in the same group. This improves performance since each animal receives supplement meant to meet its particular production requirement.
            Provision of housing leads to overall improvement in the performance of the animals. Sheep housing can vary from a low mud-wall building with thatched roof to a prick or concrete wall with corrugated iron sheets roofing. Also corruaged iron walled building could be used. Such housing should be located on a well-drained soil. It should be well ventilated to avoid dampness. The floor can be of cement or rammed earth it should be easy to clean and should be covered with good bedding material such as straw or wood shavings which can be changed from time to time.
            The building may be divided into pens. Floor space requirements for lambs and adult sheep are about 0.4 and 1.7m2 respectively in addition floor space should be provided for  feed and water troughs. There should be more pens per building or more than one building with separate for males females and weaner.
            A store and a hay could form part of the building. Alternatively the hay barn could be a separate structure. A run (enclosure) made of chain link wire waist-high may be construed in front of the pens. Divided into at least two sections for males and females if housed in different pens in a single building. Water supply can be from a well tap and bore hole or river. It should be clean and in sufficient quantity.
            Feed and water troughs should be provided in every pen, either built-in or moveable type. A rectangular feed trough measuring 4 x 0.3 x 0.15m is adequate for 10 adult sheep. Simple feed troughs could be made by cutting a drum lengthwise into two halves. If cut drums used the edges should be made blunt to avoid injuries to the animals. Large plastic basins are better as water troughs a age unlike metal drums they do not corrode.
            A foot-bath is required for the prevention and treatment of foot-rot, a very common problem with sheep on wet grounds. The most common types is the walk-through type which is a shallow long receptacle. Where a small number of sheep is involved a bucket of basin may be used.
            A dip is an essential structure in a sheep farm. The walk-in short-swim type is the most common. In this type the animal enters the vats are best made with concrete.
            A vat measuring 6 x 1.2 x 0.75m has a capacity of about 2000 litres. It is necessary to put a roof over the vat to prevent rain from diluting the chemical. In small-sized flocks a 200-liter drum opened at one end can be used. The animals are immersed, one at a time in the dipping solution contained in the drum for about 30 seconds. A knapsack sprayer can also used.
Handling sheep
            Handling in sheep management could simply be defined as a way in which the husbandman drag, push or carry the animal to where they will be fed, administered drug for research purpose for observation and study of their behavior. Good handling of small ruminant will prevent the animal from being injured and  guarantee the safety of the handler. If sheep are to be caught and handled for any reason they should be confined to a small corral or shed appropriate way to handle sheep are:
1.      Husbandman or attend and must know how to relate with the animals since animal communicate in one way or the other e.g. if a ram use its leg to scratch the ground continuously it simply means it is ready to attack anybody.
2.      Sheep may best be caught around the neck by the hind leg or by the rear flank. They  should be carried by allowing the hind leg to fold towards the front while using the other hand to hold the remaining leg. Never should they be caught by the wool.
3.      The young animal should  be carried close to the chest depending on the age weight and body conformation.
Generally what matter most is the good relationship with the animals as this will facilitate good handing.
Breeding management of sheep
            The reproductive activity of sheep is stimulated by  variations in the length. In northern hemisphere where day length varies with the season of the year oestrus takes place mostly from July  to October as opposed to the tropics where there is only little variation in the length of day and the oestrus eycle resources  through the yea. Ewes come on  hest (oestrus) at regular intervals of about 18-21 days if not bred (Oestrus eycle). The oestrus period (the only period the female can accept the male) last for about 3 days or 72 hours.
Age at puberty
            Sheep attain puberty at 5-6 months sexual organ of rams already functional at  this time. However rams should not be used before age 11/2 years while ewe lamb could be bred at 9-12 months. It is good practice to replace breeding rams with newly selected ones after each breeding season.
Easy handling
            Handling is easier animals can be caught and flock management is improved because it allows for certain management practices such as isolation of rams outside breeding season and weaning to be carried out. Other management practices such as identification docking and castration can be done easily.
Feeding of supplements is easier
            This is because animal of the same age physiological state such as yearlings gestation fattening weaning can be kept in the same group. This improves performance since each animal receives supplement meant to meet its particular production requirement.
            Provision of housing leads to overall improvement in the performance of the animals. Sheep housing can vary from a low mud-wall building with thatched roof to a prick or concrete wall with corrugated iron sheets roofing. Also corruaged iron walled building could be used. Such housing should be located on a well-drained soil. It should be well ventilated to avoid dampness. The floor can be of cement or rammed earth it should be easy to clean and should be covered with good bedding material such as straw or wood shavings which can be changed from time to time.
            The building may be divided into pens. Floor space requirements for lambs and adult sheep are about 0.4 and 1.7m2 respectively in addition floor space should be provided for  feed and water troughs. There should be more pens per building or more than one building with separate for males females and weaner.
A store and a hay could form part of the building. Alternatively the hay barn could be a separate structure. A run (enclosure) made of chain link wire waist-high may be construed in front of the pens. Divided into at least two sections for males and females if housed in different pens in a single building. Water supply can be from a well tap and bore hole or river. It should be clean and in sufficient quantity.
            Feed and water troughs should be provided in every pen, either built-in or moveable type. A rectangular feed trough measuring 4 x 0.3 x 0.15m is adequate for 10 adult sheep. Simple feed troughs could be made by cutting a drum lengthwise into two halves. If cut drums used the edges should be made blunt to avoid injuries to the animals. Large plastic basins are better as water troughs a age unlike metal drums they do not corrode.
            A foot-bath is required for the prevention and treatment of foot-rot, a very common problem with sheep on wet grounds. The most common types is the walk-through type which is a shallow long receptacle. Where a small number of sheep is involved a bucket of basin may be used.
            A dip is an essential structure in a sheep farm. The walk-in short-swim type is the most common. In this type the animal enters the vats are best made with concrete.
            A vat measuring 6 x 1.2 x 0.75m has a capacity of about 2000 litres. It is necessary to put a roof over the vat to prevent rain from diluting the chemical. In small-sized flocks a 200-liter drum opened at one end can be used. The animals are immersed, one at a time in the dipping solution contained in the drum for about 30 seconds. A knapsack sprayer can also used.
Handling sheep
            Handling in sheep management could simply be defined as a way in which the husbandman drag, push or carry the animal to where they will be fed, administered drug for research purpose for observation and study of their behavior. Good handling of small ruminant will prevent the animal from being injured and  guarantee the safety of the handler. If sheep are to be caught and handled for any reason they should be confined to a small corral or shed appropriate way to handle sheep are:
1.      Husbandman or attend and must know how to relate with the animals since animal communicate in one way or the other e.g. if a ram use its leg to scratch the ground continuously it simply means it is ready to attack anybody.
2.      Sheep may best be caught around the neck by the hind leg or by the rear flank. They  should be carried by allowing the hind leg to fold towards the front while using the other hand to hold the remaining leg. Never should they be caught by the wool.
3.      The young animal should  be carried close to the chest depending on the age weight and body conformation.
Generally what matter most is the good relationship with the animals as this will facilitate good handing.
Breeding management of sheep
            The reproductive activity of sheep is stimulated by  variations in the length. In northern hemisphere where day length varies with the season of the year oestrus takes place mostly from July  to October as opposed to the tropics where there is only little variation in the length of day and the oestrus eycle resources  through the yea. Ewes come on  hest (oestrus) at regular intervals of about 18-21 days if not bred (Oestrus eycle). The oestrus period (the only period the female can accept the male) last for about 3 days or 72 hours.
Age at puberty
            Sheep attain puberty at 5-6 months sexual organ of rams already functional at  this time. However rams should not be used before age 11/2 years while ewe lamb could be bred at 9-12 months. It is good practice to replace breeding rams with newly selected ones after each breeding season. A minimum of 6 rams should be in a flock of 100 ewes feeding of breeding rams should be improved 6 weeks before the breeding season
Estrous cycle
            The estrous cycle in the ewe is 16-17 days with estrous duration being 20-42 hours i.e. approximate 1-2 days average being 30 hours. Ovulation occurs in the ewe from about 24-30 hours after the onest of estrous after 16-17 days. There are no visible signs of heat in the sheep except the acceptance of the ram or teaser with an apron. This is the only external detection of heat in ewes. In flock mating, rams should be left in flock for 6-8 weeks to ensure (3 estrous cycles) that all ewes are bred. After that they are withdrawn. Rams should be joined with ewes 2 weeks after lambing. The ewes will still be nursing their lambs at this stage but this does not prevent them from getting pregnant. Batch lambing could be ensured by synchronization using progrestogne virginal sponges. Ewes lambing within 2-3 weeks interval would be synchronized. This consists of inserting the progrestogen in-plants into their vaginal for 12 days. Introduction of rams to  treated flock 2 days before sponge removal would enhance ovulation. Mating does not begin until sponge removal.
            Estrous normally spread over 4 days following sponge removal. Non-pregnant ewes would return to estrous 16-21 days following sponge removal. Gestation period in ewes   would return to estrous 16-21 days following sponge removal. Gestation period in ewes is about 5 months i.e. 152 days. Repeat breeder ewes those weaning poor weight lambs and old ewes above 7 years should be culled.

Signs of oestrus
-      Uneasiness
-      Frequent urination
-      Tail shaking/
-      Swollen Vulva with a little mucus discharge.
-      Sometimes the females could be seen mounting other animals themselves
-      Bellowing
Mating methods
There are two main mating methods in sheep
Natural service
            This involves the natural copulation of the ram to ewe. In Nigeria where most females and males are kept together there is no restriction to mating, where females are kept separately from males careful observation particularly in the early morning should be carried out to notice females on heat so as to breed them.
Artificial Insemination
            This has recently been given more attention but is rarely practiced in Nigeria because.
-      There are no enough semen banks
-      Fack of chemicals large semen preservation e.g. solid nitrogen.
-      Lack of enough proven males.
-      No adequate technical known-how.
Management of breeding ewes
            The management of breeding females is divided to three main phases.
Dry period (period between weaning to gestation)
            This usually last about three months. The ewe is least productive at this period. It is a time the dam recovers from the stress of the previous pregnancy and lactation. It is also a  time when the dam prepares for the nest pregnancy period; ewe should be given a higher plane of nutrition. Flushing results in a higher lambing percentage. For mating the ratio of ram to ewes is 1:20-40. Hand service (isolating females on heat and introducing them to males) can increase the number of females to 50 under intensive management.
Pregnancy (gestation) period.
            This refers to the period between successful mating to parturition) in sheep. This period is about five months. Foctal development in the first three months of pregnancy is normally slow hence to make appreciable increases in feed supply. In the last  four to six weeks prior to parturition and quality of the feed given should be increase. This is done in order to meet the nutrient requirement of the foctus as well as the dam. This enhanced feeding at period (just before parturition) is called steaming up. Steaming up ensures the following.
-      Greater development of udder tissues and high milk yielding potential for the dam.
-      Law ewe and lamb mortality
-      Higher live weight gain in the young thus heavier adult stock.
-      Water and minerals should be provided ad lib.
Signs of lambing
-      Uneasiness i.e. restlessness
-      The animals is constantly standing up. Sitting down and smelling the ground.
Udder enlargement. There is a significant change in the size of the udder close to
Estrous cycle
            The estrous cycle in the ewe is 16-17 days with estrous duration being 20-42 hours i.e. approximate 1-2 days average being 30 hours. Ovulation occurs in the ewe from about 24-30 hours after the onset  of estrous after 16-17 days. There are no visible signs of heat in the sheep except the acceptance of the ram or teaser with an apron. This is the only external detection of heat in ewes. In flock mating rams should be left in flock for 6-8  weeks to ensure (3 estrous cycles) that all ewes are bred. After that they are withdrawn. Rams should be joined with ewes 2 weeks after lambing. The ewes will still be nursing their lambs at this stage but this does not prevent them from getting pregnant. Batch lambing could be ensured by synchronization using progrestogne virginal sponges. Ewes lambing within 2-3 weeks interval would be synchronized. This consists of inserting the progrestogen in-plants into their vaginal for 12 days. Introduction of rams to  treated flock 2 days before sponge removal would enhance ovulation. Mating does not begin until sponge removal.
            Estrous normally spread over 4 days following sponge removal. Non-pregnant ewes would return to estrous 16-21 days following sponge removal. Gestation period in ewes   would return to estrous 16-21 days following sponge removal. Gestation period in ewes is about 5 months i.e. 152 days. Repeat breeder ewes those weaning poor weight lambs and old ewes above 7 years should be culled.


Signs of oestrus
-      Uneasiness
-      Frequent urination
-      Tail shaking/
-      Swollen Vulva with a little mucus discharge.
-      Sometimes the females could be seen mounting other animals themselves
-      Bellowing
Mating methods
There are two main mating methods in sheep
Natural service
            This involves the natural copulation of the ram to ewe. In Nigeria where most females and males are kept together there is no restriction to mating, where females are kept separately from males careful observation particularly in the early morning should be carried out to notice females on heat so as to breed them.
Artificial Insemination
            This has recently been given more attention but is rarely practiced in Nigeria because.
-      There are no enough semen banks
-      Fack of chemicals large semen preservation e.g. solid nitrogen.
-      Lack of enough proven males.
-      No adequate technical known-how.
Management of breeding ewes
            The management of breeding females is divided to three main phases.
Dry period (period between weaning to gestation)
            This usually last about three months. The ewe is least productive at this period. It is a time the dam recovers from the stress of the previous pregnancy and lactation. It is also a  time when the dam prepares for the nest pregnancy period; ewe should be given a higher plane of nutrition. Flushing results in a higher lambing percentage. For mating the ratio of ram to ewes is 1:20-40. Hand service (isolating females on heat and introducing them to males) can increase the number of females to 50 under intensive management.
Pregnancy (gestation) period.
            This refers to the period between successful mating to parturition) in sheep. This period is about five months. Foctal development in the first three months of pregnancy is normally slow hence to make appreciable increases in feed supply. In the last  four to six weeks prior to parturition and quality of the feed given should be increase. This is done in order to meet the nutrient requirement of the foctus as well as the dam. This enhanced feeding at period (just before parturition) is called steaming up. Steaming up ensures the following.
-      Greater development of udder tissues and high milk yielding potential for the dam.
-      Law ewe and lamb mortality
-      Higher live weight gain in the young thus heavier adult stock.
-      Water and minerals should be provided ad lib.
Signs of lambing
-      Uneasiness i.e. restlessness
-      The animals is constantly standing up. Sitting down and smelling the ground.
Udder enlargement. There is a significant change in the size of the udder close to  the female appears not to show any interest grazing and lags behind the flock.
The vulva appears slightly swollen with some mucus discharge.
When the female is in the process of parturition it should be allowed privacy assistance should only be given when there are obvious signs of difficulty at which time a veterinarian should be invited.
Lactation period
            Feeding of the lactating is aimed at increased milk production to meet the need of the offspring. Normally the feed requirement of a lactating female is greater than during pregnancy.
Management of lambs
            The dam should be allowed to suckle lamb immediately after birth. This is because at this time dam’s milk contains colostrums. Colostrums contains antibodies which help to confer initial immunity to the lamb it also stimulates the  alimentary system. Colostrums production ceases around the third or fourth day after parturition. It is important to check the teat of the female to ensure that milk is available for the lamb. If the dam’s milk supply is law the lamb may haw to the had wh                 
 Weaning blow the age of 3 month is not advisable for tropical sheep and goats. Weaning nibble at solid food such as leaves. Grasses at 2-3 weeks of age. Where a dam dies immediately after parturition artificial  colostrums should be provided. Artificial colostrums in made up of:

-      0.6  litre of cow’s milk
-      1 teaspoon cod liver oil
-       1 teaspoon cod liver oil
-      125mg of broad spectrum antibiotics
Normally a quarter (1/4) to 1litre of artificial colostrums is given per day for four days.
Management of Ram
            Management of ram is very crucial to breeding and indeed the entire production of a sheep farm. If poorly cared for ram attain puberty at a prolonged age. Normally a well managed ram in terms of adequate feeding watering and health care attain puberty at about 6 months of age  if under intensive management system. The ram could be older if under the extensive system. Rams must be fed good nixture of grasses and legumes in addition to which concentrates may be given at about 300 to 500gm per head per day. The hooves must be adequately trimmed to prevent overgrowth and foot rot. They must be regularly disinfected (every quarter) to prevent external parasites. Ram for  breeding is kept in a  separate pen or paddock usually very close to the ewe to stimulate sexual desire. At  puberty sperm production of the ram is usually of low quality hence more mature and older rams must be used for mating. There is the tendency to over-use the ram in an extensive system of production. However, the acceptable  mating ratio of ram to ewe is between 1:20 and 1:3. Excess rams on the farm not  required for mating are often castrated. Castrated sums are called weather.
Management  of buck
            The buck is the male goat.. it must attain the age of about 12 to 18 months of age  before it is used for mating. Even though it reaches puberty earlier than 12 months it is not advisable to use for mating. Buck should be penned separately to prevent indiscriminate mating. It must be fed good quality grass and legumes and given concentrate at about 300 to 50gm of concentrate on daily basis. A good buck can be used breeding for a period of  4 to 6 years effectively. The mating ratio is similar to what  obtains in sheep. Bucks that are not being used for mating are usually castrated. Castrated bucks are called bullocks and fattened for meat.
Management of a female sheep or ewe
            A female sheep is called “ewe” it comes to puberty at about the age of 6 to 12 months depending on adequate feeding and healthcare. When nutrition is poor sheep comes to puberty as late as about 20 months. Attainment of puberty has been shown to be related to the body weight of the animal and breed. Large breeds have been shown to reach puberty much later than small breeds. The moment a ewe is selected for breeding it must be separated and not allowed to run with rams to avoid indiscriminate mating. Apart from nutrition the reproductive life of sheep is also influenced by photoperiod or day-length or season particularly in the temperate region. In the tropics and where there is adequate feeding this effect do not show as there exist little variation in day length period throughout the year. Conception rate in ewe can be increased by improving the quality of feed given to the animal which subsequently encourages ovulation. This process is called flushing. It may require putting the female animal on a lush green pasture with quality concentrate a month beore mating. A female sheep comes to oestrus or heat from 6 months of age and thereafter heat re-occurs at every 15 to 17 days. Ewe must not be allowed for mating at the first oestrus. Oestrus lasts 20 to 42 hours in sheep. The heat signs are similar to what you have learnt for cattle.
Management  Of Pregnant Eve
            After mating, the ewe must be separated from the flock and kept in individual pen or monitored to ensure safety to prevent abortion. The ram must not be allowed to run with the females again if on pasture. They must be grazed on separate paddock or the  prepuce of the  penis tied to the scrotum to prevent aggressive mating from the males. Ewes must be well  fed with good grass-legume mixtures with minerals as supplements in form of block multinutrients if available.
Concentrates at about 200 to 600g per day may be given toward the latter part of pregnancy (6 to 8 weeks) to provide extra nutrients for the developing foetus.
            The gestation period of a ewe 140 to 150 days (21 to 22 weeks). On the average the gestation period in sheep is about 5 months. With this it is possible for an ewe to give birth at least once a year or thrice in two years. The act of giving birth in sheep is called “lambing”.
Lambing
            Lambing is defined act of giving birth in sheep in sheep. Ewes demonstrate essentially the same characteristics when giving birth. Towards the end of pregnancy the udder of the animal swells and becomes larger. The ewe becomes restless bleats and there is a hollow appearance on the flank region of the loin. Some watery discharge that is opaque  and yellowish is observed from the vulva and the animal choose a secluded place to give  birth. Parturition process is completed within two hours. The animal could be assisted if in distress or invite a veterinarian especially if the  foetus position is abnormal. The normal position is when the lamb or kid comes out with head rested on the fore leg coming out first from the vagina. The dam cleans up the lamb or kid by licking the mucus from the body and stimulates the lungs to respire in some cases. The young animal after some time begin to show signs of hunger and thereafter sucks the dam.
Management of Growing sheep
            After the separation of the breeding stock. The remaining animals may be categorized either as fatteners or growers. Fatteners are often given bulk feeding to assist in fast weight gain for slaughtering. They  are usually kept in a pen or restricted paddocks. The growers are also kept and reared together. In this case the male must have been castrated and reared for meat.
Management practices
            Sheep are gregarious that is they prefer to cluster together. The tendency of these animals to cluster together facilities their management and makes it easy to discover any abnormalities in the flock: sick animals often withdraw or lag behind. For better performance of sheep the following management practices should be undertaken.
Castration: Castration can be defined as the careful removal of the testes in the male animal. Ram lambs not needed for  breeding should be castrated at one or two months of  age. The purpose of this is to make the animal grow fatty and be more useful and more economically acceptable. Ram lambs are castrated to stimulate growth and improve meat  quality. Castration should be performed by an experienced breeder husbandman or a livestock farmer. Emasculator burdizzo and clastor band are equipment used for castration.
Dehorning or disbudding: This is the removal of horn. The essence of this is to give the animal fitness reduce the incidence of injury allow more animals be kept in a space and to  allow the animal to grow. The procedure involves destroying the area of epidermal growth after one or two days after birth with caustic paste. Surgical removal involves the use of scoop. This equipment is used to clip the area after disinfecting. If  encaustic paste (sodium hydroxide or NaOH) or caustic paste is used then the ram lamb should be restricted for half an hour so that it does not rub the caustic paste off. Fully  grown horns can be removed by clipping them from young animals or by sawing them in mature animals in both cases local anaesthesia is applied.
Deworming: Deworming is the process of removing worms from the internal environment of the animals using chemicals. Some of these worms include flukeworm hookworm roundworms pinworms tapeworms and so on. Chemicals used for deworming often referred to as dewormer include thiabendazole banmith phenothiazine febendazole coopane piperazine flukazole. Deworming can be done through drenching. Deworming should be periodically (usually four times in a year) to eliminate worm infestation. Good hygiene and cleanliness should be maintained on the farm in order to prevent worm infestation. Rotational grazing must also be practiced.
  Spraying: instects ticks mites and lice are all ectoparasites since they live on the outside of the bodies of the animals. These parasites can cause direct harm like the blood sucking insects and ticks which may or may not transmit diseases. Biting flies like tabanid can make the animals restless and prevent them from grazing properly. Mites and lice causes extreme irritation in sheep and leads to losses of hides and skin in sheep while common housefly is a carrier of a number of bacterial infections including anthrax. Tick causes a number  of diseases which are of economic importance in west Africa. These include red or heart water disease (babesiosis) gale sickness (amplsmosis) spirochactosis. Ticks may also transmit mechanically the disease known as kirchi (skin streptothricosis). Spraying should be done to eliminate these pests. This is done by spraying the animal with insecticidal chemicals or by forcing animal to pass through a pool of water to which some chemicals have been added. There is also topical application of this chemical to the back of the animals. This operation should be carried out fortnightly in the rainy season and monthly in the dry season. Some of these chemicals include vetox 55 toxaphane bayticool asuntol lindane. Ivomee an injectable chemical can be used to cure both ectogparasite and endoparasite at the same time.
Vaccination: Vaccination is the process of administering vaccines in order to prevent the occurrence of diseases or protect the animal from contacting serious infectious disease. Diseases that are contagious and deadly are usually vaccinated against in order to prevent the outbreak of disease which can wipe out a whole flock or her. Examples of such diseases are anthrax foot and mouth disease pox tuberculosis blue tongue clostridia disease rabies rift valley.
Below are some disease and the age at which they could be vaccinated
Diseases                                Age to be vaccinated
Foot and mouth        (a) At 4 weeks old
Disease                                  (b) then every 6 months
                                                (c) when outbreak occurs
                                                (d) at weaning
Pox                                         (a) then every 3 years
                                                (b) then every 3 years
Anthrax                                  (a) at weaning
Clostridia disease              (a) lambs born of vaccinated ewes at 4 months
                                             (b) every 6 months
Hoof trimming: Hooves should be worn down to a reasonable level. This is done by using hoof pick or sharp knife. On softer pastures or in zero grazing system hooves grow too long and feet can be damaged causing thrush an infection easily detected by its unpleasant small. Every few months the hooves should be inspected and trimmed with a sharp knife. A  disinfectant should be applied where infection occurs of if the trimming results in an injury.
Measures for disease prevention on a farm
Health is commonly defined as freedom from disease and disease can be defined as any disturbance of the normal body processes which affects an animal adversely such an upset  can be caused by physical injuries bacteria viruses parasites fungi or poison or by dietetic  errors metabolic disturbance or hereditary detects. Every effort must be made to support health and so avoid diseases.

Signs of good health
There are a number of clinical sings which an animal attendant can look for which can give an indication of the health status of his herd. A healthy animal is one whose body process  function properly so that it can live an active life grow steadily reproduce and attain the maximum level of production of which it is genetically capable.
Attention to surrounding
A health animal shows interest in its surroundings. It is always ready to take flight if  worried by anything that happens.
Good appetites
Healthy animals have good appetites both on a pasture where it actively looks for its food and in the house where it quickly consumes the food given to it ruminants chew the end normally. A first sign if illness is refusal to eat.
 Animal posture and appearance
A healthy animal carries its head high and is alert. Dejected appearance are indications that all is not well with an animal.



Absence of discharge
Health animals do not have any discharge. The eyes are dry and clear no nasal discharges or inflamed (swollen) running eyes.
Maintenance of weight
Healthy adult animals should maintain their weight and young animals increase their body weight. Animals showing obvious loss of body weight are probably unwell.
Normal breathing
Breathing should not be too rapid or erratic and it should be noiseless continuous or intermittent coughing shows that there is an irritation in the respiratory tract.
Normal faecal appearance
Faccal appearance indicates the state of the digestive tract. Constipation and diarrhea are signs of digestive disorders. The urine of a healthy animal in pale straw-coloured liquid with a distinct small.
Fairly constant body temperature
The internal body temperatures of healthy animals remain fairly constant at levels which vary according to species that of sheep goats and cows range between 38.50c- 390c. temperatures may however be raise by execration particularly in hot weather and by fear but disease is the principal cause of a rise temperature.
Signs of ill health
In contrast to the above mentioned signs of good health. Animals that is sick or incubating a disease show some general systemic  or local signs that must be carefully observed.
Listlessness
Animal lags bind the flock and keeps away from the other animals moving little it at all and with its head down.
Lack of appetite
 Animal shows no interest in feed.
High temperature
Any temperature above 39.50c should be considered an indicative  of disease probably infectious disease.
Congestion of mucosa around the eyes
This congestion if often accompanied by weeping sometimes it appears pale or white in the case of anaemia it may be yellowish in colour.
Running nostrils
This usually occurs with discharge of a purulent blood stained liquid. Nasal discharge is often accompanied by coughing.
Diarrhea
This can easily be detected because the animals hindquarters and are dirty with swollen left flank.
The animals left flank appears swollen rather than hollow
Appearance of feet, under, testides and sheath
Appearance of feet udder testides and sheath may show abnormalities and sheath that are usually manifested as heat redness and pain on palpation.
General measures of disease prevention
Methods of disease prevention will vary according to the particular causal agent and in some cases he species of animal but there are some few measures which have general application.
Quarantine
All newly purchased animals should be isolated and kept separately under observation for a period of 10days. During this period nay sign of ill health should be noticed and treated appropriately before the animal is introduce to the herd. This is important because it prevents the introduction of disease from outside. While in isolation the animal should be deqormed deticked and given a broad spectrum antibiotics.
Vaccination
Animals should be vaccinated against preventable diseases such as at the right time and age.    
Avoid overcrowding
Animals should be overcrowded in a pen or house. Overcrowding allows for easy spread of disease particularly contagious disease such as disease cause by parasites and fungi.
Separate sick from healthy animals
One an  animal shows any sign of ill health be separated from the healthy ones and treated in isolation. This is to prevent it spreading the disease to others. When the animal is considered fully recovered it should then be reintroduced. Young animals should be housed separately adult animals may have infection agents to which they acquired resistance and do not therefore suffer from the disease but young  animals are susceptible and may catch and develop disease.

Toxic materials
This should be kept away from animal certain chemical compounds and plants are poisonous and may cause disorder water. Animals grazing on good pasture tend to avoid poisonous plants.
Avoid under nutrition
Under nutrition is a major disease causing error in a farm particularly seen in animals entirely dependent on grazing bare pasture or those under confinement but not properly feed. This apart from causing a disease problem of its own lowers the resistance of the animal to other diseases.
Regular dipping/ spraying
Animals should be dipped or sprayed regularly against external parasites such as ticks and flees. This should be done more often during the rainy season. External parasite causes irritation on the animal and some are agents of disease when external parasites are left unchecked they have the overall effect of decreasing productivity.
Regular deworming
Deworm animals with broad spectrum anthelminthic once a month during the rainy season and less frequently during the dry season.
Common diseases of sheep
Foot and mouth disease
            It is a highly communicable viral disease which affects animals. It is characterized with high fever vesicles and  blister formation around the mouth teats udders and the skin between toes and above hoofs. The vesicles later rupture into uleer. The diseases spread through direct contact with the infected animal  or through indirect contact or infected manure hay forages water rate birds and livestock attendants. There should be proper sanitation rotational grazing and annual vaccination. The only control measure is to bury and burn the infected animal.
Rinderpest
It is very destructive among cattle buffaloes sheep goats and deer caused by virus. Infected animals develop high temperature which reaches a peak in a day or two and lasts  for two to seven days. The animal become dull with congested conjunctiva dry muzzles and loss of appetite constipation and diarrhea. Lesions show on buccal mucous membrane on the lip and gum on the seventh  to ninth day. The lesions later develop into ulcer resulting in a loss of appetite servere dirarrhoea  and later the animal dies.  The animal dies. The animal should be vaccinated using tissue culture of Rinderpest. It must be noted that vaccination against rinderpest in usually necessary in Africa.
Anthrax
It is caused by bacillus antharac is (Bacteria). No symptom may be observed before the death of infected animal but black tarry exudates from the various body orifices after death. There is always an incubation period of about 1-2 weeks after which the animal dies suddenly without any sign. The animals could be treated with antibiotics. The infected animal should be burnt and buried while the premises should be thoroughly disinfected.
Peste des petits ruminant
            Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious and infections viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants. It is characterized by the sudden onset of depression fever discharges from the eyes and nose sores in the mouth disturbed breathing and cough foul-smelling diarrhea and  death. The virus which causes PPR the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) belongs to the rinderpest virus of cattle and buffaloes the measles virus  of humans the distemper virus of dogs and some wild carnivores and the morbilliviruses  of aquatic mammals. To date genetic characterization of PPR virus has allowed them to be organized into four groups three from Africa and one from Asia. One of the African  groups of PPRV is also found in Asia. The epidemiological significance of these groupings is less clear at present than that rinderpest virus groups.
Chlmydia or enzootic abortion
This affects two five percent of ewes. This discase has become more prevalent in the Midwest since 1970. The ewe usually is sick and won’t cat for two or three days. The  placenta is retained and is brown in colour. The ewe usually has a vaginal discharge Abortion occurs during the last four weeks of gestation. There is now a vaccine killed bacterin). In case of an outbreak antibioties help but the low incidence lessens its practicability.
Pregnancy Disease
            Pregnancy disease is an upset or interference in the metabolism eycle of carbohydrates it is not related in any way to the amount of exercise the ewe gets. In converting fatty acids and  particularly body fat to glucose ketones accumulate in the bloodstream and blood glucose levels deeline. The ketones are very toxic to the ewe. Tesulting in death within two five days. Pregnancy disease occurs only among ewes carrying multiple fetuses and usually only during the last four-five weeks of gestation. The  ewe stops eating which reduces her source  of carbohydrate. She separates from the flock often wanders aimlessly and may press her head against-the barn-or-feedbunk. Unless a ewe is treated very soon after the first signs are noticed little can be done. Separate her from the flock drench her with ½  pint propylene glycol twice a day until she eats and offer her grain and hay. Drenching with glucose honey or molasses or injecting 40-50cc of 5 10% glucose under the skin also may be used with reasonable success. If the ewe is not treated the first day however the prognosis is poor.
            To prevent pregnancy disease keep ewes gaining weight during the last four weeks of gestation. Increase the energy intake by feeding in addition to hay 5 1.0 pound grain per ewe daily . fat ewes may be more susceptible  because they have difficulty increasing  in weight have limited feed capacity in relation to their size and have an abundant amount of fat-to-convert-to-energy.
Mastitis
Mastitis (acute pasteurella) is the major reason producers cull ewes. Mastitis is associated with lambs with sore mouth and incurred “drying up” of the ewe at weaning. The teat is too big or is near the ground and the lamb doesn’t find it. Minimize re infection by  isolating the infected ewe and her lambs. Palpate udders in the fall and cull ewes with indications of sear tissue. Mark infected ewes at lambing time. Avoid udder injury and cull ewes with pendulous udders. Treatment includes giving sulfamethazine at one grain per pound of body weight (two bolus) intramammary infusion of the udder (by a teat tube) or intramuscular injection of 8 10cc of tetracycline.
Foot rot
            Footrot is a grievous disease that almost defies curing. For a small flock of grade ewes selling out and starting over is the wisest decision. Footrot is eaused by two bacteria. Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacteroides nodosus that act synergistically. F necrophorum is common in most manure it is very hardy and can live for years in manure. It contributs to footrot in cattle and  causes thrush in horses. B. nodosus-apparently lives only in sheep hooves. It dies out in soil in two weeks it grows very slowly so the incubation period may be long. Foot abscess may be caused by B. nodosus but footrot requires the presence of both B. nodosus and F. necrophorum. Moist soil conditions contribute greatly to the cause and spread of footrot.
            To-control-and-treat-footrot:Trim the hoof wall to the quick in all sheep. Soak affected hooves for five minutes in a foot bath containing 90% water and 10% formalin (37% formaldehyde) or 10% zine sulfate. Zine sulfate is as effective as formalin and is safer to-use. Isolate limpers and repeat one week later. Turn apparently cured sheep into an uncontamainated area. Doing so does create a problem however because some sheep thought to be clean actually still are finfected. With time and moist conditions. They will reinfect other sheep. Re-examine all sheep and remove any limpers you initially thought were clean. Force sheep to move through a 10% zine sulfate solution daily for 30 days. This has become the most-successful-treatment-scheme. Sell-persistent-limpers. If you sell all sheep wait three weeks-before-bringing-in-new-sheep.
Sore-Mouth
            Sore mouth (contagious ecthyma) is caused by a virus. Herpes uleers develop on the lip and tongue of the lamb and on the udder of the ewe. An abrasion on the lips seems to contribute to its incidence. It is more prevalent in lambs on rubber nipples. Vaccinate if you have infected sheep running with susceptible sheep (young lambs). If you show sheep vaccination is a must. For most sheep it is of little concern. Other than with baby lambs let it run its course. It is a virus so antibioties are ineffective. Vaccinate at two three days if you have had previous problems and have brought in unexposed sheep.

Sore-Mouth
The ewe can’t feed two lambs (mastitis too little feed etc). joint-injury-or-illness. Pneumonia which often is associated with lambs that received no colostrums-and-thereby-lack-immune-bodies.
Pneumonia
            Pneumonia the number one lamb disease occurs because of a lak of colostrums because of “mastitis milk.” Or because ewes are heavily infected with pasteurella (99% are infected so the organism is always present). A lamb contracts pneumonia because it can’t stand such stresses as too little milk draft dampness and ammonia off a manure pack. Diagnosis of sick unthrifty young lambs is relatively simple because 9% of the time they are either starving or have pneumonia. Strive for early detection and start antibiotic treatment before the lungs have been permanently damaged.
            Treatment for pneumonia is to inject the lamb with antibiotics (tracycline penicillin or streptomycin)plus one grain sultamethazine per pound of body weight. Adequate selenium and vitamin E help the lamb withstand pneumonia. Keep the lamb strong.

Baby-Lamb Scours
            Scours are due to one of many bacteria. To minimize the problem an adequate intake of colostrum (eight to 12 ounces of either ewe or cow colostrums) is absolutely essential. Scours may hit the lamb the first day of life. The lamb succumbs due to added stress (draft ammonia poor ventilation). Clostridium perfringens type C may be the cause of baby lamb scours. Vaccinate the ewe four weeks prelambing to prevent it. Treat scours with a 250 mg letracycline capsule orally injection of 1 cc penicillin or tetracy line (IM) E coli salmonella often is the cause.
Coccidiosis
Coccidiosis usually occurs in lambs four weeks or elder it is caused by protozoa. Treat it with amprolin or sulfamethazine (one grain per pound of body weighty weight). Rmensin isapproved for cattle but not sheep)Bovatee. 40g ton of feed is also effective. I lectrolyt baking soda or consomine soup are supportive treatments. Lambs usually show blacklist blood-tinged diarrhea and are reluctant to eat.
Tetanus: Tetanus is caused by clostridium tetani which persists in the soil most farms.
            Next to horses sheep are the most suseeptible farm animal. The beteria are  anacrobic so wounds in which air contact is limited are most susceptible to tetanus. Docking and castrating with rubber rings in tense the incidence of infection. Disinfecting docking and castrating wounds will minimize  it. Infected sheep become stiff move with a  straddled gait and usually die. Vaccinating with tetanus toxoid and anti-toxin prior to docking is effective.   
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