Getting Ready for Lambing & Kidding (2013)


Published on

This presentation was prepared for the 2013 Lambing & Kidding School held December 7 in Keedysville, Maryland.

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Getting Ready for Lambing & Kidding (2013)

  1. 1. SUSAN SCHOENIAN (Shāy-nē-ŭn) Sheep & Goat Specialist Western Maryland Research & Education Center -
  2. 2.  NEEDS     INTAKE  Seventy (70) percent of fetal growth occurs during the last third of gestation (50 days). Most of the female’s udder development is occurring. Her rumen capacity is decreasing. She is eating less (towards end of gestation)
  3. 3.  Primarily, she needs a more nutrient-dense diet.  To support fetal growth.  To support udder development.  To prevent pregnancy toxemia and milk fever.  To ensure birth of strong, healthy babies of moderate size (weight).  To compensate for reduced feed intake.  Poor nutrition can cause Angora does to abort (90-110 d).
  4. 4.  Energy is the nutrient most likely to be deficient, but protein can also be deficient in the diet, due to reduced intake or poor quality forage.  Energy requirements are much higher two weeks pre-parturition vs. six weeks pre-parturition.  Grain is often necessary to meet the increased energy needs of pregnant females, especially high-producing ones.  If a low quality forage is fed, it may also be necessary to provide supplemental calcium (Ca) and/or protein (CP) in the diet.  Nutrient requirements (lbs. or g per day) vary by species, breed, size, age, and number of fetuses.
  5. 5. UNDERFEEDING OVERFEEDING Pregnancy toxemia risk Smaller, weaker babies  Reduced colostrum quality and quantity  Higher neonatal mortality  Reduced milk yield  Reduced weaning weights  Reduced wool production via fewer secondary follicles (in the offspring).      Pregnancy toxemia risk Increased risk of vaginal prolapse Increased risk of dystocia (difficult births).  Too much internal fat  Oversized fetuses  Lazy, fat females!  Feed is expensive!
  6. 6.  Calcium is an important mineral during late gestation (and lactation) and there are differences between sheep and goats. a) In sheep, calcium requirements increase substantially during gestation and peak in late gestation. b) In goats, calcium requirements increase during gestation, but do not differ from early to late gestation. c) In goats and dairy sheep, calcium requirements are highest during lactation.  Calcium requirements are highest for females carry multiple fetuses and for females producing more milk.
  7. 7.  Milk fever (hypocalcemia) is caused by low blood calcium.  It can be the result of too much calcium in the late gestation diet or not enough.  Too much (usually goats, esp. dairy)  Not enough (usually sheep)  Milk fever can occur in late gestation or early lactation.  Late gestation (usually sheep)  Early lactation (usually goats, esp. dairy)
  8. 8. GOOD SOURCES POOR SOURCES Feed stuff % Ca Feed stuff % Ca Limestone 34.0 Barley 0.06 Dicalcium phosphate 22.0 Corn 0.02 Mineral mix 14-18 Oats , wheat 0.05 INTERMEDIATE SOURCES Feed stuff % Ca Grasses 0.30-0.50 Soybean meal 0.28-0.38 Dried kelp 2.72 Protein pellet 1.6 Legume hays 1.3-1.5
  9. 9.  Most of our soils are deficient in selenium (Se).  During late gestation, selenium crosses the placenta to the fetuses; vitamin E does not.  Low levels of selenium and/or Vitamin E can result in . . .  Poor reproductive performance  Retained placentas  White muscle disease in lambs and kids.  Too much Se can be toxic, whereas vitamin E is not toxic. Image source: Informed Farmers (Can)
  10. 10.  Free choice mineral mixes usually provide adequate selenium . . . but do not guarantee adequate intake.  Adding a selenium-fortified mineral mix to the grain ration will ensure adequate intake of selenium and other minerals and reduce animal variation.  Vitamin E can be added to the diet, as a prevention; research is not conclusive as to its effects.  Selenium and vitamin E can be supplemented orally via gels.  On farms with a history of white muscle disease, selenium injections (Rx) may be advisable. Check with your veterinarian
  11. 11.  Make sure all ewes and does can eat at the same time.  Separate pregnant ewe lambs and doelings from mature females.    They have higher nutrient requirements. They may have trouble competing for feeder space. Remove males after breeding season.    They can be aggressive at feed bunk. They have different nutrient requirements than pregnant females. To prevent unwanted breedings.  Do not feed on the ground or in feeders that animals can easily contaminate.
  12. 12.  Stress can predispose pregnant ewes and does to various reproductive problems.  Minimize stress (es) during late pregnancy        Changes in feed Missed feedings Shearing, crutching Moving, handling Mixing groups Weather influences Dogs
  13. 13.  Lack of exercise may increase the chances of pregnancy toxemia and other reproductive problems.  Daily exercise is recommended throughout pregnancy, specially for ewe lambs and doelings.  Exercise can be encouraged by separating feed, water, and minerals.
  14. 14.  Vaccinate pregnant females approximately 1 month (at least 2 weeks) prior to lambing/kidding.  Newborns will acquire temporary, passive immunity via the colostrum, if they consume adequate colostrum: (~10% of their body weight).  Ewes and does never vaccinated before require two injections, 4 weeks apart.  Don’t forget to vaccinate mature rams, bucks, and wethers.
  15. 15.  Ewes and does suffer a temporary loss of immunity to stomach worms around the time of parturition  Research has shown the peak in egg counts to occur at different times relative to parturition.  If lambing or kidding occurs in the spring, the periparturient egg rise will coincide with hypobiotic larvae resuming their life cycle, as well as the resumption of warmer temperatures.
  16. 16.  Lambing/kidding environment  Greater risk with pasture lambing vs. shed lambing  Season of lambing/kidding  The risk is the highest in the spring, followed by the winter. It is lowest in the fall.  Age of females  Yearlings and 2 year olds are at higher risk than mature females.
  17. 17.  Traditional approach  Deworm ewes and does prior to parturition (2-4 weeks). ▪ Use an anthelmintic that is effective against hypobiotic larvae (e.g. Ivomec®, SafeGuard®) ▪ With the exception of Valbazen® during the first 30 days of gestation, all of the dewormers are safe for pregnant females (if administered properly).  Novel approaches  Increase level of protein in late gestation ration.  Use the FAMACHA© system and Five Point Check© to determine which ewes and does require deworming.
  18. 18.  In feed or mineral 1) Bovatec® - sheep 2) Rumensin® - goats 3) Deccox® - sheep, goats  Why?  To prevent coccidiosis in lambs and kids. ▪ Reduce shedding of coccidia organism into environment.  As an aid to prevent abortions caused by Toxoplasma gondii. [There is no vaccine for toxo.]  It is best to incorporate coccidiostat into gestation ration to ensure adequate intake and reduce variability of intake.  Coccidiostats, especially Rumensin® can be toxic to equines and dogs.
  19. 19.  Why?  To prevent losses due to infectious causes of abortion ▪ If the flock has a history of diagnosed abortions (e.g. Chlamydia, Vibrio). ▪ If the flock is at risk for abortion. ▪ In the event of an abortion storm.  How?  Feed chlorotetracycline (aureomycin) at a rate of 80 mg/head/day during the last 6 weeks of gestation [Rx for goats].  Inject oxytetracycline (LA-200) at two week intervals during late gestation [Rx].
  20. 20.  Results in cleaner, drier, healthier environment for lambs.  Shorn ewes are less likely to lay on their lambs.  Shorn ewes are more likely to seek shelter for lambing.  Shorn animals take up less space in the barn and around feeders.  Results in cleaner fleeces.  But . . . shorn animals require shelter and more feed. Image by Kelly Cole
  21. 21. FACILITIES  Clean, dry, draft-free building  Drop area  Small pens (jugs)  Mixing pens  Clean, well-rested pastures  Shelter  Emergency pens SUPPLIES                Panels, buckets and feeders for jugs Frozen colostrum Colostrum replacement/supplement Milk replacer Esophageal feeding tube OB sleeves and lubricant Disinfectant for dipping navels Prolapse harness or spoon Needles and syringes Propylene glycol Calcium borogluconate Antibiotics Bo-Se Thermometer More…
  22. 22. DO’S           Increase nutrition (gradually) Feed pregnant ewe lambs and doelings separately Encourage daily exercise Minimize stress Vaccinate for CD-T Manage periparturient egg rise Feed a coccidiostat Shear or crutch females Prepare facilities Gather/inventory supplies DON’TS Overfeed Underfeed  Stress females  Introduce new animals  Change groupings  Leave males in  Worry  
  23. 23. Happy lambing and kidding! Thank you for your attention. Any questions? Susan Schoenian