Inf she t                                          I fo s eetGett   ting ready for la        r          ambin and kidd    ...
requirem       ments, as mo feed is n                   ore         needed to maintain norm body tem                      ...
Pregnant ewe lambs and doeling should be fed separat        t                       gs         e            tely from matu...
feed a m       mixed (legum                  me-grass) hay during late gestation.                              y          ...
raised animals. Internal parasitism will be a more significant problem when lambing andkidding occur in the spring and sum...
Getting your supplies and equipment readyTwo weeks before your first ewes and/or does are due to lamb/kid, you should orga...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Getting ready for lambing and kidding


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

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

No notes for slide

Getting ready for lambing and kidding

  1. 1. Inf she t I fo s eetGett ting ready for la r ambin and kidd ng d dingby Susan SSchoenianSheep and Goat Specia d alistUniversity of Maryland Extension y dsschoen@umd.eduDate of la revision: 9-Nov-11 ast 9Proper m management and nutritio of the pr on regnant ewe and doe will go a long way toward dsensuring a successful lambing an kidding se nd eason.What is hhappening during the l d last 4 to 6 wweeks of pre egnancy?While preegnancy last for approx ts ximately fiv months, 7 percent o fetal grow occurs during ve 70 of wththe last 4 to 6 weeks of pregnan s ncy. Most of the ewe or doe’s mamm mary (udder growth is r)occurring during this period. At the same time, her rum capacit is decreas g s t men ty sing, due to therapidly g sult of all these changes is a need f increased nutrition; in growing fetuses. The res s for dparticula a more nutrient-dens diet. ar, se Extra nutritio is usually required to support fe E on y o etal growth, espe g ecially if the female is c e carrying mul ltiple fetuses. Extr feed is ne f ra eeded to suppport mammmary development and ensure a plentiful milk supply d t e l y. Proper nutrit P tion will hel to prevent pregnancy lp y toxemia (ket t tosis) and milk fever (hy ypocalcaemiia), two common metabolic problems in pregnant e t n n ewes and a does. Pr roper nutrition will ensu the birth of ure h strong, healt offspring of moderate birth wei s thy g ight. Birth weight is highly co B orrelated to lamb and kidsurvival, with low an high birth weight offspring usual experienc nd h lly cing the highest degree ofmortalityy.Nutrition during late gestation nDuring la gestation energy (T ate n, TDN, calories is the nutrient most likely to be d s) deficient in thediet of ew and doe The amo wes es. ount of nutrients require will depe upon the age and siz ed end e ze(weight) of the fema and her e ale expected level of produ uction: singles, twins, or triplets.Environmmental condi itions also affect nutriti ional require ements. Pas stured anima usually h als havehigher nuutritional re equirements than barn-f animals because the have to ex fed ey xert moreenergy to get their feed and water. Cold we o f eather can ssubstantially increase nu y utritional1|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding
  2. 2. requirem ments, as mo feed is n ore needed to maintain norm body tem mal mperature. Cold waterrequires energy to co onvert it to body tempe erature.To meet the increase energy needs during this crucial period, it is usually necessary to feed ed lsome con ncentrate (g grain or grain by-produc n cts). If forag quality is low, it may also be ge s ynecessar to provide a suppleme ry e ental source of protein and calcium e m.Feeding during late gestation eIt is very important that pregnan ewes and does not be underfed o overfed. Extreme y t nt d e ornutrition at either end of the sc n cale can be p problematic.Inadequa nutrition may result in pregnanc toxemia ( ate n t cy sugar), small and weak (low blood soffspring higher lam and kid m g, mb mortality, reeduced colosstrum qualit and quant ty tity, poor milkyield, and reduced wool product w tion (in the offspring via fewer seco a ondary follic cles).Over-connditioned fem males are mmore prone t pregnancy toxemia, v to y vaginal prola apses, anddystocia (difficult births). Overffeeding can result in ove ersized fetuses that hav difficulty vebeing born and put the ewe and doe at risk. Feeding ew and doe more than what is t d wes es nnutrition nally require is an unne ed ecessary exppense tothe producer. With today’s high feed costs, toverfeedding is especcially costly, even if pro oblems ncountered as a result o animals being over-aren’t en ofcondition or overf ned fed.While rattions can be balanced b hand using simple e byarithmet online ra tic, ation balanc cing software esimplifies the task. Several univversities offer freeonline to ools for ratio balancing and evalua on g ation.Montana State Unive ersity Sheep Feed Ration nhttp://w www.msushe eepration.moontana.eduCornell U University Fe Form (re eed equires Micr rosoft Access)http://w www.sheep.c /managemen nt/economiccs/cspsoftw ware/feedfor rm/ tmlLangston University Ration Balan n ncer and Nu utrient Calcu ulator for Go oatshttp://w www.luresex nutritionmodule1.htmUniversit of Marylan Extension Spreadshe ty nd n eetshttp://w m/spreadsheeets.htmlFeed bunk managem mentIn additio to feedin the prope amounts o nutrients, proper feed bunk management is on ng er of ,necessar to ensure adequate in ry ntake by all females. All ewes and d does should be able to eeatat one time. If there is inadequa feeder s e ate space, some animals, esspecially the small, youn e ng,old, and timid ones, may not ge enough to eat. Males can be very aggressive at feeding t et y time.They shoould be separated from the females after the b s breeding season. Overly aggressivefemales sshould be cu ulled from the herd.2|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding
  3. 3. Pregnant ewe lambs and doeling should be fed separat t gs e tely from mature femal les. Theirnutrition requirem nal ments are higgher, becaus in additio to being p se on pregnant, th are still heygrowing tthemselves. In fact, goa and some breeds of sheep are n full-grow until they are . ats not wn yabout three years old. Young females may a also have tro ouble compe eting for fee eder space. Ifewe lambs and doeli ings cannot be managed and fed se d eparately fro mature f om females (unt tilthe time they wean their first se of offspring), breedin should pr et ng robably be d delayed untilthey are yearlings.Pregnant ewes or do should no be fed on the ground This is ho abortions and other t oes ot n d. ow sdiseases are spread. It can also result in con nsiderable f feed wastage and econo e omic loss.Selenium and Vitam E m minSelenium and Vitami E are critical nutrient during lat gestation. Low levels of selenium m in ts te m(Se) and/ Vitamin E have been associated with poor r /or n d reproductive performan and reta e nce ainedplacentas. Selenium is passed fr rom the placcenta to the fetuses dur e ring late ges station. Aselenium and/or vita m amin E deficciency can le to white muscle dis ead e sease (nutrit tional muscu ulardystrophy) in lambs and kids.Free chooice mineral mixes usual provide a lly adequate selenium to pr regnant ewe and does. If es .the flock includes bo sheep an goats, a s k oth nd sheep miner should be fed, as she have a l ral e eep lowtolerance for excess copper in t e their diets. Goats should be fed a g goat mineral mix that lcontains copper. If goats are housed with sh g heep, it may be advisab to give th y ble hemsuppleme ental copper. Copasure boluses (for cattle) can be repacka r n aged into sm maller doses forgoats.Adding th selenium he m-fortified m mineral mix t the grain ration will e to ensure intak of all keminerals. Free choic minerals do not guar ce rantee adequate intake, as individu animals v , ual varyin their intake of fre choice supplements. In flocks with a history of white mu ee uscle disease e,selenium may be pro m ovided via in njections. S Selenium injections have caused abo e ortions in sm mallruminant so care must be take not to ove ts, m en erdose Se pr roducts. The is a narr ere row rangebetween selenium re equirements and toxic l s levels.Monitor calcium intakeCalcium intake is als very impo so ortant during late gestat g tion.The fema ale’s require ements for ccalcium virtuually double eduring la gestation Milk feve (hypocalce ate n. er emia) is cau used bya low blo calcium level, which can be the result of a ood h e aninadequa intake of calcium or failure to immobilize ate f rcalcium rreserves. Excessive int E take of calci ium can also be a ocontributting factor. In dairy fem males, milk ffever may occcurafter par rturition.It is impo ortant to kno the calci ow ium content of the feed you t dsare feedi ing. While cereal grains (corn, barley, wheat, a c s andoats) are good sourc of phosph e ces horus, they are poor sou urcesof calcium. Some by y-product fe eeds (e.g. so hulls) con oy ntainhigher leevels of calcium than graains.Forages a usually higher in cal are h lcium than g grains, espec cially legum forages (a me alfalfa, clove ers,and lespe edeza). It is generally r s recommende that you save your “best” hay fo lactation, and ed or ,3|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding
  4. 4. feed a m mixed (legum me-grass) hay during late gestation. y eSuppleme ental calcium can be pr rovided thro ough comple grain mix or miner suppleme ete xes ral ents(dicalcium phosphate, bonemea and limes al, stone). If a g grass hay or other low q quality forag is ge cium should be supplemented throu the grain ration. Fre choice mfed, calc ugh n ee minerals do nnotguarante adequate intake of vi ee itamins and minerals.Vaccinattion for CD-T TPregnant females should be vaccinated for clostridium perfringins type C and D (overeating tdisease) and tetanus approximately one mo s onth prior to parturition (giving birt o th). Vaccina atedfemales w pass ant will tibodies in t their colostr rum (first mi to their newborns. L ilk) Lambs and k kidsfrom vac ccinated dam do not re ms equire CD-T v vaccination until they a 6 to 8 we are eeks of age.Ewes and does that have never been vaccin d h nated or who vaccinat ose tion status is unknown w s willrequire t two vaccinat tions during late pregna ancy, given f four weeks a apart. Breeeding males a andmature wwethers shou be vaccinated at the same time uld e e.There is some eviden to sugge that the CD-T vaccin is not as e nce est ne effective in goats as it i in isother spe ecies. Some veterinarians advocate vaccinating does every six months e g y s.Internal parasitesEwes and does exper d rience a temmporary loss of simmunity to gastro-i y intestinal pa arasites (parrasiticworms) a the time of parturitio at o on. It is the result ofhormona changes. Deworming with an effe al ectiveanthelmi intic will cou unter this “pperiparturie rise” in entworm eggs and reduce the expo osure of newwbornlambs an kids to inf nd fective worm larvae. A m Ananthelmi intic that is effective ag gainst hypobbiotic(arrested larvae sho d) ould be usedd.All antheelmintics (de ewormers) should beadministered to shee and goats orally, usin a ep s ngsyringe w with a long, metal nozzl The drug should be le. gdeposited over the back of the t b tongue. Due to a faster rate of met e tabolism, go oats usuallyrequire hhigher doses of the anth s helmintics th other liv han vestock. To minimize ha andling andstress, deeworming ca be done at the same time as CD-T vaccinati an e ions and/or shearing.Albendazzole (Valbaz zen©) should not be give to pregna females during their first trimes d en ant r sterof pregna ancy or with 30 days a hin moved from t flock. All after the ram or buck has been rem m theother ant thelmintics, when admi , inistered pro operly, are n known t pose a risk to pregnan not to k ncy.Due to w widespread drug resistan issues, a better stra d nce ategy to counnter the per riparturient eggrise migh be to incr ht rease the pro otein level o the gestation ration. Research ha shown tha of as atprotein s supplementaation during late pregna ancy can red duce fecal eg counts. ggAnother good strateg would be to only dew gy e worm ewes a does sho and owing signs of internalparasitism (e.g. pale mucous me m e embranes, b bottle jaw, p poor body coondition, and dagginess).Pasture-rraised anima need to b more clo als be ored for internal parasite than barn osely monito es n-4|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding
  5. 5. raised animals. Internal parasitism will be a more significant problem when lambing andkidding occur in the spring and summer versus the winter or fall.Feed a CoccidiostatIt is a good idea to feed a coccidiostat (Bovatec®, Rumensin®, or Deccox®) to pregnantfemales during late gestation, especially if lambing and kidding will take place indoors. Whileit is normal for sheep and goats to have coccidia in their digestive systems, if young lambsand kids are exposed to too many coccidia, they may develop clinical disease. Even if coccidiadoes not kill a lamb or kid, it can permanently stunt it.Feeding a coccidiostat will reduce the number of coccidia being shed into the lambing andkidding environment, enabling young animals to develop immunity to coccidia without beingovercome by disease. The coccidiostat should be fed through weaning. Creep feed shouldcontain a coccidiostat.There is some evidence to suggest that feeding a coccidiostat (especially Rumensin®) duringlate gestation will also aid in the prevention of abortions caused by Toxoplasma gondii, whichis the species of coccidia that is carried by domestic cats. Toxoplasmosis is one of the leadingcauses of abortion in small ruminants. There is no vaccine.It is important to note that coccidiostats, especially Rumensin®, can be fatal to horses,donkeys, and mules.AntibioticsAntibiotics can aid in the prevention of abortions caused by Chlamydia (Enzootic/EAE) orCampylobacter (vibrio). Chlorotetracycline (aureomycin) is FDA-approved to feed to ewes toprevent abortions. It should be fed at a rate of 80 mg per head per day. Alternatively,injections of antibiotics (e.g. LA-200) every two weeks during late gestation may help toprevent abortions. Seek the advice of a large animal veterinarian if your flock is experiencinga high rate of abortion (more than 5%).ExerciseDaily exercise is recommended for ewes and does throughout their pregnancy. "Fit" femaleshave fewer birthing problems. Separating feed, water, and minerals can encourage exercise.StressEwes and does should not be stressed during their last trimester. Handling should beminimized. Groups should be kept stable.ShearingIt is a good idea to shear fiber-producing animals approximately one month prior toparturition. There are numerous advantages to shearing prior to lambing and kidding.Shearing results in a cleaner, drier, healthy environment for newborn lambs/kids. Shorn ewesput less moisture into the air. Shorn ewes are less likely to lay on their lambs. They are morelikely to seek shelter in inclement weather. Shorn ewes take up less space in the barn andaround feeders. Shearing before parturition results in much cleaner fleeces.Shorn females require more feed to compensate for heat loss, especially during cold weather.They require adequate shelter. An alternative to shearing is crutching. Crutching is whenyou remove the wool from around the ewe’s udder and vulva.5|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding
  6. 6. Getting your supplies and equipment readyTwo weeks before your first ewes and/or does are due to lamb/kid, you should organize yoursupplies and set up your facilities. While the general rule of thumb is to have one lambingpen per ten females, you may need more if your lambing and kidding is tightly spaced. Alambing pen, also called a “jug,” is a enclosure (4 x 5 ft. or 5 by 5 ft) where you put the damand her offspring together for 1 to 3 days to encourage bonding and for close observation.Even with pasture lambing/kidding, you may want a few pens in case you have someproblems.At least 14 days ahead of time, you should bring your ewes or does to the location where theywill be lambing or kidding. This will enable them to manufacture antibodies specific to theenvironment in which their offspring will be born. Lambing and kidding can occur in a well-bedded barn or on a clean pasture. The area should be dry and protected from drafts.Pastures should offer protection from predators and inclement weather.Here are some suggested supplies to have on hand prior to lambing and kidding: • Halter • Propylene glycol or molasses (for treating pregnancy toxemia) • Calcium borogluconate (for treating milk fever) • 50% dextrose • Syringes and needles • Bearing retainer (spoon) or prolapse harness • Rubber gloves, protective sleeves, or latex gloves • OB lubrication • Nylon rope, snare, or leg puller • OB S-curve needle • Oral dosing syringe • Towels and rags • Heat lamp or warming box • Various antibiotics • Thermometer • Gentle iodine, betadine, or other disinfectant • Frozen colostrum • Colostrum supplement • Esophageal feeding tube • Milk replacer • Nipples • Scale • Weighing sling • Ear tags or paint brands • Pocket record keeping book • Docking, castrating, and disbudding equipment • Disbudding box • Electric clippers6|Page Getting ready for lambing and kidding