SUSAN SCHOENIAN (Shāy-nē-ŭn)Sheep & Goat SpecialistWestern Maryland Research & Education Centersschoen@umd.edu - www.sheepandgoat.com
Seventy (70) percent of fetal growth is occurring.NEEDS Most of the female’s udder development is occurring. Her rumen capacity is decreasing. She’s eating less.INTAKE
A more nutrient-dense diet To compensate for reduced feed intake. To support fetal growth. To support udder development. To prevent pregnancy toxemia and milk fever. Remember: animals need amounts To ensure birth of (lb, g) of nutrients -- not percentages. strong, healthy babies of moderate size (weight). Poor nutrition can cause Angora does to abort (90- 110 d).
Energy is the nutrient most likely to be deficient, but protein can also be deficient in the diet, due to reduced intake. Nutrient requirements vary by species, breed, size, age, and number of fetuses. Grain is often necessary to meet increase energy needs of pregnant females. If a low quality forage is fed, it may also be necessary to provide supplemental Ca and/or protein. Remember: animals need amounts (lb, g) of nutrients -- not percentages.
UNDERFEEDING OVERFEEDING Pregnancy toxemia risk Pregnancy toxemia risk Smaller, weaker babies More likely to prolapse Reduced colostrum their vaginas. quality and quantity Greater risk of dystocia Higher neonatal mortality (difficult birthing). Reduced milk yield Too much internal fat Reduced wool production Oversized fetuses via fewer secondary Expensive! follicles (in the offspring).
Calcium requirements virtually double during late pregnancy, but you need to avoid excessive calcium, too. Milk fever is caused by low blood calcium Pre-partum ▪ Inadequate intake of Ca Post-partum (dairy does) ▪ Failure to mobilize Ca reserves
Image source: Informed Farmers (Can) Our soils are deficient in selenium. During late gestation, selenium crosses the placenta to the fetuses. Low levels of selenium can result in . . . Poor reproductive performance Retain placentas White muscle disease in lambs and kids
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. Selenium and vitamin E can be supplemented orally (gels). On farms with a history of white muscle disease, selenium injections (Rx) may be advisable.
Make sure all ewes and does can eat at the same time. Separate pregnant ewe lambs and doelings from mature females. Remove males after breeding season. Do not feed on the ground.
Stress can predispose pregnant ewes and does to many problems. Minimize stress during late pregnancy Missed feedings Shearing, crutching Moving, handling Mixing groups Dogs
Lack of exercise may increase the chances of pregnancy toxemia and other problems. Daily exercise is recommended throughout pregnancy. Exercise can be encouraged by separating feed, water, and minerals.
Vaccinate pregnant females approximately 1 month (at least 2 weeks) before they are due to lamb/kid. Lambs and kids will acquire temporary, passive immunity via the colostrum. Females never vaccinated before require two injections, 4 weeks apart.
Ewes and does suffer a temporary loss of immunity to stomach worms around the time of parturition. If lambing or kidding occurs in the spring, the egg rise coincides with the hypobiotic larvae resuming their life cycle.
In feed or mineral Why? Bovatec® - sheep To prevent coccidiosis Rumensin® - goats in lambs and kids. ▪ Reduce shedding of Deccox® - both coccidia organism into environment. As an aid to prevent abortions caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Coccidiostats, especially Rumensin® can be toxic to equines and dogs.
Why? To prevent abortion. ▪ If the flock has a history of diagnosed abortions. ▪ 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. Inject oxytetracycline (LA- 200) at two week intervals during late gestation [Rx].
Results in cleaner, drier, healthier environment for babies. 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.
FACILITIES SUPPLIES Clean, dry, draft-free Frozen colostrum building Esophageal feeding tube OB sleeves and lubricant Drop area Disinfectant for dipping navels Small pens (jugs) Prolapse harness or spoon Mixing pens Needles and syringes Propylene glycol Clean, well-rested pasture Calcium borogluconate Shelter Antibiotics Emergency pens Bo-Se Thermometer More…
DO’S DON’TS Increase nutrition (gradually) Overfeed Feed pregnant ewe lambs Underfeed and doelings separately Encourage daily exercise Stress females Minimize stress Introduce new animals Vaccinate for CD-T Change groupings Manage periparturient Leave males in egg rise Worry Feed a coccidiostat Shear or crutch females Prepare facilities Gather/inventory supplies
Thank you for your attention. Any questions?Susan Schoeniansschoen@umd.eduwww.sheepandgoat.com