Friday, April 18, 2008

Feel Good Fiber and More About Lambs

Thursday I had a surprise visit from Becky bringing good will and presents! She is sharing some of her fiber from Terry Mendenhall with me and it's washed! I can't wait to felt a sample. Thank you Becky very thoughtful of you! Something like giving beer to an alcoholic!

The thiamine and B-Complexe are helping my Bella twins! I was a bit affraid of the reactions I got from the three lambs who received the 1/4/cc thiamine and 1/4 cc B-Complexe IM one died and the other two after about 8 hours, this was 11 at night when I went to check them, they looked like two pin-ball sheep bouncing around their jug and the boy was spinning circles like the few that died! Wow, what next? I did not give them the second dose of B's. This really had me freaked out. By 3 in the morning when I checked again they were sleeping with their Mom. One thing that had me concerned was these two lambs running around in the middle of the night, but then again when your blind who knows if it's dark or light?

I will be home now for the next six days. I started the twins on 1/4cc B-Complexe every eight hours (but I held back to every twelve) for a couple days. They do start to crash if they don't get the B vitamins regularly.

Friday now both lambs are getting around fairly well and now I find this dangerous, two blind lambs and a ewe that all want to get out and explore. Bella wants to graze with the other ewes also. All in all Bella has been a very patient mother. Next step, will they ever see? I was poking at the little ewe's eye and thought she reacted or did I hit her eyelash? It's now Saturday and I'm going to cut down on how often they get B-Complexe. The twins act fairly normal, they still want to sleep more then healthy lambs and after a injection ,sub Q, of B-Complexe or thiamine they are much more active. More than is normal, I think. I'm cutting back on B vitamines and will give them just one more shot.
Maddies lamb went to the state lab yesterday. Please let there be answers. The vet will come soon I hope to draw blood from a few ewes.

Now talking genetics, someone quoted me from "Sheep Diseases" by Eddie Straiton a problem that has the same symptoms as my lambs some lambs have mild cases and can be raised up for butcher. Most die. This is said to be genetic and is called "daft lamb disease". I can't find much about it.
I use one ram at a time. I'm using my third ram. I kept ram #2 for two breeding seasons. I have more ewe's than I can breed in one year so I alternate ewe's from year to year. Last year ram #2 bred a ewe, last set of twins born in June he jumped the fence, this ewe had one lamb born normal and her twin died very fast in a few hours. Fast walking in circles till she fell over and died. I gave the lamb B-Complexe but she acted like my last ram born (Maddies) and died fast!

This last fall I used a new ram #3 and he is breeding all my now two year old ewe's from ram #2, plus some foundation sheep I have and a few total out crosses from ram #1. I bred 11 ewe's this fall. I bought ram#2 and ram#3 from different breeders but found out that they have a common ancestor and I didn't much care. The father of #2 is the grandfather of #3 so some of the ewe's I bred this year and my new ram have a common grandfather. In the past years line breeding my other sheep and goats has been good for me and I have never had any problems. Just don't get to carried away and breed too close!
Now this year so far all ewe's that have lambed are daughters of ram #2. With babies sired by ram #3. So just maybe or if this could be genetic, if it takes the dam and the sire to carry a recessive gene and both pass it on to their lambs I could have the right, or wrong, combination in my sheep.

Five ewe's have lambed who had sick lambs. Nine lambs were born and three of those lambs are normal and healthy in every way. Go figure!


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

This came from a google book:

"The clinical signs observed within the first 2-3 days of life are typical of cerebella disease including wide based stance with lowered head carriage, ataxia and dysmetria but with preservation of strength. Severely affected lambs have difficulty in searching for the teat but suck vigorously when bottle fed. Affected lambs should be humanely destroyed for welfare reasons."

Another book mentions daft lamb desease in association with mineral deficiencies, I read bits of others, but all of them mention muscular issues, like shaking or lack of coordination. And the symptoms are mentioned as occuring within the first 2 to 3 days, not at birth. I have that Eddie Straton book and did read that when you first mentioned this problem, but if I remember right, he says it affects older lambs that develope a thiamin deficiencey, but are fine at birth. I will re read it to be sure...

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the reason I love that fiber and have ordered the same fleece 3 times? It literally makes me feel good! Only another fiberholic will understand I think, but I have never worked with a fleece like that one before, it brings peace and relaxation to me. Strange, I know :)

Mim said...

I love fiber like that am looking for peace! Things are better here this weekend I had 4 normal lambs! Twins and two singles I'll blog soon. It was just getting them out that was hard!!!!!