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RoseAmy

Ram lamb with one testicle

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Thanks for a well-reasoned response Bill.

 

Smalahundur,

I don't know what the cost of using a vet in your country is, and certainly you are at an advantage being married to one, but as others have pointed out, here in the U.S. vets with experience and desire to work on sheep are in short supply. The vet I used where I lived before charged $100 just to come to the farm, plus mileage (and in this country mileage costs can be significant), BEFORE even getting to the costs of doing anything to any of the animals on the farm. Simply put, there's a lack of supply of vets well-versed in sheep (I got lucky that my vet's wife used to raise sheep, so he had some experience) and for routine care, it would be cost-prohibitive to use one. My vet will also consult over the phone for free, and will supply me with the meds I need to take care of problems myself.

 

I will lamb in eary spring and sell my lambs when I can get the most for them--at the end of Ramadan or around Christmas, long past the time when uncastrated lambs are capable of breeding. I did an experiment one year and left my male lambs intact to see if they grew better, but then I had to keep them housed separately, and because of space issues, that meant I had to feed them (that is, they didn't have enough pasture space to sustain them), which of course cut into any profit I might have made on them.

 

I have to say, though, that I was a bit surprised at the number of folks on Sheepdog-L who advised banding tails on older lambs (months old) in a recent discussion.

 

 

This discussion just goes to show that different countries of necessity have to take different approaches to animal husbandry.

 

J.

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