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QWe are first time sheep keepers and have taken on half a dozen orphan lambs. We are keeping them in the stock trailer on straw, with a feed, hay and water, and let them out for some of the day if the weather is nice. One or two of them are sneezing. What should I be doing to care for them?
ADebbie Kingsley answers: Fresh air is the answer, and immediately. Stock trailer ventilation is inadequate for living in for days on end, and bacteria will be building up inside too. If you are worried about harsh weather and don’t have a shed or barn for the lambs to come in when they want, keep the trailer ramp down permanently and they can come and go, getting exercise when they want it and shelter when they need it. If you put the feed in the trailer you can always shut them in if absolutely necessary, but if they come to you anyway for feeding, do that outside of the trailer too. Even those of us who lamb inside try and get dams and lambs back outside as soon as possible (within 48 hrs) as it’s healthier for them. You want to avoid sniffles turning into pneumonia so get them outside and into their normal environment, keeping an eye on them at feeding times. If your lambs are showing signs of ill health that you are not yet knowledgeable enough to deal with, please contact your vet for advice.
Thriving in the fresh air