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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

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