Country Smallholding - - Tim’s Tips -

Rather than buy­ing an adult ram and us­ing him straight away, con­sider buy­ing a ram lamb and keep­ing him for use the fol­low­ing sea­son. This gives him a whole year to be­come ac­cli­ma­tised to your lo­ca­tion, and he will be fit to work with­out hav­ing had to suf­fer the stress of over­feed­ing and be­ing put through the ring in the run up to tup­ping time. In fact, buy two and then sell one as a shear­ling next au­tumn, which will hope­fully cover the cost of rear­ing them both.

Guide­lines for the quar­an­tine of bought-in sheep

All bought-in sheep should be quar­an­tined for four weeks be­fore join­ing the rest of the flock. Dur­ing this time you should:

Vac­ci­nate them against clostridial dis­eases. An ini­tial course of two in­jec­tions is re­quired, 4- 6 weeks apart, so give the first jab as soon as the an­i­mals ar­rive on the hold­ing and the sec­ond one at the end of the quar­an­tine pe­riod.

Check feet, trim if nec­es­sary and ap­ply an ap­pro­pri­ate an­tibi­otic spray to ev­ery hoof (re­gard­less of whether it needed trim­ming or not), or stand the sheep in a foot­bath (ei­ther 2.5% for­ma­lin or 10% zinc sul­phate) for a while.

Dose against in­ter­nal par­a­sites. For quar­an­tine pur­poses, you should dose se­quen­tially with two prod­ucts, one be­ing a macro­cyclic lac­tone (clear drench) and the other a lev­amisole (yel­low drench). Al­ter­na­tively, use one of the new classes of wormer on the mar­ket, such as Zolvix or Star­tect. Also dose against liver fluke.

Treat against ex­ter­nal par­a­sites. Dip­ping is best, but not many peo­ple are do­ing that th­ese days. My rec­om­men­da­tion would be to use both an in­jectable prod­uct against scab (in which case you can omit the clear drench from your quar­an­tine dos­ing strat­egy) and a pour- on against ticks and lice.

A clostridial vac­ci­na­tion, such as Hep­tavac-P, should be ad­min­is­tered dur­ing quar­an­tine

Sheep may be foot­bathed dur­ing the quar­an­tine pe­riod

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