Friday, 28 March 2008

Vet visit

We had a complementary visit from our vet this week to look over our sheep and answer any questions that we may have. I've had Rosy and Gletness on antibiotics for a few days as they have both had problems with their feet, but they seem to be on the mend now. We fat scored the sheep and found that they are slim as would be expected of a hill breed at the end of winter (all of ours are hoggs and we've no sheep in lamb) but not skinny. Our sheep don't seem to have a huge amount of interest in being fat, they come running for feed and politely nibble at the hay but wander off to graze after a few mouthfuls. I'll be interested to see them once their fleeces are off. The vet said that she was very happy with their health and loved having such beautiful sheep as Shetlands to watch over.

Rosy made the best of a networking opportunity to make some powerful friends!


Gardagami said...
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Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Hi Jenny! Are you giving them a free choice loose mineral salt?? The way they leave the hay for the fresh grass instead makes me wonder...either they were raised only on grass and don't like hay, or they are working on the grass to also get minerals that perhaps isn't in the hay. We have 3 hay fields and they are produce different hays...each has been organically fertilized longer than another, so has different composition. I can put two types in a feeder for my goat does and at certain times they attack one and leave the other - depending on what their bodies tell them they need. Perhaps your sheep are saying the grass and dirt has more good in it that the hay you are offering?? You never know, but it's good to listen to them and then ask yourself what are they getting from one and not the other, then try to compliment 'the other' to make up the difference. :-)

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Jenny - how is the sheep training coming along? Are they getting better for your dogs??
Lot's of snow coming down here, a spring blizzard today...blech! I think I'll be coming over in October...

Jenny Holden said...

Hi, sorry for delay in replying. V busy with work.

Sheep do have free access to mineral salts. I've been doing a bit more research and had an ex Shetland breeder friend of mine look them over. Turns out they're in very good nick. I'd forgotten that is says in the Shetland Society Handbook that "If you condition score your ewes you will need to keep them at between 1/2 and 1 score below that stated for most breeds. This is because primitive breeds tend to have longer transverse processes on the lumbar vertebrae, and also because they tend to store fat internally rather than subcutaneously. Take advice from local breeders."

Interesting stuff!

Keep me posted on visiting plans,