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BahamaMama

Lame Sheep

Help please....

I run regularly in the countryside around my home and on several occasions I have noticed the occasional sheep that is lame. This morning there were three or four in the field that were definitely lame, heads nodding when they moved, reluctant to move, not wanting to put their foot down.

I don't know who owns these sheep, they have food and water and don't appear neglected and I have no reason to suspect they are not being cared for.

What is the correct thing to do in these circumstances? I don't want to call out the RSPCA unnecessarily.
Slim

Find out who owns them, introduce yourself, and say pretty much what you just said here. (being very careful not to imply that you're threatening to call the RSPCA, just wanted to make sure they were aware)


That's what I would do anyway.

Around here we get some very angry dairy farmers when new transplants to the state, call the state on the farmers because their Jerseys out by the road "look skinny" and "have mud on them" without every stopping to talk to the farmer about it
gregotyn

There is a new 'policy' going about that foot rot should be left to its own devices as 'they' say that an immunity to the disease can be built up and that the foot will get better on its own, rather than catching and tipping them upside down whilst pregnant, and generally upsetting the ewe.
I am not so sure, as we regularly foot bathed the sheep where I did my practical. But I am not up to modern thinking either! If I had sheep they would get the same treatment we gave them-trim the feet and footbath them afterwards pre tupping and deal with any recurrences.
BahamaMama

So far so sensible, but how on earth do I find out who owns the sheep? They don't have labels on them....
Cathryn

Serious commercial practice would be to cull them. Obviously this farmer is not doing this. Maybe we will do that one day but at the moment we vaccinate and then treat any we pick up, usually about one in every 100 to 200 or so with an antibiotic because it's usually one or two causes. We would do this when we are bringing them in for some other reason which happens as infrequently as possible since it stresses them. Never trim if there is any sign of infection or lameness. Never trim unless you absolutely have to in any case.

Do they have a particularly colourful set of splodges on their backs? This would indicate they have been treated but he may be all set up with EID and have done away with our more primitive colour coding.
BahamaMama

Hi
The sheep don't have any colourful splodges at all.
Mutton

Couple of comments - sometimes it can be a strain, not foot rot that makes a sheep limp.

In terms of finding out - asking your neighbours or politely knocking on doors of farm houses. It can be pretty tangled as to who owns which field - as in the fields are not necessarily in a neat block with a farmhouse in the middle. However one farmer probably knows whose fields are which in the area.
You can look on the land registry online for ownership of land - though there can be a charge. However not all land is registered and if it has passed down the generations in a farming family it may not be on the land registry.
alison

Hi
The sheep don't have any colourful splodges at all.


The coloured splodges are not to do with ownership, but the mark the ram wears, so the farmer can see which ones and how many he has covered in the mating season.
Mutton

Sometimes seem to me to be also a scribble - as in marked for xxxx. But yes, not about ownership as such, though might help identify.

Small thought - if you have the right sort of phone/camera etc - take a few photos. Because someone might say "oh that's one of Bob's sheep, he keeps mules/Zwartbles/whatever"
gregotyn

Call at the nearest farm house to the sheep field and they will tell you whose they are, especially if they are not theirs!
BahamaMama

Thanks for the suggestions, I think I know who's sheep they are now. Just plucking up the courage to approach the farmer. He is known for being quite 'forthright' around here. I am expecting to get my ears chewed off.
Mutton

Good for you attempting this. If you are lucky he might be fine.

There is always the angle that now he knows that if one of his animals is in serious trouble, you are an observant and caring person who'd let him know. (Such as sheep with head caught in fence - sometimes crows will peck their eyes out.)
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