DOCKING SHEEPS TAIL/NEED HELP

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by tobin123, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. tobin123

    tobin123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2009
    fountaintown,indiana
    ok we bought a lamb but it still has a tail on and we need to remove it,we was told it just come off its mother and is just now on hay.so my question is can i stll do it my book says it must be done by 1 week of age,but some say i can still do it?i really need help on this,thanks
     
  2. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    how old is the lamb
     
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Do you REALLY have to dock it?
     
  4. tobin123

    tobin123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2009
    fountaintown,indiana
    not sure how old it is still on bottle a little and just now on hay,got it at an auction,how old is to old
     
  5. Felicia

    Felicia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Michigan
    As long as she isn't to old, you should be fine. Contact your vet and see what they say though. I just did my lambs tail today, with the bands. I would never be able to just cut it *shudders*. But the bands are easy. I neutered my goats with them when they were over 6 months old, when you are supposed to do it at a couple days to weeks old - and everything went wonderful. If it were me, as long as the tail wasn't to thick - I would still dock. But I would definitely call my vet first, to make sure they thought it was fine as well.

    KristenH - I know it sounds like a horrible thing to do, but its really better for the sheep. If you leave it, it gets very dirty and gross - and often times gets infected. Its really better off if you get rid of the tail. When I dock, I leave about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches. If you cut it too short, you can get a-nal (it changes the word if I don't put the dash) prolapse. Which is not a good thing. For my lamb, I left just enough so it covers up all her...girl parts...that way it kind of holds everything there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  6. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nah, I did my last lot of bottle lambs at about 4 to 5 months old. The older they are, the longer it takes for it to fall off and the more painful, but my sheep were fine.

    If you have access to a gas knife, that is always a preferable method, if not, whack the green ring on your lamby and he/she will be fine!

    When placing the green ring, it should be in line with the tip of the vulva for ewes, or three vertebrae down from the rump. The vulva is an easier measure to use for the girls than counting the vertebrae, and for the boys and I just guesstimate.
     
  7. nissa_loves_cats

    nissa_loves_cats Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is really no need to dock a sheep's tail. I've been raising sheep for something like 18 years now and have never docked a tail and never had a problem. A healthy lamb does not dirty its tail when excreting, and an unhealthy one will have a dirty hind end whether it has a tail or not.

    Tail docking of sheep is a lot like routine dehorning/disbudding of horned goats or cattle. It's just a relatively recent custom/fad that has turned out to have negative effects. Docked sheep tails are UGLY, which leads to the no-tail style of ultra-short docking which can lead to prolapses.

    However if you must cut off those cute sheep tails, the elastrator bands will do the job. I've castrated a lot of sheep and goats with them, including older ones (I have a larger tri-band elastrator with which I can castrate year old sheep/goats if I have to and they seem not to experience discomfort as the babies do.)
     
  8. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2009
    bet you dont think mulesing is necessary either?

    Following your logic, almost every sheep I have ever seen (and I live in sheep country, I've grown up with shee) is unhealthy. Because they have dirty back ends. They all have dirty back ends cos they pee out the back! If you look at a fibre goat, which has a naturally short tail, they have dirty back ends also. Its just a matter of fact that when they pee, its gonna get captured in the wool.

    Come to Australia and see just how long your sheep will survive without tail docking.
     
  9. nissa_loves_cats

    nissa_loves_cats Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry, I don't plan on moving to Australia, I like upper Michigan just fine. I don't have any problems with the practice of mulesing sheep in Australia, if the sheep in question benefit from it, which is a decision that should be left to the farmer and not to the animal rights fanatics.

    Any procedure such as mulesing, tail-docking, dehorning or castration causes stress to the animal, and even greater stress to the farmer that has to do the job, and therefore should be done only if there are benefits that counter that drawback. I castrate my male lambs routinely because I find it's a good idea for my flock in my situation--- I can run the male lambs with the ewe flock that way. Other farmers I know of wouldn't dream of castrating their meat lambs.

    I haven't found any benefit to either tail-docking or dehorning of horned goats that would outweigh the (slight) risk and bother of these procedures. If others find that with their breed of sheep, in their location, tail-docking makes sense, more power to them.

    What I have a problem with is when tail-docking has become such a sacred cow that they even dock the tails of sheep breeds that are not normally docked (such as Shetlands and Dorpers), or dock the tails of sheep too short for the animal's health.
     
  10. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2009
    Sorry, I don't plan on moving to Australia, I like upper Michigan just fine. I don't have any problems with the practice of mulesing sheep in Australia, if the sheep in question benefit from it, which is a decision that should be left to the farmer and not to the animal rights fanatics.

    Any procedure such as mulesing, tail-docking, dehorning or castration causes stress to the animal, and even greater stress to the farmer that has to do the job, and therefore should be done only if there are benefits that counter that drawback. I castrate my male lambs routinely because I find it's a good idea for my flock in my situation--- I can run the male lambs with the ewe flock that way. Other farmers I know of wouldn't dream of castrating their meat lambs.

    I haven't found any benefit to either tail-docking or dehorning of horned goats that would outweigh the (slight) risk and bother of these procedures. If others find that with their breed of sheep, in their location, tail-docking makes sense, more power to them.

    What I have a problem with is when tail-docking has become such a sacred cow that they even dock the tails of sheep breeds that are not normally docked (such as Shetlands and Dorpers), or dock the tails of sheep too short for the animal's health.

    nissa, I take my hat off to you. I agree with everything you have said here. Except the disbudding/dehorning of goats and cattle - goat yes I leave mine horned (except the dairy goats because I show them and they have to be disbudded) but the cattle we dehorn - causes too much bruising of the carcase if we leave them horned, and plays havoc with the prices we receive for steers.

    I don't have any problems with the practice of mulesing sheep in Australia, if the sheep in question benefit from it, which is a decision that should be left to the farmer and not to the animal rights fanatics.

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    Out of curiosity, what type of sheep do you have? We have quite a mix, a few left over superfine merinos, some first and second cross, some straight poll dorsets, some white suffolks, and using a border leicester ram over them all. Quite the oddball collection lol They of course all get their tails docked and the merinos are mulesed. I've just got into damaras and we will be putting a pure damara ram over all the wooled ewes, and slowing breeding up to a full flock of damaras, as we get the numbers we will sell off the wooled sheep. We will probably keep a pure breeding herd of damara but infuse some dorper into the main commercial herd to produce meatmasters.​
     

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