How to safely fatten up a really skinny pregnant ewe?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bheila, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    I have a customer who has a really skinny ewe who is pregnant. I'm not sure how far along she is. I know that she had lambs and once they were weaned they bred her back. My customer has wormed her and that hasn't seemed to help. I think that it's pretty obvious she's skinny because her body hasn't gotten a chance to get back into shape since having her babies and nursing them. This is why I'd never breed an animal back right away. JMO! She was giving the ewe extra grain to make her gain weight and then she started having diarrhea. She gave her something for scours and stopped graining her and the diarrhea stopped. She figured that maybe the extra grain was just too much for her system. What can she do for this little bag of bones to help her gain some weight especially since she's pregnant? She seems fine otherwise, she just looks terrible. I don't know anything about sheep.
     
  2. SheriM

    SheriM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2009
    There are a couple of diseases in small ruminants that can cause what you're describing, and unfortunately, the outcome isn't good for any of them. Johnnes (sp?) comes to mind, for one. Any idea how old this ewe is? If she's young, and there isn't a disease process going on here, your customer may be able to help the ewe get into better shape before she's due. Is it cold where you live? If so, she's really going to need some serious help. If cold is a factor, I'd recommend beet pulp, soaked to create a warm mash. There's not a lot of protein in beet pulp, but it really does make a good warmer-upper and your customer can add small amounts of calf manna, lamb starter, grain or whatever else she has on hand that has a good protein level. Because it's soft and sloppy, it might cause a bit of scouring, but unless the scours become severe, give her a chance to adjust to the new feed before treating the scours or pulling her off the new feed. Oh, and although I have heard that runinants can eat beet pulp dry, I wouldn't try it. The stuff swells like you wouldn't believe when wetted and I'd hate to think of it doing that in her stomach.

    You mentioned that the customer had wormed the ewe but it didn't seem to help. Do you know what wormer was used? Not all wormers kill all types of worms. If you're dealing with tape worms, for example, you need one of the white wormers. DO NOT use Valbazen on pregnant animals, though. Hope this helps.
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    The ewe needs you to take a fecal sample to a vet for a proper diagnosis of worms. Since she is thin and pregnant, the last thing she needs is to be pumped full of a bunch of different wormers so you make sure all the worms are gone.
     

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