Sheep, particularly those kept inside, are vaccinated when they are newborn lambs. The lambs receive their first antibodies via their mother’s colostrum in the first few hours of life, and then via a vaccination booster every six weeks for next three months and then by booster every six months.
Weaning is a critical period in the life of young sheep as it is this time when more problems occur than at any other stage of a sheep’s life. Sheep of this age need careful observation as to their general health. Weaners are very susceptible to the deadly Barbers Pole worm (Haemonchus contortus), fly strike (Myiasis), scabby mouth, mycotic dermatitis, occasionally pneumonia, fluctuations in feed availability and general illness.
Farmers work with animal nutritionists and veterinarians to keep sheep healthy and to manage animal health problems. Lambs may be castrated and have their tails docked for easier shearing, cleanliness and to help protect them from fly strike. Shearers or farmers need to remove wool from the hindquarters, around the anus, so that droppings do not adhere. In the southern hemisphere this is called dagging or crutching.
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