When we purchased our first Dorpers, I began to look for books about sheep and discovered that there are not that many about (maybe sheep are not a sexy topic). I was looking for a book that could shed some light on the health problems we encountered and our management of sheep for good health. Early on I discovered "The Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers" by David Henderson
The Author has been a Vet in the UK and America and the book covers just about everything to do with sheep. There are lots of drawings and photos that are helpful when attempting to diagnose a sheep illness. There is also very good information on lambing and its associated problems. The book was first published in 1990 so some of the information, such as worm management is becoming outdated - as the problems of worm resistance are changing management practices. But, all in all it is an extremely useful book that is worth having on the bookshelf.
Our system for raising poddy lambs changes a bit each year and we normally don't have as many - alters the approach a bit. When we pick up a lamb there is almost always something wrong, to warrant intervention, ie: swollen head from difficult birth and can't suckle, mothering mix up with no colostrum, weak, sick or hypothermic due to wet windy weather conditions. So the first step is to make sure they are warm and fed. We start with little feeds of about 100mls or less to give their systems a chance to adjust to their new regime. If we think they haven't had colostrum we give a penicillin injection and 2ml of a B Complex injection. This works very well in improving their chances of survival.
We use a commercial lamb milk replacer and have tried several different ones over the years. At the moment we are using Profelac Shepherd ( $64.00 at Landmark), it mixes well and does not seperate out. Veanavite and Palastart which we have used in the past seem to have changed their formula and they now leave a lot of sludge in the bottom of the jug, bottles and lamb bar, blocking the flow. We are always careful to mix the milk exactly as the manufacturer recommends, making sure the lamb is getting the right amount of nutrition and not slowly starving, by having the formula too weak. We feed four times a day when they a only a few days old, gradually dropping back to two feeds up to weaning at about ten weeks. We never feed lambs during the night, we are not that dedicated. It is also important to practice good hygeine to reduce cross infection and the risk of scours. Since using any of the above three products we have not had lamb scours, a problem with other milks!
This is our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "Lucky". Last year we went to Amarula Dorper Stud's ram sale in Northern NSW. On the way back to Inverell on dusk we saw a small dog walking along the centre line of the highway. We stopped the truck and called him to us - just as a huge truck roared past. Fortunately he came, and we put this small dirty package of skin and bone on the back of the truck and took him with us. When we got to Martin's son at Inverell we discoved he was covered in thousands of fleas, so thin all his bones were sticking out and was sore everywhere.
The next morning after having fed and cleaned him up we went to the local council to see the dog ordinance people,( to check if he was microchipped). We were concerned that he was a child's lost pet, as it is an unlikely breed to be abandoned. He was microchipped but only traceable to the breeder, who had no idea who had purchased him or might have lost him. So the pound man said "if you want him, take him as he has been so neglected". So we did, we just happened to have a vacancy at the farm for a house pet and we called him "Lucky".