Managing waste in round-bale feeding systems

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Sheep farmers who feed round bales are familiar with their convenience and also with the resulting high feed waste, even when round-bale feeders are used. Many unique designs of round-bale feeders have been developed and some claim to reduce or...

Producer profile: Woolley’s Lamb, Simcoe, Ontario

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Schuyler Farms Limited, located near Simcoe, Ontario, consists of 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans, 700 acres of apples, 550 acres of sour (pie) cherries, and 400 acres of pasture and woodlot. The farm is run by brothers Brett and Ryan Schuyler,...

Feed for Profit: Mineral Supplementation

by Dale Engstrom, M.Sc., P.Ag I am often asked about using free-choice loose and block minerals. Are they needed? Do they do a good job of providing essential nutrients to sheep? Are they cost effective? Let’s start by reviewing what minerals are. Minerals fit into...

Drover’s Way Farm, Perth, Ontario

Story by Cathy Gallivan, PhD, Photos by Allison Taylor, PhD Oliver and Sarah Loten have been raising sheep for 20 years and, like most sheep farmers, have made a lot of changes to their flock and their management in that time. They started on a hobby farm near...

Producer Profile: Millferns Holsteins, Lower Onslow, NS

Story & photos by Cathy Gallivan, PhD I met with Fred and Anne Hamilton on a sunny day in early July, on the farm that has been in Fred’s family since the expulsion of the Acadians in 1760. The original land grant was 1,000 acres. By 1802, the family had eight...

Producer Profile: Red Willow Colony, Stettler, AB

Story by Peggy Johnson, Photos by Tracy Hagedorn After months of winter gloom, it was wonderful to drive across central Alberta on a sunny morning and experience the magic of spring: soft green of new leaves emerging from tree buds, the hint of grass in the roadside...

Producer Profile: Catto Sheep Farm, Lipton, SK

Story & photos by Stuart Chutter Martin and Louise Catto farmed in Scotland prior to moving to Canada almost 15 years ago. Although their principal enterprise was dairy farming, they would purchase 500 ewes each year in the fall, lamb them out in the spring and...

Producer Profile: Bouw Farms, Dugald, Manitoba

Story & photos by Cathy Gallivan, PhD On a cold, grey, October day, I met with Stefan Bouw on his family’s farm about 20 miles east of Winnipeg. I visited Stefan to talk about their recently established sheep flock but, as is often the case, discovered that the...

Producer Profile: Shepherd’s Choice, Norwood, ON

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Photos by Allison Taylor, PhD At a time when more producers than ever are turning to accelerated lambing, one couple who tried it for eight years has made the decision to go back to lambing once a year. John and Eadie Steele have been raising...

Pasture Lambing in Barrhead County, Alberta

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Photos by Tracy Hagedorn Back in 2008, Bernadette Nikkel and Darlene Stein bought a small flock of 30 ewes and shared it, so that each of them had something to use to train their Border Collies. Four years later, they and their families are...

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Managing waste in round-bale feeding systems

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Sheep farmers who feed round bales are familiar with their convenience and also with the resulting high feed waste, even when round-bale feeders are used. Many unique designs of round-bale feeders have been developed and some claim to reduce or...

Producer profile: Woolley’s Lamb, Simcoe, Ontario

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Schuyler Farms Limited, located near Simcoe, Ontario, consists of 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans, 700 acres of apples, 550 acres of sour (pie) cherries, and 400 acres of pasture and woodlot. The farm is run by brothers Brett and Ryan Schuyler,...

Feed for Profit: Mineral Supplementation

by Dale Engstrom, M.Sc., P.Ag I am often asked about using free-choice loose and block minerals. Are they needed? Do they do a good job of providing essential nutrients to sheep? Are they cost effective? Let’s start by reviewing what minerals are. Minerals fit into...

Drover’s Way Farm, Perth, Ontario

Story by Cathy Gallivan, PhD, Photos by Allison Taylor, PhD Oliver and Sarah Loten have been raising sheep for 20 years and, like most sheep farmers, have made a lot of changes to their flock and their management in that time. They started on a hobby farm near...

Producer Profile: Millferns Holsteins, Lower Onslow, NS

Story & photos by Cathy Gallivan, PhD I met with Fred and Anne Hamilton on a sunny day in early July, on the farm that has been in Fred’s family since the expulsion of the Acadians in 1760. The original land grant was 1,000 acres. By 1802, the family had eight...

Producer Profile: Red Willow Colony, Stettler, AB

Story by Peggy Johnson, Photos by Tracy Hagedorn After months of winter gloom, it was wonderful to drive across central Alberta on a sunny morning and experience the magic of spring: soft green of new leaves emerging from tree buds, the hint of grass in the roadside...

Producer Profile: Catto Sheep Farm, Lipton, SK

Story & photos by Stuart Chutter Martin and Louise Catto farmed in Scotland prior to moving to Canada almost 15 years ago. Although their principal enterprise was dairy farming, they would purchase 500 ewes each year in the fall, lamb them out in the spring and...

Producer Profile: Bouw Farms, Dugald, Manitoba

Story & photos by Cathy Gallivan, PhD On a cold, grey, October day, I met with Stefan Bouw on his family’s farm about 20 miles east of Winnipeg. I visited Stefan to talk about their recently established sheep flock but, as is often the case, discovered that the...

Producer Profile: Shepherd’s Choice, Norwood, ON

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Photos by Allison Taylor, PhD At a time when more producers than ever are turning to accelerated lambing, one couple who tried it for eight years has made the decision to go back to lambing once a year. John and Eadie Steele have been raising...

Pasture Lambing in Barrhead County, Alberta

By Cathy Gallivan, PhD Photos by Tracy Hagedorn Back in 2008, Bernadette Nikkel and Darlene Stein bought a small flock of 30 ewes and shared it, so that each of them had something to use to train their Border Collies. Four years later, they and their families are...

Story & photos by Anne Switzer

Last year was one of rain, rain and more rain. Our regular shearer did not show up on two separate occasions in May and June, and we had been scrambling to find another shearer but not having any luck.

On August 6th we discovered to our horror that one of our ewes (Wendy) had flystrike.  Flystrike is a condition that occurs in the summertime when blow flies lay their eggs on the soiled hindquarters of sheep. These eggs hatch into larvae (maggots), which feed on the skin and flesh of the sheep.

Wendy was much more comfortable after being washed, sheared, and treated.

Wendy was much more comfortable after being washed, sheared, and treated.

I have no idea how long Wendy had been in trouble before we realized it. We do check our sheep every day, but there was one week when we hadn’t been able to get out to see them until after nightfall, and therefore did not see her condition as soon as we should have.

Wendy’s coat appeared to be wet, and when we looked closer we discovered the area was infested with maggots – it was horrible to look at and smelled just awful.

 

 

After a fast trip to the vet for advice and supplies, we washed the maggots off with cold water, and treated her with injectible ivermectin, long-acting penicillin, and something for pain. We sprayed the area with scarlet (wound) spray and covered it with an old T-shirt. We sprayed the rest of her with fly spray and kept her inside.

The shearer arrived the next day and we sheared her in a standing position. We then washed and patted dry the affected area, applied more scarlet spray and gave her another injection for pain. We covered her hindquarters with a clean T-shirt to keep the area as clean and dry as possible. She was feeling a little better by now, and starting to eat again. Her milk supply had decreased, however, and we were supplementing her lamb.

Wendy on Day One, after clipping and washing off the maggots.

Wendy on Day One, after clipping and washing off the maggots.

We washed and treated her twice a day for the first few days, and continued the pain treatment for the first three days. By the third day Wendy was feeling even better and eating more aggressively.

 

 

On the fourth day, at the suggestion of Dr. Tim Slemp, we started applying honey to the damaged area. The honey was much less painful on her raw skin than the scarlet spray had been, and her recovery seemed to really speed up from this point on.

A few days later, Wendy’s milk was coming back and her lamb began to nurse again, and a couple of days later we were able to stop the bottle feeding altogether.

 

 

We continued the washing and other treatments for two weeks. Four weeks after the treatments began, there was soft fleece coming in all over her back and hindquarters.

 

Wendy’s fleece regrew and she raised triplets in 2011.

Wendy’s fleece regrew and she raised triplets in 2011.

Anne Switzer is a small flock owner and photographer living near Medicine Hat, Alberta.