Curled tail in lamb?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by LeahN, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. LeahN

    LeahN Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    I had a large ram-lamb born this morning that has a curled tail...almost like a piglet's tail, except since its thicker, its like a ball of tail. I'm hoping his rectum and organs aren't affected...I haven't seen him pass the meconium, but then again I haven't been with him most of the day so he could be normal except for the tail. Has anyone seen anything like this? His dam is a dorset, and his sire is either my dorset ram or a southdown ram (he's dry but is yellow from the birthing fluid and I can't tell yet which ram fathered him). Any idea if this is caused by something genetic, or environmental (squished in the womb? I sort of doubt that, but it did cross my mind).
    Since the tail doesn't hang down (the end is actually pointing towards his head over his rump) I don't know if I should dock it...I'm afraid of doing nerve damage or some such if its abnormal. Should I dock it, or leave it? He's not a show lamb or anything...he'll be wethered in a couple days and marketed when he gets to be 100 lbs or so.
    I can get a pic of it tomorrow if I can get the digital camera to work...its pretty odd looking!
  2. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Being yellow indicates that the birthing process was stressfull. It is meconium in the amniotic fluid that causes the yellow. It makes me wonder if maybe he was breech and his tail got pushed over his back. Were you there when he was born?

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    We've had a couple that I remember. I just docked as normal (longer than most) and only one ended up with a twisted tail that sort of stuck out to the side. Didn't affect the flavour at all!