Dead Ram

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by crittermomma, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. crittermomma

    crittermomma Well-Known Member

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    I went home yesterday after work and started chores. I have about 60 sheep - mostly in 3 different pastures right now - rams, bottle babies, and the ewes with their lambs. I looked in my smaller pasture where my yearling ram, his wether buddy, and my 2 bottle babies were grazing - and I saw my yearling ram down - and DEAD! No obvious wound I could see - and all my sheep have been on green grass for almost a month now - I don't think it was bloat. The only thing I can think of is the yearling ram and my much larger 3 year old ram are on 2 different sides of a gate - maybe the bigger ram head butted him and broke something in his neck?

    Any other ideas out there?
     
  2. crittermomma

    crittermomma Well-Known Member

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    Just another quick note - my Avatar picture is of Chocolate Mousse when he was a baby! He loved the hay feeders - even getting in them when he was full grown. I miss him already!
     
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  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Was he vaccinated? Pulpy kidney will drop your best animals with no warning
     
  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    Barber pole worms can make them drop dead without warning also.
    Check the others for symptoms.

    Another possibility is Listeria from moldy feed.

    A broken neck would likely have killed him instantly, so the body's location would be a clue.
     
  5. crittermomma

    crittermomma Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure exactly what you mean about vaccinations - but he did have his CDT shots and I know what to look for regarding barber pole worms - and no moldy feed as they have been on grass for quite some time. Thank goodness for the early spring. They haven't had hay for a few weeks and no grain. But, I will be watching the rest of the herd to make sure no one else is having any issues. I was wondering if he ate some type of weed on the other side of the fence. My daughter and I were just out there with them just a few days ago and he was fine. He was such a mild-mannered ram - a big loss for the herd. But he does have one son - a gorgeous dark brown, almost black little ram lamb I will be keeping to replace this guy for my breeding program. This ram lamb has great genes on his dad's side and his mom's side!
     
  6. Hiro

    Hiro Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry you lost your ram. If it has died of unknown and unidentifiable causes, I would not continue the blood line. It is unlikely that a sheep of that age would consume something to kill him that quickly. Any idea how long he had been dead when you found him? Anything of note from his remains?
     
  7. crittermomma

    crittermomma Well-Known Member

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    He was fine that morning as I was leaving for work (close to 0800) - he was dead and stiff when I got home at 6pm. I am still up in the air about replacing him - he produced a gorgeous dark brown, almost black little ram lamb with one of my best ewes from another ram I have - their blood line is fantastic. So, I am mulling my options. But I appreciate your feedback.
     
  8. alabamagal

    alabamagal Well-Known Member

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    I agree with barefoot. Barber pole worms can hit fast and kill fast. Check eyes and look for pinkish reddish. Barber pole worms suck! I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
     
  9. Rectifier

    Rectifier Well-Known Member

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    Is this specific small pasture lowland or otherwise excessively wet? The pasture may be too lush and he may have gone down with hypomagnesemia (grass tetany). Can cause sudden death within hours or even less.