Docking too short?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Reed77, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Reed77

    Reed77 Rookie

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    Lately I've noticed in shows that the tail is docked very short, is this the normal length? I don't have sound on my computer so IDK what the guy is saying, but those tails look too short to me.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeOue4-npAY[/ame]
     
  2. lambs.are.cute

    lambs.are.cute Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are short! They have no tail. I prefer mine to the end of the caudle (sp?) fold, but some shows don't care how long the tail is. It does make their rear look more level across the top.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Its the nature of showing sheep. Not my thing but it has it's followers.
     
  4. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Those lambs will be sold for slaughter, not breeding. You wouldn't want a breeding ewe to have all of her tail cut off, you leave a couple of inches, like a Dobermann. I don't cut tails and it's only ever been a problem on one ewe who was very fat.
     
  5. houndlover

    houndlover Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's always nice to be a big livestock show, with all the "top breeders" of club lambs, and see one of those extreme docks cough in the ring, and practically turn inside out. Docking at the fold is pretty short enough. You should be able to lift a lambs's tail with your finger, shorter than that is too short. There is a lot of debate about docking and prolapse though, many people say it is hereditary and not the result of docking. I think an animal that is predisposed to prolapsing because of breeding is for sure going to with an extreme dock. I have bought nice ewe lambs at livestock shows that have extreme docks and they've gone on to have no problems lambing, and I've had sheep with full on tails prolapse.
     
  6. Reed77

    Reed77 Rookie

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    So, only market sheep are docked that short? Can a band dock that short, or is a different method used?
     
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Many states in the US, but I don't know which ones, have regulations that sheep tails can't be docked shorter than at the distal end of the caudal tail fold. I'm not seeing that in Arkansas. Irks me every time I go to the local county fairs because I see so many beautiful animals on the verge of prolapses caused by human hand.

    I no longer dock any of the ram lambs or the ewe lambs that I'm selling. I will dock as described above on the ewe lambs that I plan on keeping for replacement ewes. For several years I didn't dock those either but it was harder to see their vulva and estimate when lambing was close!
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Reed, docked sheep should have tails that are long enough to cover the vulva/anus in both sexes. This should equate to around 6-7cm long in an adult sheep and the caudal fold is a good guidline for this when docking lambs.

    Frankly, I wouldn't want a sun-burned fanny:D

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Market lambs are not docked that short no, only show sheep. Of course some people will dock that short regardless. Then complain about rectal prolapses and cull anything related as a genetic fault. Well it is under that management I guess but you can only improve your flock by so many traits at a time. If keeping a sheeps guts inside with a missing tail is your goal, have at it! I'm with Ronney on this one, dock so everything is protected and even a tad longer.
     
  10. spinandslide

    spinandslide Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    my ram has NO tail..I dont particularly care for it..but his breeder did alot of showing..which I imagine had some bearing on his docking technique.
     
  11. Reed77

    Reed77 Rookie

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    What tool is used to dock this short?
     
  12. spinandslide

    spinandslide Well-Known Member

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    that is a good question..my ram doesnt even have a nub..nothing..

    [​IMG]
     
  13. PNP Katahdins

    PNP Katahdins sheep & antenna farming Supporter

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  14. Fowler

    Fowler Poo Fairy Supporter

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    LOL...a spinal amputation. I know some dock short for showing them...but if your not showing them then why?


    Welfare concerns:
    Pain: Tail docking elicits a short-term pain response in lambs. The pain is more severe when docking is performed closer to the body. Docking may also evoke chronic longer-term discomfort and pain by the development of neuromas (abnormal growth of severed nerves).

    • Ultra-short docking: The practice of ultra-short docking removes the tail very close to the body leaving the lamb with little or no tail and no caudal folds. Ultra-short docking is performed on some show sheep as a cosmetic procedure to enhance the appearance of a more heavily muscled hindquarter, thus giving these sheep a competitive advantage. Ultra-short docking is not used in commercial sheep operations because of the potential detrimental impact to the animals’ well being.

    The practice of ultra-short docking increases the incidence of rectal prolapses, especially in lambs on high-energy finishing rations. Rectal prolapses are painful and easily recognizable by the bright red portion of the rectum that protrudes outside the anus. The exposed tissue becomes dry and cracked and becomes painful, which causes extensive straining and more tissue exposure. The condition can be fatal if left untreated. The practice of ultra-short docking compromises the welfare of sheep without any long-term benefits for the animal.
     
  15. HomesteadingSal

    HomesteadingSal Well-Known Member

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    It CAN be done with a band only. It's all on the angle and how close you get it.
     
  16. Reed77

    Reed77 Rookie

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    So they slant the band?
     
  17. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Reed, it is possible to get a band so far up the tail that it will be flush with the body and the end result will be a backside that looks like Spin's poor old ram. No a good look in my opinion - and yes Spin, I realise this was not of your doing.

    However, there was another reason, at least in NZ, for docking that short and that was shearing. Much easier and quicker to be able to take one blow acrosss the top of the tail than muck around having to shear the bit of tail as well. It is a rare practice these days and most lambs are docked with sufficient to cover their "private parts".

    Cheers,
    Ronnie