PREPARING LAMBS FOR EID MUBARAK
By Ruth Taber, Calovine Farm
Lambs for Muslim holidays are RAMS only. No wethers or ewes.
There are no “set in stone” rules for raising market lambs for these holidays. However,
if the lambs are well fed and managed, they will grow out quickly and will be in good to
heavy condition, bringing more money and more buyers. Ramadan, and Eid Al Adha, or
Eid Mubarak, come in late summer for the next several years, so lambs will be raised
during the hot, humid summer months, presenting more challenges for lambs and
Lambs eating grain are subject to urinary calculi and acidosis. Urinary calculi is caused
by a calcium/phosphorus imbalance from grain containing high levels of phosphorus and low levels of calcium, and acidosis is caused by a lack of roughage. Alfalfa hay fills the need for both of these conditions. Alfalfa hay fed once per day keeps the calcium/phosphorus level balanced, and provides a buffer for the rumen to avoid acidosis. We also keep a free choice loose sheep mineral and baking soda to also help with acidosis, available at all times. It is very important to have clean fresh water at all times for these rams. Fresh water encourages drinking, which helps with urinary calculi.
Tape worms inhabiting the intestines are a problem for ethnics, because ethnics want
the intestines. Keeping tape worms under control makes for better condition and growth.
Unless we see signs of tape worms sooner, we deworm all slaughter lambs with
Valbazen at about 4 months of age.
Ram lambs must be in good to excellent condition no matter the weight, for this market.
Lambs on grain supplement will gain 10-15 lbs per month, and as much as 20 lbs in
compensatory gains. For ram lambs on pasture needing more finish, supplement with a
prepared sheep feed or corn/soybean meal mix (1/4 lb/hd/day soybean mixed in the
corn or top dressed) at about 2 lbs per head per day. Giving a CDT shot and booster if
may save the lamb from deadly Enterotoxemia. If lambs have been vaccinated, it won’t hurt to give them another booster before putting them on feed. Start lambs on feed slowly so as to avoid stomach upset which will take them off feed. It may take 7 to 10 days to get their gut digesting the grain properly, so account for that week of feed adjustment when calculating timing on the grain feeding. The goal is to get the
rams looking good in time for the August 18 sheep check in day.
KNOW THE WEIGHT OF THE ANIMAL. It is very important to know the weight of the
animal for proper dosage of dewormers and antibiotics. If you don’t have a scale, go to the next article on this page and print out “No Scale? No Problem.” Weight is
figured by using a cloth measuring tape and mathematical formula. (Information taken
from Tractor Supply website.)
Symptoms are black/dark brown diarrhea. Treatment is Sulmet, Specto Guard, Corid, LA200
Cydectin, Prohibit, and Valbazen The deadly Barber Pole Worm does not always show signs, so Famacha the lambs every two weeks and deworm if necessary. Maintain an eye color of 2 in the rams. This ensures good growth and bloom.
LA 200, Nuflor, Penicillin It’s important to know the weight of the animal for proper
dosage of antibiotics. Give all antibiotics sub-q (under the skin).
Baking Soda Caused by grain overload. Feed roughage to buffer the rumen, and provide baking soda free choice. Good quality hay free choice is necessary for a healthy rumen.
Urinary Calculi: Prevention is the key to this disease.
Calcium/phosphorus ratio should be at 2:1, and no less than 1:1. Grain fed animals get
an abundance of phosphorus, causing the ratio imbalance, which causes the formation of crystals in the kidneys that end up in the urethra, blocking urination. This is a very serious condition. The lamb will kick at himself and stand stretched out. Sometimes the crystals can be felt in the urethra.
Penicillin The tip of the sheath gets scabby and may cause a blockage. Lamb acts like he’s got urinary calculi. This is easy to treat. If the lamb acts like he’s got abdominal pain, check for pizzle rot.
*When deworming, administering Sulmet, or other drugs, be aware of the
withdrawal period prior to slaughter. Keep in mind your selling date and
No scale? No Problem!
Click link below to learn how to weigh your sheep without having a scale!