{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}



Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
MARKING OF LAMBS Marking is a collective term generally used to describe tail docking and castration. On large operations, marking also usually includes the placement of an ownership mark ( paint brand or ear mark). Vaccinations of lambs are also quite commonly done at the same time. The type of management and size of the operation will dictate whether these two management practices occur at the same time or at separate occasions. Why are lambs docked? The most common reason given would be for health and sanitation reasons. Undocked tails may trap dung and urine which create a logical site for blow flies to lay eggs which then become maggots – commonly called fly strike. There is very little retail use for the tail during the marketing process, so the nutrition used to develop this appendage is an extra expense to the producer. Long tails present a management problem at the processing plant in that the procedures do not include people to deal with that appendage. If you deliver an undocked lamb to the processor, your price will be discounted. Many producers are of the opinion that they are selling lambs on a live-weight basis and will therefore leave the tails as long as they can in order to be able to sell the extra weight. On the opposite extreme, people involved with the show ring side of the industry remove the tails very close to the body in order to give the illusion of a very level rump and increased muscularity in the leg of lamb. The practice of docking lambs extremely closely is being questioned by various groups, including veterinarians. Lambs that are genetically pre-disposed to rectal prolapse are much more likely to suffer from this problem if the tails are left too short, as the healing process pulls against the sphincter muscle keeping the colon intact. The wounds left by this technique on larger lambs leave the spinal chord much more susceptible to infections. Lambs born into small flocks are usually docked with the first week of life. Lambs born into larger operations where the management dynamics of labor are a major issue will dock lambs when it is convenient to do as many as possible in one day. In some cases, these lambs might be over 2 months of age. It is probable that the ideal time is between 2 and 3 weeks for maximum efficiency of the operation and minimized stress on the lamb.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}