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SHEEP AND THEIR DISEASES.
Arsenic Bath......... 263
Care of Ewes, The......• 255
Choice of Ram......... 255
Classes and Grades of Wool .... 261
Diseases of Sheep...... . 261
Cotted Wool......... 261
Fermentation of the Stomach . . . 262
Grub in the Head....... 261
Hoof Rot.......... 261
Diseases of Sheep:
Inflammation of the Eyes .... 262
Sore Lips.......... 263
Ticks and Lice........ 263
Disowning Lambs....... 256
Docking Lambs........ 257
Fattening Lambs ........ 257
Feeding Lambs........ 257
General Management of Sheep . . . 255
Kinds of Sheep ........ 255
Quarters for Sheep ....... 259
Rearing a Lamb by Hand ..... 256
Resuscitating Chilled Lambs .... 257
Selection of Ewes........ 255
Salt for Sheep ......... 259
Shearing the Sheep ....... 259
Sheep Ranches ........ 261
Tying and Packing Wool ..... 261
Water Supply for Sheep..... 259
Weaning Lambs ........ 257
General Management of Sheep. — The selection of
the breed depends entirely upon the. section of the
country in which they are intended to be kept, and
for the amount of attention which is to be paid to
them. The more hearty and vigorous breeds are
best adapted to the extremes of climate and scanty
pasturage; those of a more delicate nature will
serve better and will be found more profitable in
temperatures better suited to their natures.
Let a farmer, in making his choice, study the char
acteristics of each breed, then take into considera
tion the conditions and circumstances governing his
own locality, his object in the enterprise, and let
him be governed by his own purpose.
One of the most important phases of raising sheep
is the supplying of early lambs to the market, and
this is a very profitable enterprise where one's local
ity is near a city and one has easy access to a
Choice of Ram. — It is perhaps unnecessary to say
that a ram of any breed should not be used for at
least a year and a half, as most people know that
he is at his best between the age of three and six.
He should be a strong, healthy and robust fellow,
with fine form, and should be as perfect for his kind,
as possible. The main dependence of a farmer in
the breeding of his stock lies in his choice of a ram.
The best results can be obtained by securing a
choice animal and by placing a limited number of
ewes in the pen with him. It is not at all well to
allow the buck to run with the flock, especially if
the flock is large ; it being far better to keep him
away and allow him to run with only a portion at
a time. By judicious management in this way, one
can obtain three times as much use from him as
though he ran with the entire flock all of the time.
Selection of Ewes. — Only the best of ewes should
be kept and the old should be yearly thinned out
and killed for mutton. Let each person select his
best ewe lambs and keep them for breeding pur
poses, using, when the time comes, only a proper
bred buck, and thus a flock may be built up sur
prisingly fine. No ewe should bring forth her first
lamb younger than two years old, and a great many
breeders prefer that the ewe should be three years
old, as the lambs then will be a great deal stronger,
larger and more vigorous. Ewes on the other hand
ought not to breed after they are seven years of
age, but there are exceptions to this rule.
The Care of Ewes. — A liberal amount of food
should be given to the ewes while they have little
lambs, as this will greatly increase the rigor and
size of their young, and without food, no animal can
reach its maximum development. That man who
thinks that by not feeding his flock with proper
food, or by underfeeding them, that he is making
THE FRIEND OF ALL
money, is entirely mistaken, but rather than that, he is
losing money each and every day; by this we do not
wish to have the farmer overfeed his animals, but to
give them a sufficient quantity to keep them in first-Class
It is always well to see that your sheep receive kind
and gentle treatment, and that they become as tame as
possible, for those that are not tamed are not as profit
able as those that are, and the caring for the former is
more arduous. As it is time for the young lambs to make
their appearance those animals which are the most forward
should be separated from the rest of the flock and put in
a warm, dry place, a stable in a cold climate, or in the
warmer climates, a shed. In this way it is more easy
to take care of them, and they can have more careful at
tention. For a few days after lambing, the ewe should be
fed on roots, which clears the system, thus strengthening
her; but after a week or more has passed other food may
be given by which they may gain in flesh. Lambs are
born in about five months, or practically from one hun
dred and forty-five to one hundred and sixty-one days,
the average being about one hundred and fifty-four days.
A great many think that the average is one hundred and
If a flock is in a cold climate the lambs make their
appearance earlier, and care should be given them to pre
vent them from being chilled.
Yet if the ewe owns the lamb, it will generally get well
even under unsuitable conditions in from three to four
days. The ewe in most cases laps the lamb dry and
things follow in their natural order. However, if the
mother refuse to pay this attention to her lamb, it should
be carefully cared for by being wiped dry with a piece of
old flannel and shown how to get his meals. It often
requires a great deal of patience, but as in everything
else, time will accomplish it. The udder should not be
allowed to be caked, and they should be treated in the
same way as cattle, that is, they should be milked.
When there is a deficiency of milk in the case of the
ewe, or the mother dies, the lamb may be given to a
young heifer just coming into milk, or it can be supplied
from the surplus of another ewe. Milk given to a lamb
should never be scalded, only slightly warm.
Disowning Lambs.—Sometimes the ewe will disown her
offspring, and this is a cause of considerable trouble to the
farmer; if this be the case, the lamb and its mother
should be put in a dark pen and left by themselves.
However, if this does not accomplish the result the lamb
should be made to get its food, some one being required
to hold the ewe and another person holding the lamb
while this is being accomplished. After this has been
tried for several times the ewe will in most cases own
Young lambs require food often, and should be fed at
least from six to eight times during the day.
Rearing a Lamb by Hand.—This is the cause of great
trouble and hardly pays in the long run, especially if your
flock of sheep is large. Yet, if it is to be done the
lamb should be fed from six to eight times a day, and it
should be fed on milk from a cow that has recently
had a calf; it may be fed with a spoon, and later
on it can be taught to drink from a basin by putting
the finger in the mouth and allowing it to suck the
finger, and then by placing his head in the basin.
The only trouble in this is to know how much to
feed the young lamb, as there is as much danger
in overfeeding as from underfeeding.
Lambs raised by hand on a farm, generally be
come the pets of the household.
Resuscitating Chilled Lambs.—When lambs have
been in a place that is cold, and have become
chilled and stiff and look as though they were
dead, they can generally be brought around by the
following methods which have been found to be of
very great value. The lamb should be put into a
tub of warm water, immersing him in it up to his
head. The water should be about ninety degrees,
if it is warmer than this it would be harmful; then
hold the lamb's head with one hand out of the
water, and with the other rub the body of the
lamb, especially the legs, briskly. In a short time
add some hot water, continue rubbing. Continue
adding warm water until it moves its legs, puts out
its tongue and shows at least some signs of life.
When the sign appears, take it immediately from
the water and rub it very dry, allowing the water to
drain off; then wrap an old flannel around it, place
the lamb in a basket and put it in a warm place.
As soon as possible, without exposure, give it to
the mother again, making sure that it is thoroughly
dry and able to stand. If, however, it should ap
pear weak and unable to stand, give it an occa
sional rubbing on the outside, and a drop of whisky
or brandy on the inside in a teaspoonful of new
Docking Lambs.—This appears sometimes to be
a very cruel treatment, yet it is essential to the com
fort and welfare of the sheep, as a long tail is a
source of great filth as well as of great detriment
to the flock. Docking should be done the first few
weeks of the lamb's life, provided the lambs be
strong and healthy; it should not be done how
ever, when the weather is very hot or very cold :
in cold, the stumps will not heal well; in warm,
the flies will be troublesome. The best manner
of doing it is to take the lambs on a dry cold day,
and in the morning before the lambs have heated
their blood by exercise; let one person hold the
lamb, while another does the docking; lay the tail
on a plank of wood, let the person that holds the
lamb draw the skin as close to the body as pos
sible, then let the operator take a broad thin sharp
chisel, place it between the joints about two inches
from the body, strike the tail off with one blow.
The skin, which the holder has pressed towards the
body, thus relaxes and slips over the portion that
has been cut, thus forming a covering for it. The
Cut will soon heal itself.
If, however, the farmer uses a knife instead of a
chisel, the tail, should be cut upward rather than
downward. To aid in healing the wound, and to
prevent flies and other insects, some people have
used one part of tar to four parts of lard. Turpen
tine may be used and is thought very fine by some.
Care, however, should be taken when the lambs
have been docked not to expose them to the I
Feeding Lambs.—In feeding lambs it should be
remembered as we have before said that they should
be well fed whether they are for market or for breed
ing purposes. The reasons for this are obvious.
Those lambs which are to be raised for breeding
purposes should run with the mother until about
four months old, and should be given rowen hay
and fresh water besides the food they get from the
mother. When they are about a month old they
can be fed with bran, oatmeal and corn meal.
Fattening Lambs.—In fattening lambs, give them
from a pint and a half to a quart and a half of
meal in addition to the food of the mother. Feed
ing these lambs should be kept up until they are
to be taken to market; in feeding for breeding pur
poses, the effect of their food is easily seen in the
quality and texture of the wool. If the food has
been insufficient, the wool will be harsh and lack
the oiliness which is seen in well-fed lambs and
sheep; and if the food has been irregular, the wool
will be varied and liable to break in places.
Weaning Lambs.—Lambs are generally allowed
to run with their mother from three to five months,
but this period tries upon the vitality of the sheep,
and it is better for the lambs to depend upon other
It is always well to separate the lambs and the
ewes as far as possible from each other so that they
may not hear each others bleatings. The lamb
should be fed on more dainty food — better food
to make up for the loss of the milk, for a lamb to
lose flesh at this period is a very great drawback.
The ewes on the other hand should be fed on dry
hay or should be turned into a dry pasture. The
reason for this is to check the milk supply. It
otherwise treated, that is, fed on juicy food, it is
liable to cause inflammation or garget. It is al
ways a good plan to have the sheep milked soon
after separation, to avoid danger.
General Management of Sheep.—The sheep when
the first cold comes on, should be better cared for
and have more nutritious food in order to give them
a fair start for the winter season, as when they get
into their winter quarters they are apt to decline.
When the sheep are heavy and kept fat, the wool
grows with great rapidity and the fleeces are very
heavy. Do not, in the early part of the season.
neglect your sheep ; they should be brought into
their quarters shortly after the appearance of the
THE FRIEND OF ALL
Sufficient room in these quarters, ventilation and
such conveniences are all necessary for the welfare
and the health of your flock.
A very fine plan is to have separate pens for the
different conditions of sheep ; those that are strong,
in one, and so on, according to their condition of
health and strength.
Quarters for Sheep.—The pens should be dry and
provided with shelter for a comfortable protection
for the sheep when it begins to storm. It is always
well to have the pens sloped, to prevent the accu
mulation of water. A very fine pen and shed is one
where the shed is boarded up on three sides with
a sliding-door, which in case of very severe storms
can be closed ; this door should be on the south
side of the building, and in very sunny weather
should be let down.
It is a very good plan to have the floor of this
shed covered with straw or sawdust for the clean
liness which it affords. These sheds and pens can
be extended along as far as possible, and they
should be entered by a door at the rear ot the
house. It is always necessary to keep salt and tar
on hand, as they are excellent for sheep to lick.
It is always well to smear the noses of sheep in
the summer with tar to prevent the deposit getting
in the nostrils, which may afterwards develop into
that much dreaded disease, of nit in the head.
This very infectious disease once killed a fine
flock of Shropshire sheep, under the management
of F. P. Corliss of the White Loat Stock Farm,
Southampton, Mass. This was due to a kind of a
grass which grew in the pasture at the time, and
even afterwards it so prevailed over the whole farm
that it was impossible to raise sheep. This disease
must be looked out for with great activity, and
should be stopped immediately.
In these sheds there should be arranged racks for
feeding, and food should never be thrown upon the
ground, as it is a waste of good material.
Fences.—Good fences are requisite where sheep
are confined, and it is a well-known saying that
sheep, more than any other animal, know how to
jump fences. Let one sheep lead and the whole
flock will follow.
A good fence will save a farmer much annoyance,
and he will always find his sheep where he left them.
It is always well to have a pasture on a side hill if pos
sible, never allowing your sheep to go into marshy
grounds, as this is very bad for their health. If
you have a very large pasture it is always advisable
to put a fence down through the middle ot it and
thus have two pastures, putting the sheep in one
pasture and then changing them into the other.
Many people at night, run their sheep into a fold,
as a protection against wolves, dogs and other
wild animals. The location of this should be on
a sloping ground that it may not become wet and
moist, and care should be taken that the fence be
I so built that it will even exclude the entrance of a
dog. A fancier of sheep once built a pen after
this nature ; it was made up of four sides, made out
of pickets ; at the corners there were holes for pins
to fit in ; he could then put up the four sides and
have a sheep pen. This pen at the four corners
had four large wheels, about eight inches in diam
eter, which were so constructed that they could
turn in any direction. In this pen he kept his
prize ram and two ewes. Each day this pen would
be moved in different places around the orchard
which was near the house, thus affording a new
supply of grass for the sheep and keeping them in
fine condition. This is simply a suggestion for
some people who care to have some of their stock
to show to people coming to see them.
Salt for Sheep.—It is often said by a great many
farmers and shepherds that there is no one thing
which so contributes to the health of sheep as
much as salt. It is known to be one of the very es
sential ingredients in the sheep‘s food ; where salt
is not, the sheep can not and will not thrive ; it does
away with that injury which has often happened
when sheep are turned from dry food to green, at
which time the green food ferments in the stomach
of the sheep and causes great injury.
The best plan for supplying salt to sheep is to
have what they call patent salt-rolls, which are
protected from the rain by a covering and at which
the sheep can get as much salt as they care to lick.
However, should you desire to salt your sheep, be
always sure that the supply will fill the demand and
that no sheep goes salt-hungry.
Water Supply for Sheep.—It is often said, from
lack of knowledge, that sheep do not require a
water supply. They, like all other animals, need
that supply and should never be without it. That
sheep can live in a pasture and not have water can
not be denied ; however, they cannot be as healthy
nor as strong, and the only pasture in which they
can live without water is that where there is very
succulent grass, which in itself supplies more or
Shearing the Sheep.—A great deal of carelessness
may result in the shearing of sheep, namely, in the
cutting of the skin, which will need all summer to
heal, leaving the wool in patches ; when the farmer
wishes to know whether his sheep are shorn or not,
let him look at the inside of the fleece to see if
there are any short pieces. Damp and chilly
weather should always be avoided, and not, as most
farmers do, wait for a rainy day before shearing the
sheep, as the change from removing the fleece is a
very great one. Care should be taken that your
animals do not take cold. There are various
methods of shearing, each one having his own ;
but there are a few points which should be noticed,
namely, to bring the point of the shears near the
skin, keeping the end well away from the body of the
animal and never taking but one cut at the same I
length of the fiber, for if more than one cut is taken I
the fiber is injured. Sheep should not be shorn
at such a time that they suffer from the cold ; when
it is delayed for a length of time the burden will
become unbearable to them. Do not expose your
sheep to the cold or rains after shearing them.
The wool from the head and neck is generally
separated and should be wound up inside of the
Tying and Packing Wool. — The manner in which
the fleece is tied, has much to do with its sale. The
fleece should be as little broken as possible in shear
ing, and should be free from all filth ; it should be
put in the exact shape in which it came from the
sheep and pressed close together. If the loose wool
is to be used, place in the middle, fold each end in,
each side one quarter, the neck one corner, and the
fleece will then be in an oblong shape some twenty
inches wide, and twenty-five or thirty inches long.
Then fold it once more and it is ready to be rolled
up and tied or placed in the press.
Classes and Grades of Wool,—Wool is divided ac
cording to the length of its staple and fineness.
We have the coarse wool for carpets and the fine
wool for clothing ; and the combing clothing wool is
divided into three classes, fine, medium and coarse.
The finest being used for broadcloth and the fin
est of woolen goods. Combing wool is used for
shawls, worsted alpaca and furniture coverings.
The staple is generally four to eight inches long;
the coarser the wool, the longer it generally is.
The coarse wool is used for carpeting and the man
ufacture of blankets. Wools are valuable according
to their luster and shrinkage.
Sheep Ranches.—One of the first requisites in
starting and building up a sheep ranch is to find a
good supply of water; it is said that three to five
miles should be the length for a sheep ranch. The
sheep should be herded only in about two and
three hundred to each herd. It is also well not to
keep cattle and sheep together.
As a rule the way that the Western sheep herder
does, is to get an advance on his money from some
commission house, and ship on his wool to be baled
and sold at the best market price. Oftentimes
the Western ranchmen mortgage the wool on their
sheep‘s back in order to get their money out quickly,
and there are a great many buyers going into the
Western ranches who buy as much wool as they can
ship East and make liberal advances on the same,
charging a small per cent commission for selling;
thus the Western ranchmen are brought into con
tact with the Eastern market, and realize a good
profit on their wools.
diseases of sheep.
As a rule sheep are naturally. healthy animals,
and except where great negligence has been shown,
diseases seldom gets a foothold. It is oftentimes
said, that the digestive organs of the sheep are
stronger than any other animal that has been
Catarrh. — This is sometimes a cold in the head
which has been neglected, and it may be caused by
becoming chilled and by being left in cold places
or drafts. It consists of inflammation of the mem
brane and oftentimes extends down the lungs, caus
ing lung fever. The best remedy is to take care of
such sheep. A good remedy is to smear the nose
of your sheep with tar, and care should be given to
your flock during the rainy seasons, to keep them
in a good dry place. Sulphur one part to five parts
of salt is considered a good remedy.
Choking.—Choking is caused by anything get
ting in the throat; a good preventive is to pour a
little oil down the throat. A person can easily
with the hand move the obstruction up and down,
thus giving relief.
Cotted Wool.—The cause of this is that the sheep
are too much exposed to severe weather and storms,
being allowed to lie in damp places, and it is also
due to imperfect food material. There is a great
tendency to scab or skin disease ; good food, good
pure air and clean water, and dry land to run upon
are the only remedies for this.
Colic.—This is, as in the case of horses, very
distressing. It is caused by drinking too much cold
water when their blood is warm and heated ; it is
well to give an ounce of Epsom salts dissolved in
warm water, and for a lamb one half this dose is a
Grub in the Head.—Grub in the head is a disease
which is very common among sheep ; the gad-fly is
the cause of this ; she lays her eggs about the open
ing of the nose, and the young grubs make their way
up the nostril of the sheep, finally reaching the
brain, where they attach themselves by two little
hooks coming out of their heads. It is the cause of
the death of a great many animals ; sometimes they
are at least a half an inch long. The sheep often
times try to guard against this fly, and some people
advise the practice of having a tract house into
which the sheep can run, and thus get away from the
fly which will not enter a tract house.
Hoof Hot—This is the most contagious disease
that sheep have to contend with ; oftentimes it hap
pens that a single sheep affected with this disease
has ruined an entire flock. It is a disease of the
hoof generally where the hoof unites with the bony
structure. Oftentimes the hoof comes off and the
sheep die. This disease is caused, as is generally
supposed, by an undue amount of dampness and
a wet and marshy soil. It is first detected by lame
ness in the foot, and if attended to directly, can be
Cured. The first thing to do in such a case is to
take them to a dry pasture, the hoof should be
pared by a skillful operator using a knife, and if
THE FRIEND OF ALL
properly done no bleeding will result therefrom.
A solution of arsenic is sometimes recommended,
three ounces of arsenic being allowed to a gallon of
water, also put in an ounce of salt. It should be
put on as warm as the hand can bear.
The theory of this is that the arsenic hardens the
hoof, and not only does it act as an antiseptic, but
also kills the germ of the disease.
In the applying of this solution it is well to have
a long trough for the sheep to put their feet in.
Fermentation of the Stomach.—This is caused by
sheep being put into a too rich pasture. The symp
toms are, the sheep breathing fast, the body being
largely swollen and the sides stick out, especially the
A Fine Specimen.
left side. As soon as fermentation can be stopped
in the stomach, relief will immediately follow.
Oftentimes driving around the pasture will accom
plish this ; but the best remedy is to give a teaspoon-
ful of spirits of ammonia in a pint of water, and then
follow this soon after with a dose of Epsom salts.
If this prove ineffective it is necessary to open the
stomach and let the gas out, being careful not to
let any of the contents get into the abdominal cav
ity. If a doctor is not handy, a penknife can be
used, inserting a tube which prevents any of the
contents of the stomach from getting out; the inci
sion should be made in the stomach half way be
tween the haunch-bone and the last rib near the
Inflammation of the Eyes.—If the eye seems to be
inflamed it is well to see if there is any foreign sub
stance ; if so, it should be removed, and then bathe
the eyelids with weak salt and water. A little lauda
num and sulphate of zinc will in most cases relieve
Poisoning.—Often sheep and lambs are poisoned
by eating shrubs of a poisonous nature, such as laurel
or ivy. When the sheep has been poisoned one
might think that it was affected with the colic, on
account of the sides being distended ; but rather than
being active, as in the case of colic, he is dull and
stupid, and there will be generally a frothy, greenish
substance about the mouth. The usual remedy is
to give a dose of castor-oil and milk in order to free
the stomach as soon as possible.
A stomach pump is a very good thing to use ; di
lute the poison with a great deal of water.
Scab.—This is caused, like the mange in the dog,
by small insects burrowing in the skin and hatch
ing their young there, and unless this burrowing is
stopped the death of the animal will follow. It
causes itching and pain, the sheep scratches and
bites itself, and pulls out his wool, which is only
the worse for itself and for others, as in this way it
forms sores, and thus the contagion spreads.
Examine the skin in the early stages of the dis
ease ; it appears as yellow pimples ; the wool gradu
ally falls out and hangs in shreds. This should be
prevented rather than cured ; if they have good food,
warm dry place in winter, good ventilation, housed
in proper conditions, they will be free from this
most contagious disease. When, however, the dis
ease appears, let those that are sick be separated
from the well ones, and thus prevent contagion. A
strong decoction of tobacco steeped in gallons of
water until the strength has been extracted. Five
or six pounds of tobacco to as many gallons of
water should be used ; some add a pound of blue
vitriol for every pound of tobacco, soft and hard
The sheep should be washed in this, and if the
scabs are of a hard nature lard may be used so that
they can be easily softened.
Arsenic Bath. — Although it may be very desirable
it is never done. Poisoning generally takes place
either by the sheep licking one another, or by the
sheep drinking out of a pond which is used for the
bath. In bathing the sheep it is always well to let
them down into the pond on a board, as they are
thus easily handled. However, many recommend
that when the disease is only located in one or two
animals that it is better to kill them outright rather
than to jeopardize the whole flock.
Sore Lips.—The remedy for this is two ounces
of glycerine, a half a dram of camphor, one-half
dram of alcohol, one-half ounce of flour of sulphur;
also a little tar sulphur and lard mixed together is a
Ticks and Lice.—Ticks and lice cause a great
deal of suffering to the sheep as well as making
them thin and uneasy. When the sheep are sheared
these infesters make their homes upon the lambs.
These infesters are cured by washing the sheep and
the lambs in a solution of cut plug tobacco and
water; the animal should be dipped into this solu
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