Talk is Sheep

Small reminants - alpacas, sheep and goats.

Small reminants – alpacas, sheep and goats.

In November we had our “Talk is Sheep” seminar, presented by UQ Small Ruminant Specialist Dr Brandon Fraser, covering all things concerning alpacas, sheep and goats. We had a great turn out and have received some very positive feedback.  Over the next couple of months we will give you a condensed version of the key points, for those of you who were unable to make it to the presentation.

Firstly, if you are planning on getting some of these creatures for your property give us a call or drop in to have a bit of a chat about goat/sheep or camelid  husbandry.  This month we’ll take a look at pregnancy and birth, what to expect and when to seek help.

Length of gestation:

Sheep 145 – 150 days,

Goats 148 – 158 days,

Camelids 355 – 419 days.


Stage 1: 

– First 1 – 6 hours

– Separation from the herd, restlessness, vocalising

– Cushing with legs to the side (camelids)

– Frequent visits to the dung pile (camelids)

When to seek veterinary advice:

– Lasting longer than 4 – 6 hours

– Excessive vocalisation, grunting or rolling

– Kicking at the belly

Stage 2:

– Waters breaking

– Birth: 5 – 40 min

– Average for Camelids 15 minutes, Sheep and goats 20 – 30 minutes

When to seek veterinary advice:

– No progress in 15 – 20 minutes or abnormal presentation.

– Following the birthing PLEASE DON’T SWING THE CRIA/LAMB/KID in hope to remove fluids from their airways or stimulate them to breathe.

– Place the newborn on it’s chest and rub vigorously.

– The newborn should be suckling within an hour.

Post parturition (birth):

It is normal for the dam to have some thin, reddish discharge for a few days to a few weeks.

When to seek veterinary advice:

If the discharge is malodourous (foul smelling)

If the dam becomes ill, goes off her food, appears lethargic or just not herself.

These are just a few points with regards to gestation and birthing.  Always seek veterinary advice if you are unsure, have any questions or concerns.

We would like to thank our readers and our clients for their support throughout the year and wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and remind you that although our clinic is closed for  normal trading over the Christmas and New Year period (25th December till 4th January), there will be a vet on call throughout the holiday period.

Merry Christmas to you from the Team at UQ Vets Dayboro.        *

About Editor