Ref Code: SHE12
Teaching - 3 (Instructor:student ratio 1:3)
Research - 4
To identify, castrate and dock the tails of lambs.
Abattoir specimens, video presentation.
Lambs can be restrained either by hand or in cradles.
In NSW it is compulsory to put the owner's registered mark in the off-side ear of ewes and near side for males, using the specially designed ear-marking pliers.
The head should be adequately restrained and the tag located in the centre of the ear or slightly towards the end, so that the longitudinal ridges of the ear are avoided.
Applicators should be kept in good working order. Disinfection of applicator and tag is recommended between animals.
Replacement tags should be located in the previous site where possible.
Implements required for castration are also commonly used to remove tails. Tail severance should occur level with the tip of the vulva or below the second palpable tail joint. If lambs are mulesed at marking or later, tails are cut slightly longer - that is below the third palpable joint - as some shrinkage occurs following mulesing.
Insecticide to prevent flystrike when necessary.
Antiseptic to sterilise equipment.
Marking lambs in an overheated or excited condition causes excessive bleeding. When operations are completed, release the lamb so that it lands on its feet, to avoid the risk of wound infection.
One demonstration per animal.
Livestock should be handled quietly before, during and after the procedure.
Lambs should not be held in yards. In extensive areas where paddocks are large, flocks may need shepherding for up to an hour after marking to allow ewes and lambs to mother up. Providing water for ewes during marking may make them less likely to desert the lambs when they are let out of the yards.
Flystrike can be a major problem, so regular monitoring is needed after marking, and the wound should be dressed with insecticide. Tetanus can develop if lambs' mothers haven't been vaccinated with a clostridial vaccine prior to lambing.
None required if lambs are under 6 months of age. Lambs more than 6 months of age may only be castrated by a veterinarian.
The operator needs to demonstrate proficiency in the technique.