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F1 Katahdin/White Dorper Cross 


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An ongoing series of informational entries

Our Latest Blog Entry

Feb. 15, 2020

This is my first blogging experience so be patient with me until I learn the Blogging Ropes. 

My wife and I started our sheep enterprise in November of 2017. Before then we had Full Blood and Commercial Boer goats. We had many failures with Boer goats and decided to switch over to sheep. We started out with five Registered Full Blood Dorper bred ewes and a Dorper Ram and five Registered White Dorper ewe lambs about seven months. We now have fifty commercial Katahdin ewes and working up to 150 plus ewes by 2022.

First of all, I am no expert on sheep and goats nor am I a veterinarian. I have learned by trial and error, by making mistakes and by finally having success.

We have a lot of people just starting out with sheep and asking us questions regarding health, nutrition, and management. As I mentioned earlier, I am no expert so the only advice I have is what works for us with our flock.

This week's topic will be FLOCK VACCINATIONS.

Flock vaccinations

Vaccinations are an important part of a flock health management program. They provide inexpensive "insurance" against diseases that commonly affect sheep and lambs. The two vaccines used by the highest percentage of operations were enterotoxemia and tetanus.

We use very, very little medications if at all possible. But I feel that a good vaccination program is very economical and beneficial and also improves our bottom line. 

Vaccine 1.  Abortion

Abortion vaccines should be administered prior to breeding. Ewes being vaccinated for the first time should receive a second vaccination (booster) in mid-pregnancy. Producers with problem flocks may consider giving a booster as well. Risk factors for abortion include an open flock and/or a history of abortions in the flock.  We use Camploybacter Fetus Bacterin by Colorado Serum

Vaccine 2. Clostridial Diseases

The only universally-recommended vaccine for sheep and lambs is for clostridial diseases. There are 3, 7, and 8-way vaccines. CDT provides three-way protection against enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani. The 7 and 8-way clostridal vaccines provide protection against additional clostridial diseases, including blackleg and malignant edema. The extra protection provided by the 7 and 8 way vaccines may or may not be necessary, depending upon farm.

We use BarVac CD/T.

Vaccine 3. Pneumonia. We use Pasteurella (Pneumonia) Vaccine by Colorado Serum.

There is a vaccine for pneumonia caused by Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multicida. It requires two injections. Some producers have used a vaccine called Nasalgen® in newborn lambs. It protects against the parainfluenza virus (PI-3), which may play a role in lamb pneumonia. It is given in the form of a nasal spray. Nasalgen® is not labeled for lambs.


Until next week, happy shepherdding.