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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Keeping sheep
...Slaughter practicality
...Jacobs crosses
...Ram management
...- Feeding
...- Castration & strike
...Summer & autumn

Dipping is generally compulsory now. The choices at dipping start with whether you intend to do it yourself or have it done for you.

There are contractors who will arrive at your flock and do the whole thing for you. In our area you have to have at least 60 sheep to make this an economic operation; of course you can always gather a few owners together if you cannot make up that number yourself.

Sometimes local farmers will let you take your sheep to be dipped along with theirs in a fixed dipping setup. Otherwise you must look to your own resources. A fibreglass dip tank with an organised run makes the whole affair move with clockwork precision. Putting the sheep one after another by hand into a tank is heavy work.

From experience we would point out that getting the wet sheep out of the tank requires superhuman effort. The sheep must be totally immersed but they must not be overstressed. Quite often it is a useful thing to have at least one more pair of hands than you expect to need at a time like this. Sheep also require maintenance of their feet and tail areas. The feet must be carefully trimmed and kept in good condition to avoid foot rot.

The area around the tail should be kept trimmed and clean from wet droppings or you may find yourself with an attack of strike. Flies lay eggs in the matted wool, these hatch and the maggots start to eat the sheep. It sounds revolting and is. Prevention is far better than cure.