Livestock - Sheep Health, Discover Sheep Farming Factsheet and Body Condition Scoring


Sheep Health: 3 signs of ill health in sheep

  • Scouring (diarrhoea) 
  • lameness
  • being apart from the flock
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Sheep Health: What is the normal range for a healt

  • Body temperature: 38.3°C - 39.9°C
  • Respiration rate: 16-34 breathes per minute
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Sheep Health: List 3 signs of parturition

  • animal keeps away from others
  • ***** is swollen and the skin is loose
  • discharge from the ***** a few days before parturition
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Discover Sheep Farming Factsheet

  • In the Middle Ages the wool trade was the most important in Britain. Wool was mainly used to make cloth for clothing. There are 16.5 million breeding sheep in Britain.
  • Sheep are hardy animals that are suited to a wide range of conditions. They can be kept in the open for much, if not all, of the year. Britain’s most important sheep product is meat. Wool is a by-product and now forms less than 5% of the income from sheep.
  • Over 70 breeds of sheep are now found in Britain which is more than any other type of livestock. Small areas have even developed their own breeds.
  • The major breeds are classified into Mountain and Moorland/Upland, Longwool and Terminal Sire Breeds.
  • Sheep Dogs are vitally important, without them the farmer would have great difficulty rounding up sheep, particularly on large hill farms. Training and handling sheep dogs is a very skillful job and there are lots of competitions.
  • All-terrain vehicles are also increasingly used to help the modern shepherd check his stock and care for them correctly.
  • Most sheep kept in Britain are seasonal breeders, so they are mated in the autumn in order to produce lambs in the spring.
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Body Condition Scoring - Sheep Part 1

  • Score 0
    • rarely occurs
    • sheep is extremely emaciated and on the point of death
    • no muscle or fatty tissue between the skin and bone
  • Score 1
    • vertical and horizontal processes are prominent and sharp
    • fingers can be easily pushed below horizontals and each process felt
    • loin muscles are thin
    • no fat covering
  • Score 2
    • vertical processes prominent but smooth
    • individual processes felt as corrugations
    • horizontal processes are smooth and rounded
      • however still possible to press fingers under
    • loin muscles are moderate depth
    • thin fat cover
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Body Condition Scoring - Sheep Part 2

  • Score 3
    • vertical processes smooth and rounded
    • bone is felt with pressure
    • horizontal processes are smooth and well covered
    • loin muscles are full
    • moderate fat cover
  • Score 4
    • vertical processes only detectable as a line
    • ends of the bone cannot be felt
    • loin muscles are full
    • thick covering of fat
  • Score 5
    • vertical and horizontal processes undetectable
    • dimple of fat layers where processes should be
    • loin muscles very full
    • thick layer of fat
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