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Winter Blows Away

Posted 2/24/2009 10:34am by Catskill Merino.

 CD/T

We take a break from the cold while innoculating the ewes with CD/T vaccine.  I go to my idling truck, the heater blasting, to warm my hands and get my camera while Dominique huddles in with the sheep protecting herself from the 35 MPH gusts of Monday with afternoon temperatures that fell into the low 20's. 

Pink grease-marks on noses tell us which sheep have been vaccinated.  When all noses are marked, we let the sheep go to join the already vaccinated on the flats behind us; we then bring another 25 into the treatment pen keeping them bunched closely together to prevent them from moving which is easier on them and easier for us.

Gestating ewes must be vaccinated with CD/T several weeks prior to lambing to pass clostridium antibodies on to their lambs in colostrum, the first milk from the udder.  This vaccination is crucial to lamb survival as the lambs' immune systems don't begin to develop until six weeks of age.

CD/T (Clostridium Perfringens Types C & D plus Tetanus Toxoid) is a commonly used vaccine that is also approved for use in certified organic sheep; it guards against tetanus infection and enterotoxemia (overeaters disease) which is a painful, gastric affliction that is untreatable and causes a lamb's death usually within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.