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Old 10-12-2012, 02:14 AM   #1
mg5g
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Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

Hi Mamas-
So I went and did something that I hope isn't going to come back and bite me I adopted a "pet" sheep tonight to join our flock of breeders. We are brand new to all this and aren't even breeding this year and I really shouldn't have adopted a rescue sheep since we are trying to farm NOT run a rescue BUT

ANYWAY - "Bella" the sheep is about 1/4 the size of her mama and less then 1/2 the size of her siblings. She was a triplet. She was born in May and did well. Other then having a large tummy which made it hard for her to get around she did great at her old farm. (She would get toppled over by accident and then not be able to get up with her tummy being so big.) We have a flock of shetlands so even though they are twice her size they are a more appropriate flock for her to be with then her home flock. She was raised to train sheep-dogs and is too small to live there safely so they were looking for a pet home.

I "trust" the woman I got her from as much as you would trust a random stranger you met on craigslist. She seemed nice, knew what she was doing (or at least more then me) and her flock seemed clean and cared for. She doesn't think that there is anything "wrong" with Bella other then her tiny, tiny size.

I've only ever had pet cats and dogs before last year and my first thought is to take Bella straight to the vet for a check-up BUT she is "live-stock" and I get that "farmers" don't generally run their sheep to the vet for well visits Bella could EASILY go to a vet though since she rode home in a dog crate in the hatch of my SUV!

Anyway - sorry for rambling. I am a little afraid she will be sick or get hurt and I don't know what to look out for in dwarf animals. She is NOT supposed to be a mini - she is either stunted or a genetic dwarf. I know dwarfism in people can cause heart issues etc - what about in animals???

ETA - I tried doing a google search and could only find info on dwarf and mini breeds that are supposed to be little not on animals that are "special needs".

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

She doesn't sound like a runt?
Here is some articles I found.
http://flockandherd.net.au/sheep/reader/arthritis.html

http://priscilla.saltmarshranch.com/...ed-lambs-soay/
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

Do you have a picture of her?
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

Thanks Sarah - well she isn't lame and she has a nice big belly. We will for sure make sure she is getting enough to eat. She isn't afraid to get right in there with the big girls to get the grain but thanks for the article because I will make sure to monitor how much food she actually gets. We have another sheep who is timid and I always worry about her getting pushed around so maybe I can feed those two together in private. I couldn't imagine her trying to live in a regular sized flock! Even the Shetlands we have who are about her age are twice as big as her! It will be interesting to see if she does grow up eventually. If she does grow to full size she is going to be our biggest sheep
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

Picture from her first farm

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Old 10-13-2012, 06:14 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

What a cutie!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

OMG ADORABLE!!!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

Cute! She doesn't look like she suffers from dwarfism..she must just be tiny. My mom raised mini horses for a while and while none of ours were dwarves we saw a few at other farms. You can definitely tell b/c their bodies are normal but their legs are extra short. They aren't proportionate. I would guess sheep and other livestock would be similar.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone raising a dwarf (stunted) animal - sheep especially?

aw, she's cute. I don't know what you'd call it in an animal but as a triplet could she just be "failure to thrive"?
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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In my experience in my parents farm I'm surprised that she is doing so well for being that runty.

Our littlest lambs from triplets and quads just don't make it no matter how hard we try. She doesn't look dwarf to me. Just very small.
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