Thursday, 8 March 2012

Stomach Tube Culture

There are, I’m learning, subtle differences between sheep care here in Catalunya and sheep care in the UK. An example is the humble stomach tube.

The two UK books I have on lambing both talk about this as a good and normal practice with lambs. And here is an article from 1987 by a UK vet, Andrew Eales, saying that

“...feeding lambs by stomach tube is probably the most significant advance in lamb care in the last 20 years.”

Over here in Catalunya things are different. A friend who is an expert in sheep and lambing says that stomach tubing is a dangerous practice – one drop of colostrum in the lungs and bye-bye lamb – and it appears to be something that is either rarely practiced here, or only carried out in extremis by the vet.

To Tube. Or Not to Tube. That is the question.

Investigations continue on this important element of cultural contrast…

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