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A survey of sheep losses and their causes on commercial farms in the north of Scotland
  1. WS Johnston,
  2. GK Maclachlan and
  3. IS Murray


A three year survey on sheep deaths and their causes was conducted on 10 commercial farms in the north of Scotland. Diseases and other trauma associated with the perinatal period accounted for 56.81% of all ewe deaths, while pneumonia, parasitic gastroenteritis, torsion of the bowel and haemorrhagic enteritis (redgut) accounted for a further 21.7%. No one disease condition predominated in the rams and hoggs. In lambs, most deaths occurred between birth and four days old (77.86%). Causes came in the form of starvation and exposure (34.2%), stillbirths (18.2%), lambing injuries (11.06%), infectious conditions (8.0%), dystocia (7.6%) and abortion (5.2%). The overall death rate among the lambs was 14.2%.

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