Dealing with Frostbite of Newborn Lambs and Kids

Does or ewes with ears cropped due to frostbite damage at birth are not an uncommon sight on Northeastern goat and sheep farms. Although the condition is not life-threatening, it can lead to interesting explanations in the show ring. In severe winters, frostbite can be farm more serious, affecting newborns’ feet and tails and teats of dairy does.                    

Under normal conditions, blood carries oxygen throughout an animal’s body to keep all tissues healthy. However, if an animal’s body temperature suddenly …

A Biological Trick for Fostering Lambs and Kids: Birth Canal Stimulation

Natasha Pettifor, Cornell Animal Science Dept. PhD candidate with LOTS of hands-on experience in maternal bonding of sheep and goats


Convincing a reluctant new dam to accept an orphaned or rejected lamb or kid can be tricky. Many strategies for “fostering” or “grafting” are frustration and too often unsuccessful. A technique called vagino-cervical stimulation (VCS), a.k.a. birth canal stimulation, can be helpful and increase the rate of successful grafting. The goal of VCS is to convince the ewe or doe’s