OSH guidelines for sheep fasting times

Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) now recommends that sheep are fasted prior to shearing to:

  • Reduce the risk of manual handling injuries from lifting heavy full sheep.
  • Reduce the risk of shearers tripping on slippery floors.
  • Reduce the chances of workers contracting leptospirosis from urine spray.
  • Reduce pen staining of wool.
Recommended fasting times in hours
 Age group Min – no feed   Max – no feed    Min- no water Max – no water  
 Ewes/rams                
 non preg/non lact
 
 18  32  12  24
 late preg/lact.  18  30  12  24
 Hoggets                
 non preg/non lact
 
 18  30  12  24
 late preg/lact.
 
 12 24 20 
 Lambs        
 pre wean
 
 6 24  20 
 weaned  12 24  20 
Note:  Exceeding these maximum times may trigger metabolic problems, especially in pregnant animals.  Pregnant hoggets need special care.  Unweaned lambs should stay with their mothers until the ewes enter the shearing shed.
 

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