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The Importance of Tail Docking Lambs

By   /  May 29, 2017  /  2 Comments

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Ever had a rotten tooth pulled? I have, and it smarts a bit. But would I rather that tooth was still
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  • Published: 4 years ago on May 29, 2017
  • By:
  • Last Modified: October 1, 2020 @ 12:11 pm
  • Filed Under: Livestock, Sheep

About the author

Bill Fosher started farming in 1989 in Hadley, Mass., and hasn’t been able to stop since. After years of moving from place to place, he and his wife, Lynn Zimmerman, have put down roots in the Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire, not far from where Bill grew up. Vegetables were his first farming venture, but sheep were added in 1990 and have been Bill’s main passion ever since. They also raise and sell pork, pastured chickens and turkeys, farm fresh eggs, hand-dyed and natural color yarns, and sheepskins. Bill is an expert in pasture management, and moonlights as the coordinator for Granite State Graziers. He is known for his common-sense approach to intensive rotational grazing and for his commitment to animal welfare.


  1. Glenn Mead says:

    Good Article – sums up things well. I’d suggest leaving the tails slightly longer than that even – evidence on tailing length here in New Zealand suggests that you need to be at least below the fourth tail bone to avoid nerve damage. We used a gas powered hot iron at a older age 4-6 weeks as you can identify the spot to go for easier, evidence shows less of a growth check compared to rings, and lower mortality rates. Can be tempting to go to high with rings too, but as long as you are aware of the issues rings are fine. For years we used rings with few problems too. We breed in (back) short tails so tailed lambs less and less.

  2. Jess Jackson Jr says:

    Well stated and great article.

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