As a professional shearer I have shorn many thousands of rams. They come in many different breed types. Merino, Dorset, Suffolk, Texel, Corriedale, Border Leicester, Composites etc etc.
With the advent of advanced genetic selection some rams are getting bigger and bigger and with that size the temperament within some breeds can get aggressive.
For many years now farmers have been using a sedative to get their rams shorn by professional shearers.
WHAT IS IT?
The sedative is called Acetylpromazine or (ACP10). There are side effects to using ACP10.
- Low blood pressure
- Increase in temperature, making them temporarily infertile, if given too much ACP10
Rams should be kept quiet after administering the drug and left for 4 hours after shearing so the drug can wear off, no drenching, no organophosphate dips. Do not administer to old or sick rams.
ACP10 has to be prescribed by a registered vet. Your vet will be able to tell you more on the drug. Usually the vet will come out to see your rams to check over them to advise on administering the drug.
Suffice to say that a ram that may have been aggressive prior to sedation becomes sleepy and lethargic which renders the ram tame when shearing.
ACP10 can also be used on ewes and wethers OVER 75KG for sedation.
As a general rule the sedation should be administered 30 minutes prior to shearing for the full effect of the sedation to take place. Currently the dose is 1ml to every 100kg liveweight of animal. It is to be administered via deep intramuscular injection into the rum, with 2 people doing the job.
It is vitally important to stick to the prescribed amount of ACP10. The rams will not become more lethargic or sleepy by giving them more, but their blood pressure will drop and they won’t be able to regulate their body temperature. This will cause them to overheat. A ram can die, but generally will recover. The ram may become sterile for a couple of months after ACP10 is administered in too high a dose. So ensure ram shearing is done well before or after joining, to avoid this problem.
WHO CAN ADMINISTER ACP10
Only the owner of the sheep or the manager are able to administer the drug. Given that a lot of shearers have been knocked about by heavy, stroppy rams, they will probably ask to inject the rams and if they do they may have a tendency to overdose the rams, thinking it will take more of the kick out of them. This is one good reason for the owner or manager ONLY to inject the rams.
Most shearers won’t know that giving the ram an extra dose won’t sedate it more, but will affect the ram with low blood pressure.
THANK YOU ORANGE VETS
Your vet will give you a full briefing on how to use the sedation drug to ensure safety for your rams and yourself.Thank you to John Mason (Vet) of ORANGE vets who has given me all the latest information on ACP10. Ram Juice