Why Do Sheep Farmers Chop of their Lamb’s Tails and What is the Practice of Cropping A Lamb’s Tail Called?

Sheep are born with very long tails, long enough to reach the ground.

Why Do Sheep Farmers Chop of their Lamb's Tails

When a lamb is born, the owner puts a rubber band tightly around the base of the lamb’s tail so that the circulation to the rest of the tail is stopped.

In about a week or two, the tail, made mostly of soft cartilage, dies and falls off below the band.

An owner will sometimes opt for using a pair of cauterizing scissors for a quicker, albeit more painful, crop.

This cropping keeps the lamb’s tail from dragging in muck and dung.

The practice of chopping off a lamb’s tail is called docking, is practiced for health reasons.

Animal rights groups oppose these procedures, but farmers say docking solves many veterinary problems, and that the pain is only temporary.

Apparently, flies like to lay their eggs in mucky sheep tails.

Still, it doesn’t seem right, somehow.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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