Old news from Armidale and New England

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February 1874: Directions For Dipping With Arsenic To Kill Ticks

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The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday, 14 February 1874

(To the Editors of the Armidale Express.)

Gentlemen — As I believe many sheep owners are willing to try dipping sheep with arsenic, the following directions may be some little guide.

Quantity required for every hundred lambs at weaning, 8 lbs. soft soap and 1 lb. arsenic.

The arsenic and soft soap should be mixed one month before required for use, with sufficient warm water to bring it to the consistency of molasses ; one quart of this to 10 gallons of water will be found the right strength for dipping. “The water in the tank should be warm, but not hot.” If it is the least unpleasantly warm in the men’s hands, it is far too warm for the sheep.

I am supposing the sheep to be dipped to be New England lambs at weaning, which is no doubt the best time for dipping (but I believe it would pay well to dip the lambs when the ewes are shorn).

In recommending dipping, I do not say that your sheep will become entirely free from ticks, but so free that the sheep will rest and thrive. (Never try dipping half a flock, leaving the other half undipped.) You require a water-tight wooden tank, 4 feet by 4 feet, and 2 feet 8 inches deep; on one side three battens or two pieces of stouter timber are nailed, and above them the draining board, which has a slight fall towards the tank, and battens nailed two inches apart to allow the dip or liquid to drain back to the tank. Plan of tank and draining board can be seen at the ‘Express’ office.

One 30 gallon iron boiler will warm sufficient water to dip 500 lambs per day, by five men—one to catch and bring the lamb to the tank, two at the tank, and two at the draining board. (They can also brand each pen before dipping.) With two tanks, two iron boilers, and six men, you can dip 700 per day without branding; the extra man keeps the water warm and tanks filled.

Although arsenic is a very fatal poison, there is no danger to the men employed in dipping, except they have cuts or scratches on them ; but be very careful that nothing drinks it. Cows or sheep would soon die, although it might not prove fatal to pigs or dogs.

It is very easy for the man who holds the lamb’s fore legs to keep its head from going under in the tank.

In England, we used to rub the sheep across the draining battens, but I have found that here it is best to squeeze as much out with the hand without rubbing the sheep across the battens.

—I am, yours truly, J. B. BLENCOWE.

Written by macalba

November 11, 2020 at 10:25 am

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