The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 11:39:26 am

Title: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 11:39:26 am
Ive had sheep for over 50 years and never come across this before. I bought 5 ryeland ewes and put a proven ram with them on the 18th of Oct. They were in good nick, had plenty of grass and a mineral lick so were flushed well and should have been cycling, but as of today, none have taken the ram. There is no way they can be in lamb and the ram is really interested but the ewes do not seem to be coming into season. There have been 2 18 month old castrtaes running with them but they dont bother the ewes or the ram but just wondering if somehow their presence has stopped the ewes coming into season ? Idont see how frankly, but im running out of ideas! Anybody got any theories?
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Anke on November 22, 2020, 12:07:42 pm
When did you buy them - any chance they are already in lamb (from running with intact male lambs for example)?
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: twizzel on November 22, 2020, 12:11:12 pm
For all 5 not to be cycling is unusual my bet is they were covered before you bought them  :thinking:
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 12:57:02 pm
no, no chance they were in lamb when we bought them or that theyve been got at since.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: landroverroy on November 22, 2020, 01:09:49 pm
As Sherlock Holmes said - "When you have ruled out the possible you have to reconsider the impossible". :idea:
Or put it another way - you can never say "never". :innocent:


Let us know when you find out the answer. :thinking:
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 22, 2020, 01:57:58 pm
Are you experienced at applying raddle?  It's surprisingly easy to put it on in such a way that the ram doesn't mark the ewes....  Re-read your opening post and crossed that idea out! 

Otherwise, the only other things I can think of are congenital or other infertility (ie., arising before they came to you) or mineral deficiencies.  But in both cases, it would be extremely unlikely that all 5 would be so profoundly affected.

One thing I have definitely seen before is a ewe getting tupped and then lambing to a date 17 days earlier ;)

So to me, the most likely improbabilities to consider are :

- they did get in lamb before they came to you (for instance, if one of these ewes, or the ewes they ran with before you got them, is actually a tup, or a wether that isn't fully wethered - and I have seen both misgendering and incomplete wethering happen to farmers with decades of experience before, though never both together.)
- this tup has fertilised them but for some reason the raddling didn't work
- one of your castrates isn't fully wethered
- there is a humungous fertility problem on the farm they came from

Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 02:29:47 pm
thanks for this sally. i'm ruling out all but the last one
* ive been putting ram harnesses on for 50 years
* the 2 whethers that are with them are someone elses 'lawnmowers' and were ring castrated as baby lambs so no chance they could serve anything. Even if a testicle was missed and was up in the abdominal cavity that would render the animal infertile even if he did serve them - whcih he hasnt!
No, for some reason, the ewes are not cycling. My Dorset Downs are in the field next door and the DD ram wasn't interested in coming to the fence to 'test' the ryeland ewes. Nothing wrong with those ewes - i had a set of twins last wednesday! Thanks everyone for joining the debate though.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: harmony on November 22, 2020, 02:48:34 pm
I'd swap the tup. You have nothing to lose.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Buttermilk on November 22, 2020, 04:55:11 pm
Have the sheep been eating a lot of clover?  That can beggar up seasons.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 05:21:28 pm
not heard that one before buttermilk. interesting - whats the science behind it?
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: twizzel on November 22, 2020, 05:49:00 pm
Itís specifically red clover that can cause fertility problems.


All else failed you could take bloods?
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on November 22, 2020, 07:47:34 pm
no, theres no red clover in the field. yes, blood samples was my next move.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Backinwellies on November 23, 2020, 07:45:11 pm

* the 2 whethers that are with them are someone elses 'lawnmowers' and were ring castrated as baby lambs so no chance they could serve anything. Even if a testicle was missed and was up in the abdominal cavity that would render the animal infertile even if he did serve them - whcih he hasnt!


Not sure this would render the male infertile ...... 
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: sheeponthebrain on November 23, 2020, 09:10:26 pm

* the 2 whethers that are with them are someone elses 'lawnmowers' and were ring castrated as baby lambs so no chance they could serve anything. Even if a testicle was missed and was up in the abdominal cavity that would render the animal infertile even if he did serve them - whcih he hasnt!


Not sure this would render the male infertile ......
sub fertile is quite common with a missed testicle. 
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Anke on November 23, 2020, 09:31:06 pm
Well if you do get the vet out to take blood samples, ask him/her to bring a scanner with them.... my vet does my goats 6 weeks post mating, no reason why sheep should be any different... just in case you decide to sponge/PMSG them.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Wee Noddy on November 23, 2020, 10:37:19 pm
Funny, I bought 2 ewes from same farm this summer. One came back round for second helpings but the other never cycled. I have assumed that she is in lamb despite the fact the person who I bought her of said there was no way that could have happened!
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 23, 2020, 11:13:35 pm

* the 2 whethers that are with them are someone elses 'lawnmowers' and were ring castrated as baby lambs so no chance they could serve anything. Even if a testicle was missed and was up in the abdominal cavity that would render the animal infertile even if he did serve them - whcih he hasnt!


Not sure this would render the male infertile ......

It's done on purpose (or so the farmers say ;)) to make teaser rams in the north of England. 

One year, a lot of farms in our area had unexpected lambs on May 11th.  We checked back, and Dec 18th had been the day the temperatures nose-dived to -20C below.  Cold enough for those internal testicles to no longer be too hot for the wee spermies...
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Wee Noddy on December 13, 2020, 10:54:17 am
How did this end out Eryl?
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Wee Noddy on December 14, 2020, 09:37:09 pm
Funny, I bought 2 ewes from same farm this summer. One came back round for second helpings but the other never cycled. I have assumed that she is in lamb despite the fact the person who I bought her of said there was no way that could have happened!

As an update on my ewe. Judging from the look of her I am expecting lamb/s to drop in the next 4-7 days!
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: eryl on January 11, 2021, 12:28:38 pm
just had the 5 ewes scanned - all in lamb. think they must have started cycling late .Took the harness off the ram, so dont know hwne they were served. interesting to see when they lamb.
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: SallyintNorth on January 11, 2021, 12:50:51 pm
Glad you have an answer, and glad you will be getting some lambs! 

How we all missed asking you if the tup had carried on running with them after you took the raddle off, I cannot quite fathom!  ::)
Title: Re: ewes not cycling.
Post by: Backinwellies on January 11, 2021, 02:48:48 pm
very interesting.   My AN goats start cycling much later than other peoples .... never really start till well into Nov .... whilst others have started kidding ... mine have only just been with billy (and that is 4 years running now)