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Author Topic: Triplets!  (Read 704 times)

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Triplets!
« on: April 29, 2019, 04:59:33 pm »
one of my ewes had triplets early Saturday morning, all by herself, no problems and all 3 evenly sized, they were and are feeding well and I haven’t attempted topping any up as they all seem to be doing so well, today they have gone out into a small but grassy area and mum eating well too. Should I leave them happily as they are or should I be thinking about topping up? I am reluctant unless really necessary as I’m away this weekend for a wedding, my neighbour holds fort but I don’t want to add chores if I can avoid it? Advice please?  :sheep:
In my early days of sheep keeping I was advised to take a lamb away and leave her with two, I’ve only had one set of triplets previously and needed to top up the biggest one, but they all stayed together.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 05:27:21 pm by dixie »
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shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 07:18:04 pm »
If they are doing well then I wouldn't stress about this weekend , it will be the weekend after when you may notice problems  , depends on breed of ewe/ condition and age  ( young or old ewes can be a problem , but fit ewes in their prime can be successful )   breed of  lamb ( purebred lambs need less than a big meat breed ) and feed available

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 10:37:06 pm »
The danger is that as they grow and demand more milk, if she can’t keep pace with demand they can bring her condition down, damage her udder, possibly leading to mastitis. 

If she’s managing well for now (and is still doing so on Friday before you set off, with all three lambs nice and full, not blaring and none of them constantly running under her trying to snatch a suck, or trying to snatch a suck off any other ewes), has a good condition score for her type, and is on good grass and lots of it, she will probably be fine at least until after the wedding.  Once you’re back, either start topping up anyway, remove one lamb, or watch her and them like a hawk for any signs she or they are struggling, and act very promptly if you see any.  In my experience, by the time you see any struggling, the damage is done, and a poor ewe who takes a lot of recovering, mastitis, lambs which suffer a check and take a longer time to get fit, some or all of these things are already inevitable.  But some ewes will manage, so it’s a judgment call. 

Have a good wedding, and best of luck with the triplets and ewe :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 09:03:19 am »
Thank you, all is going well still, ewe is in good condition and lambs doing well, they’re out on good grass but not with the others yet, I’ll bring them in at night until tomorrow/Thursday. Fingers crossed they continue. Final ewe lambed twins this morning too, so far so good! I’ve a small amount of milk in stock ready for emergency hopefully won’t need it!
The ewe is an easy care and the ram a Heinz 57, he’s an old boy but done fab this year!
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 09:05:18 am by dixie »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2019, 09:43:21 am »
I keep triplets on my ewes for up to a week so they are strong enough to then lift one off and bottle feed. The first week a ewe will normally have enough milk but after that the demand outweighs supply and that’s when the ewe loses condition and mastitis is risky. I’d keep them on the ewe till after the weekend and then lift one off... I never leave a ewe with triplets.

epherdwicks

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 11:56:34 am »
One of my ewes had triplets two years running and she managed to give birth and rear them all by herself without any extra help.  Maybe I was lucky, or just too ignorant to realise she might have needed some backup!

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 07:20:24 pm »
A little update, back from our weekend and all are thriving,  the triplets are already in the trough sharing feed so I’ll set up the creep feeder, mums doing great too, fingers crossed they stay that way but I’ll keep a close eye on them all.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 10:36:53 am »
Great! Thanks for the update :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 12:17:52 pm »
Another update and some advice please. So all doing well until today, I noticed one of the triplets didn’t come at feed time, he was laying down, so got him up so he walked to mum, he’s not attempting to feed and doesn’t seem interested, although nice and fat and weeing/pooping just very quiet, I observed for a while then decided I’d try some milk, took a little while but he did suck a bit and had 100ml or so? Put him back with mum etc and he’s still quiet and I’ve not seen him attempt to feed, do I assume he needs a bottle and concentrate on getting that going? Thanks all

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 01:03:46 pm »
Sometimes there isn't enough milk to go around and one lamb looses out, could be that the ewe is letting the 2 other lambs drink but she's deciding when they've had enough and the lamb is loosing out, lambs are so greedy.

If its not attempting to drink its probably been happening for a while and it'll slowly loose weight and start to look 'tucked up'. I would bring in away from its mum and bottle feed for a few days until its used to drinking from the bottle. Then pop back out and bottle feed in the field for 3/4 weeks until weaning.

Personally I would always take a triplet off within 24hrs because my experience is that a ewe will struggle to raise 3.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 01:28:57 pm »
Are you sure since he is very subdued that he is not ill , thing like pneumonia start like this

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 04:59:57 pm »
All of the above could be it, as could he is the favoured lamb and does not need to be pestering mum because he’s full because she filled him up first!   And the other two are getting leftovers, so are always hungry, and therefore always with mum trying to feed!

However, except in the case that he’s poorly, then the situation is that mum doesn’t have enough milk.  So you need to be topping someone up, and it doesn’t much matter who - whoever will take the bottle!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2019, 05:16:22 pm »
Right, he is definitely poorly, I’ve brought him in, put a lamp on if he needs it, given antibiotic and now attempting to get milk down him.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2019, 05:34:46 pm »
Does he have a temp ? and what ab ? maybe a quick phone call to vet ?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Triplets!
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2019, 08:11:36 pm »
What's coming out the other end? Is he bloated/tender abdomen?
 If he is almost a month old I wouldn't focus on milk so much, but rehydrate him with water/rehydration fluid and get him to eat some creep and hay/readigrass. If he is only on milk he may well get acidosis.

I have lost ewes with lambs aged 5 weeks old and they have been totally fine just going onto grass and concentrates.

 

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