Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Flock Plans  (Read 1551 times)

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Flock Plans
« on: February 28, 2024, 08:09:45 am »
I am nearing the end of my first lambing.

Horrendous start, but all good now and very happy.

My question is ringwomb. I have one ewe who lost her twins and suffered with this-whatís the view on tupping her again? I have had mixed views on this thus far so interested to hear.

The other ewe was empty, or looks it to me would you keep for next year, or get shut?

Iím not a massive commercial set up but having suffered a lot of complications and heartache (inevitable though that is!) I do need to try and manage this going forward.

As an addition, potential ram lambs-Iíve got 3 boys, not banded the testicles as I want to see what they look like come 4 months and Market if not, but may also be able to sell on as wethers or maybe keep 1Öunsure what to do tbh.

Thoughts welcome. I will keep some of the ewe lambs this year and increase our flock by a small select amount.

That should help manage the pasture I think and get it eaten off a bit more which is the goal..

« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 08:23:29 am by SavageU »

KHSDoc

  • Joined Feb 2024
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2024, 08:36:20 am »
Ring womb:- We have had successful lambing with ewe second time around, if you like her then keep her. There is apparently a risk of it happening again but for us it didn't though n=1 so not hugely statistically significant! With the empty ewe, it has been an odd year lambing wise with many of our ewes showing late conception or being empty and similar reports elsewhere in East Anglia so again if you like her keep her. We do not band our rams and the ones we sell at market are not marked down.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2024, 12:32:53 pm »
First offÖ I am hard on my ewes and culling criteria. Some people may be more lenient than me, but I do believe my flock is better for it. Empty, prolapse, crap mothers, no milk, abortion, mastitis, caesarean are all cullable offences for me. Ringwomb would be if it was a true ringwomb and needed a section. Repeated hard lambing would be too if each year the same ewe had big problems lambing. Lambing is hard enough without worrying about what happened with a ewe last year. I am also somewhat limited on numbers so every ewe must pull her weight.


If youíre in doubt about whether to castrate ram lambs, I would ring them. Considering itís your first year, it would be one less thing to worry about. If you want to sell them as wethers they either need castrating by banding/ringing before 7 days of age, or youíll have to pay the vet. If youíre going to kill them for meat, it doesnít matter if theyíre not castrated too much, as long as youíve got somewhere to keep them away from any females, and get rid before the autumn.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2024, 12:34:54 pm »
Personally i would sell the 2 ewes as you could keep them both and have the same problem next year  or not , for me i want a ewe to give birth and suckle the lamb/s with no or minimal intervention

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2024, 02:03:00 pm »
In my early days, I gave empty ewes a "second chance". Never worked. By the next tupping they were too fat to conceive, I think.
I'd put both away. Mutton is very tasty. Life's to short to store up problems at lambing time.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2024, 02:17:42 pm »
In your circs I would cull Mrs Ringwomb.  She may well be okay in future but her daughters may do the same first time out.  Your later self will thank your now self for culling out avoidable problems.

I agree with twiz about banding the boys.  You're new at this, take all the options which reduce stress, reduce problems, require the least experience.  Time enough to finesse such choices when you have the basics down, a few years ahead.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2024, 02:21:37 pm »
In your circs I would cull Mrs Ringwomb.  She may well be okay in future but her daughters may do the same first time out.  Your later self will thank your now self for culling out avoidable problems.

You're new at this, take all the options which reduce stress, reduce problems, require the least experience.  Time enough to finesse such choices when you have the basics down, a few years ahead.

:bookmark: cull or not? and novice shepherd advice

I think these may be two of the best answers I've ever given (in my 16,000+ posts!).  I wish I'd been given them when I was starting out!  I'm bookmarking them so I can give them again  :D
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 02:23:22 pm by SallyintNorth »
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2024, 06:40:29 pm »
Thank you everyone.

Itís basically what I thought, I cannot have another year like this year (the bad bits) and whilst toxo may have contributed towards some of itÖI donít need to keep sheep that are going to cause me further stress at a very stressful time.

Think thereís a chance of them going to be grass eaters on the road and having a fat and happy life, so thatís one option.


twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2024, 06:56:18 pm »
Thank you everyone.

Itís basically what I thought, I cannot have another year like this year (the bad bits) and whilst toxo may have contributed towards some of itÖI donít need to keep sheep that are going to cause me further stress at a very stressful time.

Think thereís a chance of them going to be grass eaters on the road and having a fat and happy life, so thatís one option.


Lambing never goes to plan, you will have bad days but they do get better. I had a terrible day a few days ago, itís got better since. If you have had toxo confirmed, toxovax is essential next year and going forward, it is expensive but 100% worth it. All of my sheep are toxo and enzo vaccinated. 

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2024, 07:00:59 pm »
Well it wasnít just a bad day in fairness to myself, it was a bad fortnight where I wanted to sell everything!

Which vac do you use please?

Also, any experience of entropion? I have two lambs with Cloudy/weepy eyes. Hoping it would go-vet job or sterile water and wipe?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2024, 07:37:40 pm »
I use toxovax and enzovax. Itís about £7-8 per head for both vaccines, but well worth it.


If the eye is weepy and cloudy youíll need some cream from the vet, and possibly need to inject the eyelid to push it back out and stop from inverting. Or try pinching the eyelid, it can swell a bit and stay out that way, but if the eye is cloudy you probably need to inject and give some cream to be honest.

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2024, 07:58:00 pm »
Iíll call them tomorrow, it looks beyond a wipe but Iíll try that first.

Will ask about those tomorrow.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2024, 01:51:58 am »
Entropion has two major causes.  Genetics and dehydration.

Keep tabs on ewes whose lambs have entropion, and consider changing your tup or even breed.

Any lamb with entropion - suspect the ewe may be short of milk.  Make sure she has plenty of water and as much grass as possible, supplementation if no grass.  Consider topping up any lamb with entropion.

Top tip : When you first spot entropion, correct the eyelid's position and squeeze the lid to bruise it very slightly.  The swelling will keep it sitting eyelashes out.  Many lambs need no further intervention.  (The slight and transient discomfort of the bruised lid is a price worth paying to avoid having your eyelashes constantly scraping your cornea.)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2024, 06:52:30 am »
Itís also genetically linked to the ram, so if heís throwing a large proportion of lambs with entropion, best to cull. Itís something Iíll check for when putting newborn lambs into mothering pens as it can normally be corrected by pinching at this stage- dip navel, check eyes, check ewe milk supply.

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Flock Plans
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2024, 02:33:11 pm »
Yeah thereís been 3 out of 9 lambs. Potentially could have rectified it sooner if Iíd known what I was looking at.

Will keep an eye on numbers.

 

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