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Author Topic: Giantism in sheep??  (Read 2810 times)


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Giantism in sheep??
« on: April 19, 2011, 09:37:21 am »
does anyone know if there is such a thing!   :o :o

i have a ram lamb (single) who is now exactly three weeks old. He is enormous, absolutely huge! and growing so very fast too! Mum is a Suffolk x and dad was a Texel.

When he was born he was six or seven inches too long for the lamb macs....1/3 of his back stuck out the back of the mac and it was far too small across the shoulders to fit comfortably! BTW He was a tough birth, one shoulder back...that took some patient wiggling and jiggling to release, and loads of gel. I had to almost peel his mums vulva back to realease his head too. ( the patience paid off cos mum had no trauma at all - phew) 

He is now the size of a small collie, about 11 inches across the shoulders and rump and absolutely solid muscle with it... LOL at this rate he will have to go to market in a months time!! He is all in proportion, actually quite a good looking beastie!

I will try to get some photos of him next to the other lambs some of whom were born before him. Have kept him entire puerely because I was struggling to get his marbles in the correct place. I had planned to have him for the freezer, but may see about selling him at market. Failing that i do have a small pony saddle which will fit when he is fully grown  ;D ;D ;D
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Giantism in sheep??
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 11:13:18 am »
I had a really big (for a shetland) ram single lamb last year and I wasnt able to castrate him with a ring to my satisfaction either. He had big horns at birth too, think his mum is glad she had a girl this week! He started trashing our fencing in the winter and by January his number was Up. Despite the snow I was desperate to be rid of the toad, he had started to get shirty.

Not sure he was as big as yours tho!

He made very good eating indeed.... :yum:


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: Giantism in sheep??
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 12:13:08 pm »
LOL, my eyes are watering now - my local guru came past. Recons that the ram lamb is a wopper.......BUT there are more up the hill from us ! One weighed a huuuumungous 29lbs at birth. Owwwwwch ! i wonder if they weighed the ewe instead of the lamb ??  :o :o :o

Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Giantism in sheep??
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 12:57:10 pm »
I have heard of a few 20lb+ lambs this year, too and a few of our singles have been very very large indeed.  We tried to weigh one very large one. I found the spring weighing thingy, BH brought out a carrier bag to put the lamb in!  Well you can't argue with BH, amazingly he did get the lamb into the carrier bag and supported it while I got the hook through the handles.  Between the handles giving way, me being unable to hold up the weight of this large lamb as all its weight came to bear on my one hand holding up the spring thingy, so I was following the whole package down as BH tried to give me the weight, and also me needing a little bit of distance from the scale to read the weight (I think I may have mentioned my advancing years...) but not so much I couldn't make out the figures...

There was a lot of laughter, a lamb in a carrier bag on the floor in a heap (don't worry he only freefell the last inch or three) and all I can tell you (and BH) is that the lamb definitely weighed more than 18lbs; that was the last glimpse I had of the scale as the whole lot hurtled away from me earhwards and the spring leapt back to 0!

I did wonder as we were piling the hay and cake into them through all the severe weather and beyond whether we may get oversize lambs.  I guess everyone has had to feed more through this winter, and maybe that's how come there are a few of these giants about.  Thankfully we haven't (so far, we're onto the hoggs and shearlings now) had any so large they couldn't get born apart from one of these monsters that was dead and the vet felt a caesarian would be the best choice.  Both she and one other had a dead monster plus another good-sized lamb - in both cases the vet attended and couldnot believe there was another inside after getting the huge dead one out.  Combined weight would certainly have been in excess of 30lbs - but too macabre to weigh, so we didn't.

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


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Giantism in sheep??
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 12:29:14 am »
For weighing lambs on a spring balance, make a sling from an old towel folded lengthways so it fits under the belly from back legs to front legs.  Tie each end of the towel with strong string, make a loop at the other end of the string and hang the loops on the balance. The lamb will not struggle once its feet are off the ground.  A similar method can be used to weigh full-sized sheep with a canvas sling and a very strong beam to hang the scales from. If you add in a pulley you don't have to lift the sheep, just wind it up  :)  We made an A frame with one end to sit on top of a tall straining post so we can weigh our sheep in the field - lambs come into the barn.  It's a good idea to weigh lambs before you dose them and if you don't have too many you can adjust the dose accurately to their individual sizes.
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