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Author Topic: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?  (Read 8440 times)

abbaye

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 07:21:53 am »
Thanks folks for very informative replies.

We are tiny - only 6 ewes and we basically inherited them when we bought our property so we have learnt by mistakes and more mistakes and even more mistakes!  We keep them now just for meat for ourselves and sell or swap any spare live.

This ewe has never rejected before.  Last year we had a rejection (it was her first lambing) and this year that ewe has just had twins and is being brilliant.

We have had a shocking year for them nutrition wise - we have lost the use of half of our grazing temporarily and they have been on terrible ground which of course has been very wet lately - and the chap that does our hay made a terrible job this year and its crap quality - so they are not in good condition, it has to be said.    So perhaps that has something to do with it.

I am going to keep the lamb with them indoors for as long as I can, making sure that she is not in danger.  At the moment the ewe just nudges her away and turns and goes in the other direction - she has not as yet butted her badly but have been watching for it and if that happens I will remove her.

It did occur to me to put her back in the adopter ... perhaps I should.           Our adopter consists of a modified pallet board with a slat removed which we bolt back in so she can move her head up and down, stand and lay down but cant turn her head side to side.  I hate doing it but it worked a treat last year after 3 days.

Thanks again!
 :fc:
Voss Electric Fence

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 10:54:04 am »
If one of your ewes still to lamb has a single you could try adopting it on. Make sure the ewe can't see what's going on behind her, lamb into a big, very clean bucket and smear the adoptee with the birth fluids.  Make sure the new lamb is licked off and has a bellyful of colostrum (make up a powder sachet if necessary) then pull the adoptee round in front of the ewe's nose and see what she does.  If she starts licking it off it'll probably be OK, if not you'll have lost nothing.  Just keep an eye on her and make sure her own lamb is getting enough milk for the first few days as the adoptee will be strong enough to take a full share from the milk bar.  This doesn't generally work if the adoptee is more than a few days old as it'll be too strong to fool the ewe.

I'll put a first-timer in an adopter for a day or so (particularly if she's had a tiring time) but anything not mothering up voluntarily after that is culled after weaning.  I keep very detailed records, though, and have never found that poor mothering up is a heritable trait.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2014, 07:15:38 pm »
I think all this "cull at the first sight of a problem" is not the way ALL sheepkeepers would want nor should they manage their flocks. If I had a 1000 ewes, yes, but if you only have 20 odd you will treat them as individuals and make a decision based on several factors. My "problem" ewe was a great mother once she accepted her lambs and my management system was taking that into account - I made sure that there was a spare pen next to hers and as I spend most of my time in the lambing shed anyway I just nip in and hold the lambs on. Maybe she has put me off Suffolks and Suffolk crosses for now, but she was a great character.


It has nothing to do with the number of ewes you manage, more about the suffering that poor mothering causes the lambs in question. Your 'problem' ewe was a rubbish mother because had you not interfered incessantly over a number of days the lambs would be dead. As it was they were very stressed for those days - as was the ewe. Handling animals stresses them, and obviously sometimes having to do so is a no-brainer, but other times the line is not so clear.


Even when I had a hobby flock, I had a strict culling policy. This does not equate to a lack of shepherding skill - I can adopt a lamb with the best of them, I just see no reason to keep that ewe or her offspring when I have better animals coming through the flock.

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2014, 08:36:08 pm »
I think all this "cull at the first sight of a problem" is not the way ALL sheepkeepers would want nor should they manage their flocks. If I had a 1000 ewes, yes, but if you only have 20 odd you will treat them as individuals and make a decision based on several factors. My "problem" ewe was a great mother once she accepted her lambs and my management system was taking that into account - I made sure that there was a spare pen next to hers and as I spend most of my time in the lambing shed anyway I just nip in and hold the lambs on. Maybe she has put me off Suffolks and Suffolk crosses for now, but she was a great character.


It has nothing to do with the number of ewes you manage, more about the suffering that poor mothering causes the lambs in question. Your 'problem' ewe was a rubbish mother because had you not interfered incessantly over a number of days the lambs would be dead. As it was they were very stressed for those days - as was the ewe. Handling animals stresses them, and obviously sometimes having to do so is a no-brainer, but other times the line is not so clear.


Even when I had a hobby flock, I had a strict culling policy. This does not equate to a lack of shepherding skill - I can adopt a lamb with the best of them, I just see no reason to keep that ewe or her offspring when I have better animals coming through the flock.

I wouldn't see our tendency to keep sheep despite them being less than perfect as evidence of superior shepherding skills- in fact if anything the opposite .Its just the way we choose to do it, not because a stricter culling policy is wrong, its just not what we choose. and absolutely its to do with having a small number. we have become used to the fact that certain of our livestock will live short lives before heading for the freezer, that for us is there rationale. however, others, our ewes we form a much closer bond with and provided they are healthy and reasonably productive they will live out their days- with us. We are only too aware that at some point our original 3 ewes Polly Flo and Shaun will reach an age where their production ceases. I hope we are able to do the right thing at that time- whatever the right thing proves to be
As for handling sheep, without doubt they aren't keen on  having needles stuck in them or being drenched, but they are very at ease around us. we have always handled them quietly and gently and they will seek us out for company. a favourite thing to do on a summers evening is to take a beer and go sit in the ,meadow. instantly the whole mob head over and gather around us. I have helped a much larger sheep farmer at shearing and although he is a kindly farmer the noise racket and bustle of 500 sheep in one place is clearly a far more stressful than our 12 ewes being handled gently and quietly by us- there ease in being around us just seems to get passed on to their offspring and I would be confident that having to handle a ;lamb for a while post birth when the mother is so ok with us is not a problem for them at all- for us this is a lifestyle and as important as not losing stupid amounts of money on our hobby is to give the animals that we are very fond of as long a life as is practical whilst still expecting something in return from them

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2014, 08:49:34 pm »
I think all this "cull at the first sight of a problem" is not the way ALL sheepkeepers would want nor should they manage their flocks. If I had a 1000 ewes, yes, but if you only have 20 odd you will treat them as individuals and make a decision based on several factors. My "problem" ewe was a great mother once she accepted her lambs and my management system was taking that into account - I made sure that there was a spare pen next to hers and as I spend most of my time in the lambing shed anyway I just nip in and hold the lambs on. Maybe she has put me off Suffolks and Suffolk crosses for now, but she was a great character.

She did raise some of my biggest lambs!

I just feel that we all have different ways or working our flocks, and I was just trying to point out that. If I would have to replace a ewe after just one lambing I would loose quite a bit of money on her unless I would replace her with a cull or a homebred lamb. If I wanted to keep my tup for more than two years it doesn't work to keep homebred replacements... It is just the different way small flocks work.


It has nothing to do with the number of ewes you manage, more about the suffering that poor mothering causes the lambs in question. Your 'problem' ewe was a rubbish mother because had you not interfered incessantly over a number of days the lambs would be dead. As it was they were very stressed for those days - as was the ewe. Handling animals stresses them, and obviously sometimes having to do so is a no-brainer, but other times the line is not so clear.


Even when I had a hobby flock, I had a strict culling policy. This does not equate to a lack of shepherding skill - I can adopt a lamb with the best of them, I just see no reason to keep that ewe or her offspring when I have better animals coming through the flock.

agri293

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: Rejected lamb after 3 days - leave with flock or separate?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2014, 10:19:08 pm »
I had the same last year had to hold the lamb on until it got her first feed .i put the lamb in a pen next to the mother so they could see each other ,every time I fed the mother I put the lamb underneath for a feed I persevered and the mother finally took to her lamb this was after 10 days this is fine if you have small numbers

 

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