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Author Topic: Pregnant gimmer  (Read 8029 times)

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Pregnant gimmer
« on: April 06, 2015, 11:38:55 pm »
I've just collected 10 gimmer hogs and been told one of them is unexpectedly pregnant.  She's a commercial Texel cross, as fat as butter and it isn't clear how soon she will lamb.  She has a bag, but it's very soft and loose but a fairly low-slung belly. 

Any tips on guestimating the due date and should I vaccinate with clostridial vaccine or not? 

All help welcome, I haven't done lambing before as I usually take orphans and sell the gimmers before this happens!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 12:45:12 pm »
 If you have hep available then jag ,  if she's really fat then no extra feed and  min grass . 

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 02:05:27 pm »
If not sure of dates, hep p probably not helpful as needs to be 4-6 weeks pre lambing to get into the colostrum and benefit the lambs. Make sure the lambs are done at 3 & 7 weeks old. Be careful about restricting feeding as the lambs grow the most in the last weeks and you risk twin lamb if the ewe doesn't get enough energy in feed. I'd recommend a lambing lick type for the minerals etc and easy access to energy. Just keep an eye she's likely to need a hand if overweight as tighter passageways particularly for a first timer. Get a friendly farmer who has lambed before or your vet onside and watch for her separating herself from the others and other signs of lambing.
She may well manage perfectly fine by herself as most sheep do. Have some blue spray or iodine for navels and be ready to castrate if you have boys!
Good luck

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 08:13:52 pm »
Since you are a vet and see more TLD , do young sheep get it ?? , I don't think iv'e ever seen it in a gimmer or hogg  , my last case 3yrs ago was 9yrs old

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 08:56:29 pm »
All very helpful, thank you.

From what I've read (not a patch on real-life experience, but better than nothing) TLD can occur in very fat ewes because there is less room in the rumen so they don't eat enough. I'd have thought it was self limiting but there we go.

She has a high energy lick bucket at the moment and has been getting nuts as well.  I was thinking of a mineral drench too, for selenium etc.  She will be very closely attended and I'm fortunate in having a vet 2 miles up the road!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 09:22:48 pm »
Surely the grass is also growing very fast   and  will provide energy and protein ,  I would be cautious  ,if she is carrying twins  then  over feeding shouldn't be a problem but if carrying a single then over feeding can cause a big lamb and a difficult birth . Always  a fine line especially in ewe hoggs

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 10:12:11 pm »
I'm really hoping twins or even triplets. several little ones must be better than one biggie!

She's been inside all winter (she was a store lamb, but they pulled her out when they realised she was pregnant) and I have her inside too with two others for company so I can keep a close eye on her as my land is remote from the house.

moony

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 07:33:15 pm »
You dont really want more than one on a hogg. Given the choice its a big single on a hogg every single time. Might be a harder lambing but more can take too much out of them and as hoggs, and most importantly one big one can take a bit more mismothering than two smaller ones. Quite often on hoggs, particularly commercial types, when there is two one ends up either on the bottle or gets abandoned and dies. 

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 09:10:56 pm »
That's a good point!  She is in a shed and is the only one lambing so hopefully I'll spot if aything goes awry.  We're taking on any orphans from the same flock when they start lambing in the next couple of weeks so I guess if she did have multiple lambs, it'd just be another bottle...

I'm feeling far more reassured: thank you all! 

I've also had it suggested that I should belly clip her as she has quite a fleece on her.  I'm not sure I could turn her, she's such a bloater!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 12:25:41 pm »
I sometimes have to clip hoggs around the udder and  legs , tend to do it after lambing

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 07:00:19 pm »
What's she crossed with?  If she's crossed with something roomy like a mule then that's not as worrying if its something like a suffolk.  I'd be a lot more worried about the birth than her getting TLD so I wouldn't feed her any concentrates at all just a lick. Be prepared with experienced helpers and also be prepared to take to the vet for a c section if its an impossible birth.  As a hogg she will probably "bag up" (very full udder) just a couple of days before the birth. Good Luck  :fc:
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 11:12:05 pm »
I'm not sure what the cross is.  TBH she looks like pure Texel but the farm she is from has Swaledales, BFL and mules. The tups are Swale, Texel, Cheviot and BFL but a Herdwick from the next farm sneaked in last year as well.

I suppose it is possible she is a Texel x mule crossed back to a Texel but most likely Texel x mule.

Her bag is now full (but not huge) and I'm really not ready! Where did I put the iodine? Aargh!

I've had it suggested to belly clip her.  She is very wooly.

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 10:56:36 am »
Is she penned up?  You will most probably have to assist the birth, so rather than chasing her round when she's in labour, it would be easier to have her already inside. Do you have someone who can help who's experienced? Keep a look out for snot from her back end, a single small strand can indicated labour in 2 hours to 2 days!, more than that then its happening! But the absence of snot doesn't mean she's not in labour!

Have ready plenty of lambing lubricant, or we prefer Lux type soap flakes in warm water.  There should be lots of threads on here about correct presentation and what to do ( Sally in the North usually gives very good explanations which has saved many a lamb of ours!! - thanks Sally).  With a big texel single lamb you can have a correct presentation (2 feet and a nose) but it still get stuck on the shoulders.  If that's the case, if the head is firmly in the canal and no chance of slipping back, pull one leg out so its fully forwards (think superman) and then pull the other one fully forwards.  Making sure first that there's lots of lubricant around the head as far back as you can, pull both legs  with a firm pressure.  You may get to a stage where the nose is out and the head appears too big for the opening  - outside of her, try to get your hand around behind the head and squeeze at the same time as pulling the legs to pop the head through the opening.  I've heard of people putting 2 fingers up the anus to push from there but you need to be careful not to damage her (no long finger nails!)

 :fc: :fc:

edited to add - sorry you did say she was inside! 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 11:00:31 am by Old Shep »
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2015, 09:32:52 pm »
I know about the shoulders thing: same for foals: one leg/shoulder in front of the other.

I've "helped" with lambing before, as in wandering around the fields and barns looking for anything happening, keeping a discreet eye and letting the shepherd know if anyone looks to be struggling, so I recognise labour proper and correct presentation as in two hoofs and a nose. I've never had to be more hands on than rubbing down the odd cold, wet one though and those ewes were all old hands at the game so it'll be an interesting learning curve!

Thank you  for your advice. It's extremely helpful.  Nothing happening yet although she is pawing and lip curling before lying down.  I think she's just huge and uncomfortable as she isn't hollow sided and no mucus or dark pink girly bits, but I know things can change very quickly with sheep!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Pregnant gimmer
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2015, 12:26:56 am »
You may get to a stage where the nose is out and the head appears too big for the opening  - outside of her, try to get your hand around behind the head and squeeze at the same time as pulling the legs to pop the head through the opening. 

The other thing with a first-timer is that she may need the external skin - the vulva, or outer labia - loosening up to allow the head to pass, and possibly again for the shoulders.

To do this, keep steady gentle pulling pressure on the legs, use lots of lube (and short fingernails), try to slide one finger in alongside the head and just gently work around the head.  Keep repeating until the head passes - and keep putting more lube in too.  She may need the same assistance with the shoulders.

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

 

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