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Author Topic: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock  (Read 3009 times)

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« on: June 03, 2015, 09:07:47 am »
We have 8 shearling shetland ewes, one of whom had twin lambs on Friday (unplanned as a result of fencing failure with Hebx ram next door). All the sheep were there when she lambed as we had taken them in together to keep her company (she was in a next door pen) - but then we moved the others out on Saturday to the new field. Mother and lambs stayed in the barn for a few extra days because of foul weather and for banding etc but yesterday we moved them out as well. We want to reintroduce them safely to the flock so we have put them in a pen within the same field. There was a fair amount of head butting etc between the ewes as we brought them back in (carrying lambs) - will they settle down and get used to each other again? How long should we leave them penned and is it safe to have such young lambs in with maiden shearling ewes? Thanks for any advice - new to sheep and had intended to have a year with them before lambing but it was not to be!
Voss Electric Fence

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 09:26:34 am »
From one novice to another....
In our limited experience you just let them get on with it, perhaps keeping a slightly watchful eye.  We had two ewes in lamb this year, and they had their lambs within a hurdled area, adjoining the rest of the flock.  Once lambed, they rejoined flock.  First one (had much earlier lamb) began a fight with every single other sheep (be it ewe, hogget or older whether), which was horrid to watch and not intervene, but when she'd finished them all off (!) she just lay down in middle of field and had an undisturbed sleep - obviously confident that no one would try to bother her or her lamb ever after.... clever mum!  Second ewe was less confrontational.  Both are 9 years old, so very confident mums, and they joined a flock which included a number of 18 month old ewes who wont be mum until next year....
Our main flock are Balwens (welsh mountain sheep), but we also have 6 18 month old shetland girls who were brilliant birthing companions, and never caused any trouble at all...
good luck

GrannyAching

  • Joined Apr 2015
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 10:10:03 am »
Agree with Brendon. The ewe should be fine after a bit of pecking order shuffling. Just watch the lambs are ok.

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 04:54:32 pm »
Thanks - so am I being over cautious penning them in the field? Should I just let them out? It is the lambs I am worried about - the ewe can certainly take care of herself! But worried about the others hurting the lambs.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 07:21:25 pm »
Caution is fine.....but I'd let them run free. As said, with a watchful eye.... No pens on the Shetland islands I'm guessing!

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 09:08:41 pm »
Very true - but under normal circumstances most of them would have their own lambs as well. So it is a bit unusual for one only to have lambs I guess. But I will let them out first thing when I can hang around and watch! Thanks - anxious first-timer....  ::)

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 10:00:57 pm »
So 'get' the anxiety!!!  Everything seems new!
Our two lambings this year were part of a flock where we'd run 8 ewes with the ram - but he was a bit under par! So, our paltry two were unexpectedly solitary mums.... Others were good (think they've rather enjoyed their year off)....
Am sure it'll be fine for your shettles....

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2015, 08:34:21 am »
You were right of course! Let them out this morning and after some initial pushing and shoving the others just wandered off. I hung around a little moving the pen etc. and mum Wispa's particular friend among the ewes came back and, after a couple of head butts between them, started grazing with the family. There was one other ewe who tried butting the lambs a few times but got a serious telling off from Wispa, after which everything was calm. Will check on them regularly but all looking good. Many thanks for support in my angst!  :thumbsup:

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Advice please - reintroducing ewe with lambs to flock
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 08:52:43 am »
Brilliant! Sometimes it just feels like one's jumping off a cliff.... TAS often great for a bit of reassurance....

 

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