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Author Topic: Never breed a lamb before but ...  (Read 7019 times)

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Never breed a lamb before but ...
« on: September 02, 2015, 06:47:03 pm »
Keeping Castlemilks (usually they lamb twins) and shelands (more twins than singles) I have always kept the ewe lambs till gimmers before considering them to go to the tup.


BUT this year I have 2 rather large ewe lambs one was a single and the other a twin but they are virtually the size of their mothers.


I am only considering this as if they have another summer will they get too fat? Or am I just being silly  :innocent:
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 07:02:20 pm »
Do your wethers get fat?
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

Backinwellies

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  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 07:14:57 pm »
I tried the largest of my ewe lambs last autumn .... only one actually got pregnant and was the last to lamb .... cracking lamb though!
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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Louise P

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 07:17:41 pm »
Watching with interest. I have the same dilemma. Although I think I'm going to put the tup with them for a short while to see what happens but not too long as to push them coming into season if they didn't want to :-/

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 07:24:29 pm »
SITN - not so much but they have tended to be out of smaller ewe's and just smaller in stature generally - in the past wethers have been near enough 40kg+/- at 18months but I have reduced my numbers this year and feel the remaining ones are pigging out a bit  :roflanim:
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 07:28:23 pm »
I had the same thing last year, 2 of my ewe lambs were huge and I was worried about leaving them until they were shearlings before putting them to the tup, so I took the plunge. One lambed a lovely single ewe lamb without any problems but the other didnt get pregnant (and indeed is now very fat!).

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 08:12:27 pm »
If it was me I would go for it I breed one of my a ewe lambs last year and she reared a lovely moorit ewe lamb with no detramental effect on her or the lamb, so if you think they are grown enough and healthy then I don't see any good reason not to.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 08:51:11 pm »
Thank you - as always, much appreciated - here's a pic to show one of the wee girls one side of the fence - Vala and her mum the other - still a dress size or 2 smaller than her mother but closer to her mum's size than the wee lass



Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 10:28:22 pm »
She certainly looks a big girl!  I think the biggest qualm would be that you overfeed her thinking she's pregnant and she's not! 
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

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 10:49:55 pm »
All ewe lambs are tupped here, and all lambed outside. They make better shearlings for it, and its an extra crop you'd otherwise miss. Cant stand keeping a ewe for a year with her not paying for her way. As long as they are managed ok, they do fine and grow on fine. Can be a little flighty at times though and you have to watch for over feeding and keep them tight if they have a single in them. And if you pull one, hold her down, put the lamb to her, if she licks it, get up slowly and walk away, if she doesn't, she is probably worth penning up as she may well do a runner! A lot will depend on the ewe, maternal breeds are made for it!

Will be lambing (in theory) around 90 ewe lambs next march / april.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 11:17:47 pm »
Thank you both for the input - I think my final decision will go on body score (not that I am too hot at that) but at present I am leaning towards yes and thinking to separate the wee ones with the wethers for company and grow them on.


Think I'll be fine with the management at lambing time if they lamb - I hardly put the binoculars down, and have to fight BH for them (he wants all to go well) so Fatty Vala and Sahara may get lucky this autumn.


On your point Sally - will 'raddle paste' the tup this year - did it a couple of years ago and worked well ie stayed on for a few days so I knew rough timings - then as we will be moving possibly may find a local scanner - that would be great, well I can wish  :thumbsup:
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

Backinwellies

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Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 07:53:05 am »
.
 - will 'raddle paste' the tup this year - did it a couple of years ago and worked well ie stayed on for a few days so I knew rough timings - then as we will be moving possibly may find a local scanner - that would be great, well I can wish  :thumbsup:

I would recommend the scanner if you go ahead ........... 1 had 3 raddle marked and kept with lambing ewes (and hence well fed)  but only one eventually lambed.   
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 11:57:15 am »
I notice folks who put ewe lambs to the tup never say how many crops of lambs they expect to get from them over a lifetime.  Our go to the tup at 18 months old and we expect at least six crops and average 8, sometimes running to 11.  Most will have twins every time.  The older the ewe the more confident you can be of her health (otherwise you'd have culled her or she'd have died), which she will hopefully pass on to her offspring, and the less likely she is to be slow in mothering up, in my experience. 

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 01:35:34 pm »
The devil is in the detail as ever, in terms of breeding ewe lambs or not, keeping Southdowns or not and every question pertaining to sheep productivity - you have to weigh everything up. I have a few questions about your hairy sheep with the extremely long longevity:

How much would your 11 sets of twins weigh dw? How long would they take to finish? How many ewes per acre are you running? How high is your land? Is it reseeded? Flukey? How much do you spend per ewe per year on feed? Is your land free, paid for by the government (SFP) or do your ewes have to pay rent, you and the bills?

Certainly in my situation it makes sense to breed ewe lambs, but with claims like 11 crops of twins - I am interested! My Lleyn (who do not have an easy life) wouldn't last beyond six before they are gone.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Never breed a lamb before but ...
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 01:40:49 pm »
She still looks quite small to me but I am no expert. I don't breed from lambs as I think it is like teenage pregnancies in humans which really doesn't do their bodies any good.


From what I've heard we may be in for a hard winter up here so you may not need to worry about her getting fat.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

 

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