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Author Topic: Sponging sheep  (Read 4096 times)

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Sponging sheep
« on: November 13, 2016, 12:51:01 pm »
Hi guys This morning I have removed the sponges from my ewes this morning and was wondering when to put the tup in. I'm 2 days behind schedule at the minute as put sponges in late. I was wondering if it would be ok to put the tup in this evening as won't be back in until late tomorrow evening and tuesday, I know they won't be cycling until monday evening but is it still all right to put him in anyway?
Voss Electric Fence

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2016, 12:57:10 pm »
This is our first year sponging, but from what I've read elsewhere, the answer is no. The worry is that if one of the ewes comes into season before the rest, your tup will er, spend all his energies on her and not have anything left later on when the rest come in season. That's why you're meant to delay introducing the tup until they're all (supposedly) receptive.

Hope that helps!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 02:08:16 pm »
Ok thank you, do you think 36hrs would be ok

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2016, 02:54:21 pm »
Is the tup experienced?  How many ewes is he to run with?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2016, 02:56:34 pm »
I would normally put the tup in 2 days after sponge removal, but have usually a low tup to ewe ratio. I normally have just 5 to 10, any more and I would stagger sponge removal.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2016, 03:21:18 pm »
I rarely feel the need to question your logic @Womble but if the ewes aren't sponged and the tup goes in no one seems concerned that all the ewes aren't immediately receptive. My (not sponged)6 spread out over a good 10 days without the tup flagging, or indeed over doing the first. I must be missing the point because I don't get why it is more important that they are all receptive first if sponged. I can see that if they are not all receptive on day one it is is likely to increase the lambing window and potentially negate the vale of sponging though.....
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 03:44:46 pm by pharnorth »

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2016, 03:37:09 pm »
I dont know if he is experienced as i think last year at tupping time he was stollen before being recovered later afterwords. He is 2 years old and has 12 ewes to cover i sponged 12 but over the course of the 2 weeks 2 have fallen out so he has 10 that are sponged and 2 more.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2016, 04:34:11 pm »
I rarely feel the need to question your logic @Womble but if the ewes aren't sponged and the tup goes in no one seems concerned that all the ewes aren't immediately receptive.

Question away - I know nothing!!  I think the logic here is that because you're asking the tup to do two week's work in a 36 hour ish period, much more ram power is required than for natural mating, so you mustn't waste any!

The instruction leaflet for the sponges says: "Oestrus usually occurs 36 to 72 hours after sponge withdrawal, but occasionally may be evident as early as 24 hours after removal. However, rams must not be introduced earlier than 48 hours following sponge removal. Otherwise they will repeatedly serve the same ewes, depleting their semen reserves prior to the main group coming into season."

What we plan to do is to put the tup in a small field with the ewes, and then remove them one by one once they have been served a couple of times. After that, we'll put them all back in together and leave them to it, but at least it will give the old fat ugly ones a chance to pull as well!  :innocent:
 :coat:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 05:11:43 pm »
I'm never one to question a scientifically produced instructions or a well read Womble. I guess it is down to numbers then if Mr Tup has a largish group of ladies then he must preserve his efforts. Tups seem to be more gallant than gentleman in giving all ewes an equal chance and no doubt would be bemused by what we humans deem good looking in that department.

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 06:49:10 pm »
Ok thanks guys, so tup went in and within 2 minutes he had served 2 ewes, but now when I went down this evening I was watching him and I was noticing that the ewe was standing for him and he kept on thinking about it but he never mounted her. Does this mean that he will have already covered her or is it some other reason? I can't put a raddle on him as it never shows on the ewes

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 08:08:57 pm »
Useless comment: Maybe he just doesn't fancy her?  ;)


Maybe more useful comment: We've used both yellow and orange Agrimark raddle powder (paste) with our Zwartbles, and it shows up well enough?

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 08:38:56 pm »
Hi I have some sunburst yellow raddle paste and it shows up well enough on the tup but it only leaves the very slightest tinge on the ewes, I watch the raddle being rubbed against the ewes backs just not coming onto their fleeces. How eve to be honest hebrideans are immune to raddle

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 10:28:32 pm »
Hmmm, that's weird. One of our ewes still had a noticeably orange bum at lambing time this year!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 06:54:16 am »
I used red raddle on my swartbles this year and it really showed up.  The yellow I put on last year was a complete failure, at least 5 tried to tell me they had immaculate conceptions.  The only way I could detect it on all but one of the others was by running my hand over them and looking to see if any paint was transferred to me.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sponging sheep
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2017, 08:38:25 am »
Folks, just for the record, our eight ewes lambed over a four day period this year, so I'm really impressed with the hassle savings the sponges gave us.



Mrs Womble and I both work full time, so being able to get lambing pretty much done and dusted over the Easter weekend, was a huge bonus for us. We'll definitely be doing this again!

I've put some more info about it on my wee blog, for anybody who's interested.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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