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Author Topic: Returning lambs to flock after weaning  (Read 2090 times)

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
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Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« on: October 05, 2017, 02:11:20 pm »
Hi all,

How long do you have to wait to return lambs to flock after weaning? There doesn't seem to be much online about it, I guess commercially lambs go off to slaughter before it's an issue? Or the ewe lambs are kept separate so that they aren't in with the tup? We aren't tupping this year so I'm wanting to have the ewe lambs in with the ewes but not feeding. How long does it take for the milk to dry up?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

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crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 02:48:31 pm »
We put our ewe lambs back in about 3 or 4 weeks after they were weaned. Next year I might just leave the ewe lambs in as ours pretty much weaned themselves naturally, mums started telling them when they'd had enough.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 04:06:39 pm »
As crobertson says, they would wean naturally if you left them, but two weeks minimum should be fine.  Assuming you've put the ewes on tight grazing and they've dried off properly, of course.
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twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 04:32:47 pm »
I weaned my ewes and lambs when the first lamb out of twins was sent off. The ewes came in for 2 weeks on straw and then went back in the group of ewes and lambs, their leftover lamb didn't bat an eyelid.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 05:30:56 pm »
I wouldn't bother weaning if you're not planning to breed from the ewes this year.  The ewes will definitely dry up naturally, even with the lambs in the field with them.  No stress to mothers or offspring.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:30:15 am »
I'm totally with The Smiling Sheep on this Dans.  Why put them through the potential stress of weaning when the ewes are not going to be bred?  Weaning in primitives, if it needs to be done at all, is timed to allow two clear months for the dams to regain condition.  We have found that 9 times out of 10 the ewes have weaned their lambs by this time - using the universal sheep method of kicking the lambs in the head when they try to feed  ::)  The ewes are running to their own clock which tells them they are approaching breeding time, so the lambs need to become independent.  They will stay roughly together as a family forever if they get the chance, and dams will often stand by their daughters while they give birth, and share baby sitting duties.  I must say that I like to leave my sheep to organise their own lives as much as possible.
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Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 01:44:08 am »
We had left the lambs in with the ewes but the ram lambs are entire and I caught one trying to tup his half sister so we separated out. We kept them all within a fence of each other and there was very little upset but I may just put the girls back in with the mums as they are in a small area and starting to run low on grass. It's been 10 days so far. We're moving the ewes to new grass next week so could put them back together then. Thanks guys

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Madog ali

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 03:38:31 pm »
I'm totally with The Smiling Sheep on this Dans.  Why put them through the potential stress of weaning when the ewes are not going to be bred?  Weaning in primitives, if it needs to be done at all, is timed to allow two clear months for the dams to regain condition.  We have found that 9 times out of 10 the ewes have weaned their lambs by this time - using the universal sheep method of kicking the lambs in the head when they try to feed  ::)  The ewes are running to their own clock which tells them they are approaching breeding time, so the lambs need to become independent.  They will stay roughly together as a family forever if they get the chance, and dams will often stand by their daughters while they give birth, and share baby sitting duties.  I must say that I like to leave my sheep to organise their own lives as much as possible.
I read a lovely article in my Jacob sheep Magazine about a ewe that lost her single lamb. She was turned out with the flock where the ewe's mother allowed her to adopt one of her twin lambs.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Returning lambs to flock after weaning
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 09:10:24 pm »
We run the weaned ewe lambs with a "Nanny" sheep, generally an old ewe that's fit and  very tame but too old to be bred from again.  The lambs will follow her lead and she'll teach them where shelter is, etc., in fields they haven't been in before.  The ram lambs sold as stores and but I keep back a few of the very best quality to be hired out as shearlings the following year.

 

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