The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: vfr400boy on December 10, 2020, 08:30:31 pm

Title: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 10, 2020, 08:30:31 pm
So the lad I bought my lambs off last year is packing in with sheep to do more with goats n sheep ,
   Hes asked me if I'd like to buy some in lamb ewes ones they have been scanned in January,  I have use of a shed now wich I can set some laming pens up in etc the ewes are mules and have been put to a Suffolk ram , I work 9 to 5 but my wife works from home is it possible to lamb the ewes or am I best sticking to buying them in ??
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 10, 2020, 08:37:02 pm
This is ther 3rd lot of lambs
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Anke on December 10, 2020, 08:50:56 pm
For in-door lambing it is best (IMO) to have someone there all the time, but if you are only lambing small numbers a camera may help - but your wife must be able to drop everything when a ewe starts having problems with her lambing.



Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 10, 2020, 08:52:59 pm
Good plan i never thort of a camera!
We planned on buying weand lambs again this year but when he told me he was packing in its got me thinking ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on December 10, 2020, 08:58:51 pm
Experienced mule ewes should if you get the feeding right lamb them selves , if you get the choice after scanning go for all twins then it makes the feeding easy pre lambing and put a hand on their backs to check they are all in the same condition  ,again makes feeding easier and since they are mules check their teeth  ( nothing slack or very long ) You have the perfect chance to start from a very good place
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 11, 2020, 08:22:06 am
Hes wanting £120 each is this a fair price ? How easy is it to borrow a tup for next year ? If I get 4 I think I can hand shear them ?
Sorry for all the daft questions
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on December 11, 2020, 08:27:09 am
If they are scanned for twins and the ewes have good teeth itís probably about right. You will need to shear them, itís easier said than done to hand shear :roflanim: some people do loan tups out but itís a biosecurity nightmare and can introduce disease / resistant worms / scab to your flock easily unless you fully quarantine the tup on arrival for a few weeks.

Weíve just put a Farmstream camera up in our shed and are very happy with it.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on December 11, 2020, 10:06:56 am
If you are just breeding for lambs for meat, any tup lamb will do the job.  You could leave one of your own tup lambs entire each year, use him and then eat him.  (Son back to mother mating is fine, but you probably wouldn't keep a daughter of that mating for breeding.)

Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on December 11, 2020, 10:52:32 am
2 crop mules scanned in lamb @ £ 120 is a good price  , hand shearing of 4 sheep is not a difficult job just needs time and lots of you tube watching  ,you can even tie their legs and clip lying on their sides or standing haltered to a gate . You could buy a ram lamb and then eat it or re sell  or keep it for future use
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Anke on December 11, 2020, 11:51:30 am
I have hand-clipped before, tied to a corner hurdle set-up on a halter. Works well, esp if the sheep is fairly relaxed. Four is easily done, one a day/evening.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 11, 2020, 12:03:51 pm
Thanks for all the replies,  I think am going to give it a go feels like am jumping in at the deep end but life is to short not to try my 7 year old daughter is very excited a about the whole thing ,
       
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on December 11, 2020, 04:19:00 pm
 :thumbsup:  the perfect chance you are being offered may not ever come again , plenty of knowledge for you to tap on the forum , don't be shy to ask even if we say not a clue ask a vet :sheep: :sheep:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 13, 2020, 07:22:18 pm
Told him I'd have 4 ewes!
   I have use of a large stable ( its brand new never been used for large live stock only a few hens ) do I put ewes in to lambing pens or just leave them with the full stable?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on December 13, 2020, 07:56:28 pm
Leave them as a group until they lamb, then pen up the ewe with her lambs once they are born. Good luck  :excited:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on December 13, 2020, 08:07:59 pm
Lambing ewes that have been there and done it all before is one of the best ways to get into lambing. I used to know an old farmer who only ever bought 3 crop ewes because he said that his days of staying up all night lambing were over. He used to have very few problems.


If you still have my contact number you can ring me up if you want any advice in the evening when vets are closed, or any other time. I still have your number so will text you if you've lost my details. :sunshine:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on December 13, 2020, 08:12:51 pm
Lambing ewes that have been there and done it all before is one of the best ways to get into lambing. I used to know an old farmer who only ever bought 3 crop ewes because he said that his days of staying up all night lambing were over. He used to have very few problems.


If you still have my contact number you can ring me up if you want any advice in the evening when vets are closed, or any other time. I still have your number so will text you if you've lost my details. :sunshine:
Wow thank you thats very kind I do stil have your number thank you
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on January 06, 2021, 09:17:53 pm
So the lad am getting the sheep off is now not giving up his flock  ??? How ever he said he will still honour his offer of buying some ewes, because of the wet weather he has not managed to get the ewes scanned so can't be sure who's carrying what,  but he did say he will lamb them and let me have them lambs at foot wich takes the pressure off me loads ! My daughter is a bit disappointed but I feel some what relieved ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Backinwellies on January 07, 2021, 07:33:13 am
make sure he honours the price too!    and ensure all lambs he sells you have had colostrum at birth.   and dont accept just the four he offers you ask to select from a group of at least 8 ..... or you will be dumped with his worst 4 ..... which are probably the wildest  (they would certainly be the first ones I would dispose of)
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on January 07, 2021, 09:27:21 am
Iím not sure why he couldnít get them scanned... the weather doesnít really affect scanning? I would expect to pay more though, he has done all the hard work of lambing. A good mule ewe with twins at foot is worth far more than the £120 he quoted for in lamb ewes.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on January 07, 2021, 09:43:25 am
He says field was 2 wet to get the scan mans truck in ?
     How much is a mule worth with lambs? Just a ball park figure? Thanks
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on January 07, 2021, 10:33:15 am
Anywhere from £50 to £90 per life depending on how all are doing condition wise
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 20, 2021, 08:23:38 am
So any time now we are getting our ewes with lambs,  and we are going to have a go with any pet lambs he has , off to BATA today for milk some bottles and teats , lad is lending me a bucket with teats on to , is they anything else I will need ,,, iv got a heat lamp
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 20, 2021, 12:40:56 pm
Exciting!   :yippee: :yippee:

You won't need a heat lamp.  Healthy lambs under cover do not need heat, and too much heat is dangerous.  I would only ever use a heat lamp (or the Rayburn :)) on a newborn or very nearly newborn that's foundered outside and is actually hypothermic, too cold to feed.  Assuming you are getting lambs who are already on the bottle and have had colostrum, this won't be the case (and you shouldn't need a stomach tube either for the same reason, although it's an essential if you are lambing yourself, as would be Kick Start or Co-Late or similar, and glucose powder.)

The supplier will have ringed the boys' testicles, and the tails if you are wanting them tailed? 

You will need straw for bedding, nice soft hay to teach them to eat forage, sterilising fluid (Miltons or Capriclense or similar), lamb feed (you can get lamb creep pellets but I have always found they take to a simple mix better, eg., Champion Tup & Lamb) and something to feed it in, and a bowl for water.  (I use a ceramic dog water bowl when they're tiny, moving up to a bucket when they are bigger.) 

Personally I would have Rehydion or PFS (Pfizer Scour Formula) to hand just in case one of them gets squitty.  (A lot of people say that including a dollop of fresh, clean probiotic yoghurt in each batch of milk will help them to not get squitty.)

Some lime or similar is a good idea to clean a pen if someone has has the squits, but you can get that if you need it.

Enjoy!  And feel free to shower us with piccies and stories... :)
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 20, 2021, 12:51:14 pm
Thanks for the reply,  I was wondering about feed creep or mix but read different things on it , I will grab a bag of mix , yes he said he will ring the tails and testicles , iv also asked for a ram lamb not related to our ewes not to be rung than her can be used be been sent on his way or possibly keep him depending on our situation down the line , so best to to use the lamp then they will be In a 8x4 pen in my shed for the first 2 weeks then down to the stable, 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on February 20, 2021, 01:02:31 pm
 :thumbsup: Remember all the sheep including lambs need at least one ear tag  ( ewes two )before they leave his place and a good worm dose  (ZOLVIX ) for the ewes before leaving as well
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on February 20, 2021, 01:07:03 pm
I was going to say make sure the ewes are double tagged and the lambs have a slaughter tag as minimum. Get a movement book to record on/off movements and ensure the paper forms are all completed and sent off. Zolvix and 48hrs inside for ewes before they touch your fields.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 20, 2021, 01:33:36 pm
So best to to use the lamp then they will be In a 8x4 pen in my shed for the first 2 weeks then down to the stable,

No, no lamp.  Lambs are covered in wool, so as long as they are healthy and eating well, and have a nice straw bed, shelter from rain and drafts, they absolutely do not need any additional heat at all. 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on February 20, 2021, 01:41:12 pm
Thanks for the reply,  I was wondering about feed creep or mix but read different things on it , I will grab a bag of mix , yes he said he will ring the tails and testicles , iv also asked for a ram lamb not related to our ewes not to be rung than her can be used be been sent on his way or possibly keep him depending on our situation down the line , so best to to use the lamp then they will be In a 8x4 pen in my shed for the first 2 weeks then down to the stable,


Absolutely do not keep a hand reared lamb as a breeding ram- pet lambs have no fear of people and can be very very dangerous as entire rams. You want a ram that does not want to be near you, that moves away from you when you get too close to him, not a pet that always wants to be in your pocket and will one day knock you over or worse.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 20, 2021, 01:58:04 pm
So best to to use the lamp then they will be In a 8x4 pen in my shed for the first 2 weeks then down to the stable,

No, no lamp.  Lambs are covered in wool, so as long as they are healthy and eating well, and have a nice straw bed, shelter from rain and drafts, they absolutely do not need any additional heat at all.
Was a mistake was ment to say best not !
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 20, 2021, 02:50:50 pm
Thanks for the reply,  I was wondering about feed creep or mix but read different things on it , I will grab a bag of mix , yes he said he will ring the tails and testicles , iv also asked for a ram lamb not related to our ewes not to be rung than her can be used be been sent on his way or possibly keep him depending on our situation down the line , so best to to use the lamp then they will be In a 8x4 pen in my shed for the first 2 weeks then down to the stable,


Absolutely do not keep a hand reared lamb as a breeding ram- pet lambs have no fear of people and can be very very dangerous as entire rams. You want a ram that does not want to be near you, that moves away from you when you get too close to him, not a pet that always wants to be in your pocket and will one day knock you over or worse.

Well spotted. twiz.  Yes, seriously bad plan to use a bottle lamb as a ram.

Are you going to be breeding to produce more breeding ewes, or just for lambs for the freezer?  If the latter, it would be fine to keep one of the ram lambs from the ewes to father the next lot - if it's not too late, that is.  They may all be ringed already.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Backinwellies on February 21, 2021, 07:56:17 am
the first sheep we had here 8 years ago was a male entire orphan lamb (commercial mix).    He was a great little lamb got called Eddie (after the farmer who gave him to us).  He was such a lovely pet to everyone,  I had him vaccectomised and he lives here still giving cuddles to all who go to see him (grandchildren and holiday makers love him)   and has a commercial use 10 days every year in the autumn.   
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 04, 2021, 08:36:11 pm
Got our first pet lambs home and they have had a good first feed so all good so far ,
When we went to collect them he was showing us the other ewes he had that we could buy after lambing , he has some zwartbles that was put to a Suffolk tub he said they will be a good starter flock for us this is ther second time lambing ,
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 05, 2021, 06:29:52 am
Both toke approximately 180ml this morning is that about right for a day old lamb ?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 05, 2021, 07:33:08 am
Sounds about right to me. The milk powder bag will have a feeding guide on
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 05, 2021, 12:37:04 pm
Whats everyone's thoughts on the zwartbles rather than his mules , he was saying that they will be better for my daughter as they more friendly and hardy ?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 05, 2021, 02:48:40 pm
They are very friendly and pretty hardy, yes.  But so are Mules - if you make friends with them ;) 

My experience with the Zwartbles which were here when I arrived was :

- feet often bad
- better lambed indoors, at least the first time, as mothering up not as instant and reliable with non-dairy breeds.  (Mules and Shetlands are particularly awesome in this department.)
- fleeces unexciting to me for spinning, but nice for peg-looming. (Mules often have gorgeous fleeces - but they don't all.)
- black sheep generally can be more attractive to flies; we Crovected the Zwartbles lambs each year but mostly didn't Crovect the Manx x and Shetland x lambs
- they need feeding to cope with rearing two lambs, even on good grass.  (But Mules may need feeding too.)
- they do do their lambs very, very well, so the lambs were pretty much always ready to go off by October at the latest.  (Mules would ditto.)
- get fat if not bred and may then have triplets and / or struggle with lambing - both of which statements probably apply to Mules too
- the meat is excellent
- Mules more likely to have triplets

So I think my advice would be :

- make sure you get ones with good feet
- get whichever you like the look of best.  (In terms of Mules vs Zwartbles and in terms of which specific ewes you buy.)  You are going to be getting up and going out in all weathers to see to them, it really helps to have animals you love looking at! 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 05, 2021, 03:24:51 pm
Any sheep will be friendly if you bribe it with enough cake  :roflanim:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Buttermilk on March 06, 2021, 04:21:32 pm
As a Zwartbles owner/breeder I would be the wrong person to ask.  Breed bias and all that.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on March 06, 2021, 07:37:02 pm
Pick sheep that you like to look at , there  are good and bad sheep within every breed
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 06, 2021, 10:31:29 pm
Lambs doing well
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Backinwellies on March 07, 2021, 06:52:54 am
zwartbles x   ewes .......  hmm ....... my neighbours bought some of these as starter sheep .....  all was great till lambing .....  triplets everywhere! (or at least thats what it felt like) ..... I was called upon several times to wizz down and help (loved it!) but they were struggling to say the least.

They had no foot problems and once they had a grip on them they became easier to handle .... but they are large... as are mules.   and thus eat a lot!

Personally I have Llanwenogs as they are prolific but smaller and easier to handle ...  and great nature ..... but dont mention feet to me!!!
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 12, 2021, 06:29:29 pm
One more pet lamb a spotty tup
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 13, 2021, 06:26:17 pm
So got our 3 ewes today and 5 lambs
The lad advised us on wich ones to get and kids chosen the ones they like am happy with them, 
3 of the lambs are ewes so may keep a couple back for next year
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 14, 2021, 12:52:51 am
Congratulations! 


Piccies much appreciated when you get a chance  :eyelashes:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 14, 2021, 07:30:24 am
Congratulations! 


Piccies much appreciated when you get a chance  :eyelashes:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 14, 2021, 07:31:24 am
One more
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 14, 2021, 08:01:46 am
Looking good  :thumbsup:  have the lambs been tagged? They should be- if not go back to the farmer for tags. The ewe lambs will need double tags (like what the ewes have) if youíre going to keep them.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 14, 2021, 08:15:56 am
Yep rams have one tag n ewes lambs have one in each ear , hes going to hepavac them for us when he dose his sheep to ,
    He sed leave the coats on for a few days then take them off iv never seen um before
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Womble on March 14, 2021, 08:28:55 am
And feel free to shower

This is excellent advice, which I would do well to follow myself during lambing.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 14, 2021, 08:53:32 am
Yep rams have one tag n ewes lambs have one in each ear , hes going to hepavac them for us when he dose his sheep to ,
    He sed leave the coats on for a few days then take them off iv never seen um before


Ideal  :excited:  when he heptavacs them make sure you get the batch number and expiry date and note it in your medicine book.


The coats are great if the weather is dicey, as they keep the rain off the lambs backs. You can either catch them and take them off or the lambs will grow quickly out of them. Most of the lamb macs will degrade in sunlight.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 14, 2021, 12:28:03 pm
And feel free to shower

This is excellent advice, which I would do well to follow myself during lambing.

Lol.  But in fact, I change my clothes and shower as little as decently possible during lambing.  I find that the more I smell like the flock, and lambs and lambing, the more relaxed the ewes and lambs are at my being amongst them, so I can do more and better / closer checks without causing them any stress.

It's as well I live alone...  and the weather is usually good enough for me to eat outside,,, lol
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 15, 2021, 06:17:00 pm
Todays sheep picture
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 15, 2021, 06:18:00 pm
Please excuse my messy shed ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 17, 2021, 07:59:41 pm
Out in the sun
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 18, 2021, 07:22:42 pm
I collected a bucket feeder last night and all the lambs toke to it straight away no problems my worry now is they look a bit round they have drunk nr 700ml more then normal ( between the 4 of them )
   They have now left the bucket alone will it just because it was new to them having milk always available and from now on will just graze at it ? Am worried they get blote etc ???
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 18, 2021, 07:31:56 pm
They will restrict themselves when on ad lib milk and when they realise thereís always milk available,[size=78%] but feeding cold milk will stop them gorging and also reduce the risk of bloat. I have 5 lambs on ad lib and they are drinking 10ish litres of cold milk per day, they are 2-3 weeks old. [/size]



Just be sure with ad lib buckets to wean abruptly at 6weeks.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 18, 2021, 08:12:21 pm
Ok thank you was just worried that they blote, 
They are 2 weeks old tomorrow how much would you expect the 4 of them to drink on the lamblac it says 1 ltr a day each lamb
  Sorry for all the questions
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on March 18, 2021, 08:37:20 pm
Ad lib (always available) they will probably drink 1.5-2 litres per lamb per day. 1 litre per day on bag is more for bottle feeding. You have to watch for bloat around 5-6 weeks and wean abruptly, stop the milk when their creep intakes are increasing as itís creep + milk that causes them to bloat up.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 01, 2021, 06:40:15 am
My oldest 4 lambs are about 4 weeks old now I am giving them 4 small handfuls of creep in a morning and its gone buy dinner , shoud I increas the creep or not ? Secondly after this cold snap I am going to put them out on the grass should I put the bucket of milk out with them?
  Thanks
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on April 01, 2021, 10:22:22 am
Yes, the more creep they take the better, then by 6 weeks cut the milk out. Personally Iíd wean them from milk before putting them out but yes if you need to put them out make sure they have milk too, or when you bring them in they will just overfill on milk.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 02, 2021, 01:32:55 pm
Ok I will slowly increase the creep thank you,  the ewe lamb that was a bit off is now sucking like a gooden but still not as happy as her pen mate maybe still misses her mum
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 03, 2021, 05:53:46 pm
Next question the lambs on the bucket have started bitting the teats n splitting them is they anything I can do or just keep replacing the teats ? Thanks
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 03, 2021, 06:08:06 pm
Some buckets and bottles have a harder plastic option for when the lambs get bigger and stronger.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on April 03, 2021, 06:29:28 pm
If you leave the bucket out for ad-lib then teat nibbling is par for the course , as sally says often soft white teats & then red hard teats but once they start biting then nothing stops them , this is why i use the bucket as i do bottles eg as soon as finished take away
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 03, 2021, 08:57:23 pm
Buckets have the red teats on so thats bad ha  :roflanim:
I will just have to keep swapping them
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 05, 2021, 11:24:42 am
Picked up another pet ewe lamb on Saturday she was a bit dirty on the back end farmer said its because she's had a bottle for the fist time and it will clear up,  she still has slightly slopy poo is bright and drinking bottle fine is they anything I can do to help her or will she be ok ? Thanks sorry for silly questions
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 05, 2021, 12:15:18 pm
if it's yellow and watery, I would switch her onto PFS (Pfizer Scour Formula) for two days.

Another approach, if it's not that bad, would be to stir a spoonful of probiotic yoghurt into her bottle, or into one of her daily bottles.

If it"s brown and a bit loose but improving, you may decide to just see how she goes.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 05, 2021, 03:57:37 pm
if it's yellow and watery, I would switch her onto PFS (Pfizer Scour Formula) for two days.

Another approach, if it's not that bad, would be to stir a spoonful of probiotic yoghurt into her bottle, or into one of her daily bottles.

If it"s brown and a bit loose but improving, you may decide to just see how she goes.

Its not yellow or watery its just a bit loose iv been n bought some yoghurt so fingers crossed it sorts it self out
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 09, 2021, 12:44:29 pm
Iv been putting yoghurt in her bottle and now she's back to normal thanks
    Next question I have lots ha
   My oldest pet lambs will be around the 5 week mark , they are on creep barely straw and milk , should I now give them some hay and start cutting the milk down then put them out on grass ?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 09, 2021, 02:39:40 pm
I would give them some nice soft hay, yes.  Little and often, so it's always fresh and clean.  They will probably just mess around with it at first.

Views differ about letting lambs have access to grass while still having milk.  The key thing to keep in mind is that milk overflowing the milk stomach and getting into the rumen can be very serious; bottle lambs haven't learned when to stop feeding; and grass fills the rumen, meaning there is less room for milk in the milk stomach, so they may not have room for the same size bottle if they have been eating grass.  Or indeed, if they've just eaten a bellyful of creep or hay.

If you have a patch of poor grass, and can keep them penned on a small patch so can limit how much they can access, then you could start letting them have a bit of time each day on that grass.  As a rule of thumb, give them an hour or two between milk and grass, and between grass and milk, and don't just let them empty their bottles, also keep an eye on their sides.  If they start to get "love handles" as they drink (ie., bulges behind the rib cage as you look down on them), take the bottle away; they're full.  Too much milk will do far more harm than too little.

At five weeks they can't really digest much forage yet, so they need very little, it's just about learning to eat it and helping the rumen develop, and grow an appropriate population of bacteria. 

By 6 weeks the rumen is functional but not yet really able to meet all their needs.  By 8 weeks it is fully functional, so if at that stage they are eating enough forage and creep, you can stop the milk.

Having said which, there are folks on here wean at 6 weeks, have done it for years, and rear perfectly healthy lambs every year. 

The other point which may not be clear from the above is that ruminants need the right gut bacteria to digest their food, whatever it is.  So introduce new things slowly, and make changes slowly.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 09, 2021, 07:08:17 pm
So one of the youngest older lambs has a saw bit on its mouth only small , I will pop a pic up , I think it could be orf whats the best way to treat her ? Sorry for all questions
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on April 09, 2021, 07:29:31 pm
Orf is a virus so thereís no real treatment as such. First off wear gloves when handling the lambs as you can catch it and itís very sore when you do. Keep an eye on the sores for infection, then youíll need some antibiotics, but most of the time they will dry up within a week or 2. Your lamb looks like itís over the worst now. Put rock salt out with all your sheep now, now itís on your farm itíll come back. Dennis Brinnicombe do a great mineral bucket which helps to control it too, called Frobut. Well worth getting one if you can. Once sheep have had it they tend to be immune at least for a good while- I had orf go through my ewes over winter and now whilst their lambs have mild orf, the ewes are clear of it. You can vaccinate for it with scabivax but once you start you need to do it every year. The main thing to watch is ewes donít get it on their udders- they get sore, donít let lambs suck and then get mastitis.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 09, 2021, 07:44:35 pm
Thanks for the reply,  I have some himalayain rock salt with my ewes i will pop some with the lambs and sterilise all bucket and teats tomorrow,  all tho they are getting new teats every 2 days now ha ! , should I clean pen out and disinfect it or am I over reacting? Thanks
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on April 09, 2021, 08:05:02 pm
It would help reduce the spread but if they are all in the same pen the likelihood is they will all get it at some point. Just disinfect all the equipment properly once youíve finished with it and theyíve all gone out to grass. Donít put any of these lambs out until the scabs have fallen off and they are completely clear of it, the scabs are the most infectious part.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 13, 2021, 12:11:57 pm
My favourite sheep pic so far ,,,
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 18, 2021, 08:57:51 pm
So my fist pet lambs are 6 and 5,5 weeks old I stopped the milk on Friday night and put them out on grass yesterday,  court them and put them back in the stable last night with creep and hay , put them back out on grass this morning,  but tonight trying to catch them was very hard I now have some skin missing from my knee and I can confirm the electric fence works as I got a belt to the face , I can laff about it now at the time I was not happy,  my question is can I leave the lambs out all night, they have a 6ft fence on 2 sides of the pen to stop some wind etc , or am I best putting away for a week or so ?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 18, 2021, 09:16:58 pm
They are a good size
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on April 18, 2021, 09:34:12 pm
If theyíve got their creep and maybe some hay they should be fine out. The weather is dry... itís the wind and rain they donít like  :gloomy:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 19, 2021, 07:57:59 am
It's also foxes, badgers and dogs they need protection from, as they don't have a flock to protect them.  But if the fencing is fox proof on all sides then they will be fine out.  They should have a rain shelter though - again, no mum to put them in a sheltered spot and use her body to protect them from the elements.  A tin roof well strapped down over a few hay or straw bales as walls is fine.

It's always easier to get them to come to you than to try to catch them or chase them.  Get them used to you giving them creep, get them to follow you with the bucket.  Feed them inside sometimes and in different places outside, so they have to follow you and the bucket.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 19, 2021, 12:20:44 pm
No one side is not fox proof so I will keep putting them in for a week or so
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 19, 2021, 09:46:28 pm
Putting lambs to bed today was very easy and stress free , I just walked them in to 3 hurdles and trapped them in i don't know why i did not do that before  ???
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 21, 2021, 09:29:09 pm
Next question
  My big zwartble ewe lamb ( shes massive and strong ) has started opening her mouth lots and wobbling her jaw lots , she's still eating and drinking from mum loads , just wondering what it is , I thort shed been stung at first but she's still doing it tonight,  I have had a look in her mouth and can't see anything?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on April 22, 2021, 08:15:32 am
No idea Iím afraid. You could always get the vet to look at her if sheís still doing it today
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 22, 2021, 01:42:16 pm
Yes I will check her again tonight at tea time and see what she's doing,  hope she's OK as u would like to keep her
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on April 23, 2021, 07:03:16 pm
Shes not moving her mouth now , so am thinking it was nettles or brambles thats upset her a bit ,
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on May 31, 2021, 12:06:52 pm
Had my fist attempt at shearing yesterday good job they no mirrors in the feild ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: shep53 on May 31, 2021, 07:08:09 pm
Looks ok all fairly even , you need to look for and cut the rise in the fleece , imagine a hair brush the back of the brush is the sheeps skin  and any hair on the top of the tines is the main fleece , you want to cut right through the middle of the tines this is refered to as the rise
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on October 25, 2021, 06:36:37 pm
My littel small holding is growing buy another acre of grass land , found a small well fenced paddock to graze only 5 mins from home its got a good stock fence and thick hedge around it so am very pleased,  not been grazed this year so lots of grass for the remaining lambs
       :excited:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on October 30, 2021, 12:35:34 pm
Just taken our ewes to a farm in the next village,  they are in with his flock of mules and a texel and a charollais tup so fingers crossed for some lambs end of march
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on November 28, 2021, 01:32:11 pm
My lad is a shepherd in the nursery play , he's been doing some practice ha ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: arobwk on November 28, 2021, 06:08:42 pm
@vfr400boy- could you please please sort your avatar photo's orientation - it's doing my head in !
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on November 28, 2021, 06:33:49 pm
How do I do that ? Ha
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: arobwk on November 28, 2021, 08:55:04 pm
@vfr400boy  So, assuming you have pic saved on your PC/Laptop, almost all photo apps will provide you with a rotate option. For ease, the "Photos" app that comes with Win10 has a rotate button in the upper menu bar (after one has opened the photo) - click the rotate button a few times until you achieve correct orientation.  Save and update your TAS profile !  Ta.

(Sorry to nag about your avatar pic, but I am in-zone for Asperger's syndrome and some things just irritate beyond reason to most folk.)
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on November 29, 2021, 07:25:39 am
Think I have done it ??
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: arobwk on November 29, 2021, 05:57:16 pm
Think I have done it ??

You have, BUT there is something odd about your uploaded pics (avatar or posted).  Most have black bars either side of pics.  I'm really not sure why that would be.  First thought though is that you are photographing in wide-screen mode and the forum can't adapt to that.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on January 22, 2022, 08:46:07 am
Had my small flock scanned yesterday 3 carrying twins and one empty
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Penninehillbilly on January 22, 2022, 10:51:07 am
Shame about the empty, but twins are good  :) .
Just been looking at the first shearing picture, mine was like that, improved over the next, but i could recognise her all summer  :roflanim: .
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on January 22, 2022, 04:56:25 pm
Thing is I can't remember how I did it so this summer it will probably look the same or worse ha , I will try the ewe again next autumn if she is empty again next year she will be shepherds pie i think
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on January 22, 2022, 06:52:52 pm
Shame about the empty, but twins are good  :) .
Just been looking at the first shearing picture, mine was like that, improved over the next, but i could recognise her all summer  :roflanim: .


Should have gone to specsavers?  :innocent: :roflanim:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Penninehillbilly on January 23, 2022, 01:16:27 am
 :roflanim:
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 10, 2022, 07:45:31 pm
Last years pet lambs are looking a bit thin i know the time of year won't help but is they any thing i can do they get hay and pellets they are in a 6 acer feild with a horse,  I will take a sample to the vets for a count next week to make sure its not worms ( roughly how much will a egg count cost )
 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 11, 2022, 08:21:01 am
Most likely worms or fluke, sounds like they are getting plenty of input.  My hoggs are BCS 3+ this year, only started feeding hay a couple of weeks ago and they get no concentrate.

Have they had a mineral drench?  We give all our lambs a drench (a good quality chelated one) going into winter.  If they are other than bouncy and happy, that would be worth doing too. 

Does the horse let the sheep eat the hay?

How many hoggs is it and how do you feed them? 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 11, 2022, 12:32:31 pm
8 lambs they get a flap of a small bale of hay on a morning but only eat about 3 /4 of it and go off grazing again and on a night I give them a 3kg bucket of lamb and ewe pencils they eat most of that before the horse gets ther and has a bit , thanks for replying
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 11, 2022, 04:09:20 pm
Vets want £42 to do a count the wormer is only £15 should I just worm them ?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on February 11, 2022, 05:25:07 pm
Vets want £42 to do a count the wormer is only £15 should I just worm them ?


I personally would just get the wormer. Preferably  a different one to that used last year.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on February 11, 2022, 05:53:09 pm
£42 to do a worm egg count??? Get a new vet. Thatís ridiculous. You need to know why theyíre scouring so no point throwing wormer at them if itís cocci thatís the problem. So yes, do an egg count first. Mole valley do kits you can post, much cheaper than £42.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 11, 2022, 06:22:54 pm
£42 to do a worm egg count??? Get a new vet. Thatís ridiculous. You need to know why theyíre scouring so no point throwing wormer at them if itís cocci thatís the problem. So yes, do an egg count first. Mole valley do kits you can post, much cheaper than £42.
They not scouring just a bit thin thats all , I was very surprised at the price I was thinking £20
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on February 11, 2022, 10:38:44 pm
So not coccidiosis then.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Richmond on February 12, 2022, 08:23:29 am
£42 to do a worm egg count??? Get a new vet. Thatís ridiculous. You need to know why theyíre scouring so no point throwing wormer at them if itís cocci thatís the problem. So yes, do an egg count first. Mole valley do kits you can post, much cheaper than £42.

Our farm vet charges a similar price for FECs.  :(
And don't get me started on small animal vet fees ......
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 12, 2022, 10:42:12 am
8 lambs they get a flap of a small bale of hay on a morning but only eat about 3 /4 of it and go off grazing again and on a night I give them a 3kg bucket of lamb and ewe pencils they eat most of that before the horse gets ther and has a bit , thanks for replying

3kgs between 8 is a very reasonable quantity for store hand-reared lambs over winter.  How do you feed it?  Can every sheep eat at the same time or are the stronger ones getting most of it?  (If the latter, then I would expect one or two of the sheep to be in significantly better condition than the others.  If they are all equally skinny, then it's more likely to be a mineral deficiency or imbalance, or fluke or worms.)

If they are eating lamb and ewe cake then they are getting some minerals, but I would probably still give them a chelated drench.  Whatever is the cause of the skinniness, a good mineral drench will "buck them up" and help them recover.  (Some suppliers offer a combined wormer with minerals, for this reason.)

(On a side note, sheep feed may not be good for a horse; I wouldn't let my horse be getting any.)


Feeding hay effectively to smallish numbers is a bit of an artform...   If you give only 1 flap, do you spread it out into a loooooooong line?  Or do they all gather around it in one heap?  Because if the latter, what often happens is that only the top couple of sheep really get any, then when they have had enough they walk off to graze, and instead of then getting their share, the sheep lower down the hierarchy follow the flock, so don't really get any hay at all.  (Similar applies to cake.)  Again, if this is what is happening, I would expect one or two of the sheep to be in significantly better condition than the others.  If they are all equally skinny, then it's more likely to be a mineral deficiency or imbalance, or fluke or worms.

My rule of thumb is either a loooong, looong line of hay, really spread out, or one heap of hay per 3 or 4 heads, each heap 3 sheep lengths apart (so that dominant sheep can't "guard" two piles at once.) 

Sheep generally won't eat tired old hay, so put it out in a different spot each day and clear up what they left yesterday. 

Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on February 12, 2022, 12:09:18 pm
How skinny is skinny though? What condition score are they? My ewe hoggs that are over wintering are far from fat, but with the spring grass and a good summer ahead of them, thatís fine. They always seem to come out of summer fat as butter  :roflanim: 


You could always get the vet to have a look at them, run a worm egg count, if thatís clear they could run some bloods (is your vet a farm vet or just small animal? That could be the reason for price variation). Or is there another sheep keeper that could cast their eye over them?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on February 12, 2022, 07:27:23 pm
Not economic to get the vet out for a handful of sheep. :thinking: And with blood tests and worm count there's not likely to be any change out of £100.
It doesn't sound like there's anything seriously wrong. They're not scouring. So it's highly likely, as Sally suggested that a good mineral drench and ensuring they all have equal access to food is all that is needed.
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: twizzel on February 13, 2022, 11:10:02 am
Not economic to get the vet out for a handful of sheep. :thinking: And with blood tests and worm count there's not likely to be any change out of £100.
It doesn't sound like there's anything seriously wrong. They're not scouring. So it's highly likely, as Sally suggested that a good mineral drench and ensuring they all have equal access to food is all that is needed.


Whilst I get what youíre saying about vets and charges, it does depend if these are pets (in which case economics doesnít really come into it), if they carry on losing weight after a mineral drench etc etc. Whilst vets are expensive, to advise someone not to call based on them only having a few sheep is maybe not the best advice to a novice?  :thinking: [size=78%]Thatís why I suggested seeing if a friendly farmer could cast an eye over them. But if they carry on looking poor, once drenched and the spring grass has come, ringing the vet would definitely be the best option. [/size]


And in the meantime; a postal faecal egg count kit should cost £15ish, and would be well worth doing, along with the mineral drench and looking at spacing feed out.


This fec kit is a tenner  :thumbsup:
https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/shop/by-animal/farm-animals/wg002-farm-animal-worm-egg-count.html (https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/shop/by-animal/farm-animals/wg002-farm-animal-worm-egg-count.html)
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: Penninehillbilly on February 13, 2022, 12:21:00 pm
I had a fec done by 'Abbey Diagnostics', website does say horses, and it's a few years ago, but at £6.50, maybe worth calling them?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 13, 2022, 04:18:23 pm
Iv wormed them today and have a shepherd coming from the local estate to drench them and give them a check over on Friday  ,
   The hay is thrown out in a line and iv started putting  pellets in a line now to ,
   Our vet is both small animal and large animals and horses, 
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on February 22, 2022, 08:28:04 pm
Quick update since been wormed and mineral drenched they all ready look better , iv started feeding in a longer line too thanks for all the advice
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 23, 2022, 10:51:43 am
Thanks for the update  :thumbsup:.   Very glad things seem to be improving  :)
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 20, 2022, 07:00:16 pm
Got my ewes back yesterday fist one is due in 2weeks and other 2 a week after they all look very  big, a sure they recognised us we have not seen them since beginning of November and all 3 come to see us ,
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 21, 2022, 07:05:45 pm
So on the ride back from swimming me and my daughter was talking ( shes 9) about the sheep , she wants to set an istargram page up to show people her sheep and sell the lambs in halfs and grow our small flock , while she has a keen interest i will keep supporting her and might let her keep a ewe lamb back this year,  anyway she dose not know what to call her new business,,,,, so she needs some suggestions,  we live on the wolds , her name is amber,  she wants to try promote the free range happy life thing , but we can't thing of a good name , any suggestions?
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 25, 2022, 06:44:42 am
First 2 lambs born wife checked them at 5pm i went at 7pm and they they was all dried off so must of lambed soon after wife left
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 25, 2022, 06:46:18 am
Look to be doing well this morning
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: vfr400boy on March 28, 2022, 09:53:52 am
2 more lambs
Title: Re: Am I ready ?
Post by: landroverroy on March 28, 2022, 01:37:56 pm
2 more lambs


Looks to be going well so far.  :thumbsup: :fc:


So I'm thinking that you absolutely are ready now. So maybe start a new post under a more relevant heading? :sunshine: [size=78%] [/size]