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Author Topic: An older ewe?  (Read 5154 times)

andywalt

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An older ewe?
« on: November 24, 2010, 02:38:49 pm »
Could I have your views please? If you take an older ewe for slaughter for some mutton if she happened to be in lamb would it be ok? or are there some rules about pregnant animals going to slaughter? Ive been meaning to ask this question for ages. I would appreciate your replies...
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

robert waddell

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Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 03:12:16 pm »
it is a waste but it does happen cows pigs it depends on the circumstances have heard of both as long as it is not mine not fussed

farmershort

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 03:27:02 pm »
Could I have your views please? If you take an older ewe for slaughter for some mutton if she happened to be in lamb would it be ok? or are there some rules about pregnant animals going to slaughter? Ive been meaning to ask this question for ages. I would appreciate your replies...

happens all the time, pretty sure there's no rules against it, but it is a bit of a shame. My mate is a livestock haulier, and regularly has ewes dropping lambs after they've been loaded co's farmers have left it a bit too late before getting rid.

bare in mind the age of the ewe if you intend to eat her... I have eaten mutton from 2 years to 4 years old.... by 4 years old they're getting pretty stringy - if she's a broker, then she might not be that pleasant to eat.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 04:05:32 pm »
farmershort - so sad to hear stories like this. Bless. What a horrible world we live in. I'd happily take on the mum and youngsters if only I were near.

 I hope there is a 'happy' ending to your story............ but somehow I doubt it.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 06:23:48 pm »
Am I the only one who found the post very depressing...I think it's very unfair on the ewe and lamb. either shes for slaughter or shes for breeding IMO. If an in lamb ewe had to be put down, I would have it done on farm by the vet, I wouldnt put her through the journey and the slaughterhouse.

Transport welfare guidance says that ewes in the last 10% of pregnancy should not be transported, so the dropping lambs on the way (assuming fairly to term) should not be happening.

If the 'general public' were more aware of it or worse filmed it, I think they might well have an issue with it.....

Pony-n-trap

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 06:29:15 pm »
Yes, if they are close to lambing they shouldnt be transported.  Sometimes animals go to slaughter without producers knowing or realising they are inlamb, calf or whatever, but am pretty sure regs havent changed that much since I worked on the OTM Scheme. (ok that was cattle but surely the same should apply)

daddymatty82

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 09:51:15 am »
Am I the only one who found the post very depressing...I think it's very unfair on the ewe and lamb. either shes for slaughter or shes for breeding IMO. If an in lamb ewe had to be put down, I would have it done on farm by the vet, I wouldnt put her through the journey and the slaughterhouse.

Transport welfare guidance says that ewes in the last 10% of pregnancy should not be transported, so the dropping lambs on the way (assuming fairly to term) should not be happening.

If the 'general public' were more aware of it or worse filmed it, I think they might well have an issue with it.....

accidently done is ok  with in reason.and i totally agree if you know she is in lamb then why would you kill her wait till all have lambed down then what ever havent lambed they go off to slaughter not hard to wait  for a few mths to see if in lamb,to see if they drop  imo i would not and could not do it well i would rather ave the lamb if ewe to put in lamb in following years for more tasty lamb. but i totally agree

andywalt

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Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 03:38:53 pm »
thanks for your comments..... let me explain because it is a horrid thought thats why im asking for your experiances and I wouldnt want to get into that position..

I brought a small flock they had already been running with a ram, as time has gone on.. 10 of the 16 are in lamb from the previous owner, I have put my romney ram in on Nov 6th so the others will lamb in April (much better to cope with) but one of the older ewes died suddenly on me and there is one other older ewe which I notice has returned and been covered by my romney Ram, also I have noticed her udder is extended and maybe possable that shes suffered from mastitus last year, so do I let her take her course, lamb maybe not be able to feed her lambs or do I take a decition and let her go to the abbattoir as shes only just been re covered by the ram.... obviously I would hate the thought that she is in lamb, It is taking a while to actually find out what Ive brought, on the whole Im very pleased but there is always going to be some set backs and will prob take a whole year to sort out and manage all of them.

Hope this explains my original question

andy
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

farmershort

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 03:52:43 pm »
thanks for your comments..... let me explain because it is a horrid thought thats why im asking for your experiances and I wouldnt want to get into that position..

I brought a small flock they had already been running with a ram, as time has gone on.. 10 of the 16 are in lamb from the previous owner, I have put my romney ram in on Nov 6th so the others will lamb in April (much better to cope with) but one of the older ewes died suddenly on me and there is one other older ewe which I notice has returned and been covered by my romney Ram, also I have noticed her udder is extended and maybe possable that shes suffered from mastitus last year, so do I let her take her course, lamb maybe not be able to feed her lambs or do I take a decition and let her go to the abbattoir as shes only just been re covered by the ram.... obviously I would hate the thought that she is in lamb, It is taking a while to actually find out what Ive brought, on the whole Im very pleased but there is always going to be some set backs and will prob take a whole year to sort out and manage all of them.

Hope this explains my original question

andy

It's well within the bounds of human abbortion limits (AFAIK), and lets face it, it's not a human. So, morally, you're alright I reckon. If we were having this conversation in jan/feb, then it would probably make sense to leave her lamb, and count the lamb of the prize, rather than the slaughtered ewe.

In this case, only you can make the call. If she looks bright enough, in good shape, healthy enough to survive the winter, then perhaps just keep her and assume you'll have one more pet lamb (you'll have others anyway)... On the other hand, if she looks "down" in the face, and not very spritely (sp?), possibly best to get shot of her before the worst of the weather arrives.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
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Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2010, 04:30:00 pm »
Hi Andy.  Do you know how old this 'older ewe' actually is?  Does she have all her adult teeth?  If so, is she broken mouthed ie has she started loosing her adult teeth?  When you say her udder is 'extended', what do you really mean?  Sometimes the supporting ligaments can start to give so when she is in milk the whole thing starts to look very precarious.  If she has had mastitis in the past and it has affected both quarters (daft expression that for an animal with only two parts to the udder but I suppose it comes from cows), either it will have been treated in which case she may well be fine, or there will be signs of severe damage to the udder, in which case she will not - and she should not have been sold to you.  What I'm getting at is that you don't need to get rid of an 'older' ewe just because she is past a certain age.  We are lambing a ewe who will be 15 in April.
However, if she has only just been covered,and you are sure that her 'extended udder' is not because she is about to lamb from the previous tup exposure, or for any other reason you don't think she can survive lambing, then best to send her for slaughter now than later.  No-one has mentioned the effect on slaughtermen of killing an in-lamb ewe - the guys at our abattoir have told us how distressing it is for them.
From the point of view of eating quality, an in lamb ewe, especially close to term, will have put her condition into the lambs so will be pretty scrawny - best to let her lamb and recover, then send her off once she has weaned her lambs.  Older ewes are excellent for sausages and burgers - not all that much meat but full of flavour.  Having said that we have several old biddies which will never go to the abattoir  :)
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lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2010, 04:41:44 pm »
I had an older ewe who I bought in lamb and then about halfway ish thru the pregnancy, her udder looked huge and low on one side, not dragging on the ground but low and heavy like it was  full of milk. Vet said there was a tiny tear in the inner udder membrane thing that was letting all the milk down to the teats. He said to let her carry on but that I might have to feed one if it were twins.

Well, bless her, she had a beautiful single ewe lamb and despite the one side being unusual, she happily fed her lamb from the normal quarter. Being a softie she hasnt gone for the chop but I havent returned her to the ram (nor another who had mastitis). But she could have gone off post lamb weaning, no problem if that was wanted.

If (and its a big if as we cant see the ewe)your ewe has something similar, I reckon its worth keeping her and seeing how she goes, the vet was happy that she was in no discomfort, and shes certainly a greedy and happy girl these days being a maiden aunt. You might get a lovely single ewe lamb like I did.

Edited to add that poor ewe now goes under the name for management purposes as Uddery :-O)

andywalt

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Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2010, 06:21:34 pm »
yes one side is hanging low and its hard, (solid) brings back memories when I was a herdsman and the udder damage after a bad bout of mastitus.. so yes she might be ok on one side.

your also right, I will catch her up next time and check her teath, I know shes one of the older ones as I made sure the previous owner marked up the older ewes, altho only a small flock of 30 in total now, I think you need to manage them correctly and bring in replacements and keep the flock youngish other wise I can image it would eventually catch up with you.
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 04:59:12 pm »
Hmmmmm the fact it is hard def means it isnt what my ewe had, her udder was soft and felt like full of milk (ie normal apart from the dropped nature of it). Hard would say mastitis, and if current that would need to be treated to ensure she doesnt lose both quarters?

andywalt

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Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2010, 05:40:55 pm »
Its not infected now its fine but wont preduce any milk on that side.
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

Freddiesfarm

  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: An older ewe?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 11:47:09 am »
For the last couple of years some of the bigger sheep farmers have been culling anything that scanned as only having a single, purely because the price was so good.  Very sad and slightly wrong I feel but then I am not as commercially minded as I should be for a sheep farmer.

 

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