Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Ewe fertility and wellbeing  (Read 2350 times)

Flora

  • Joined Oct 2015
Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« on: July 21, 2016, 11:39:25 am »
I am thinking of giving lambing a miss next year for various reasons, and just fattening up hoggs.
 However I  wonder if this has any ill effects on the ewes, to skip a year of lambing . Does anyone have experience of this and any relevant advice?

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 01:07:43 pm »
It is risky in itself not breeding from ewes one year and you may struggle to get them back into lamb again. I did this with 2 ewes who were grazing a friends field and one of them hasn't gotten back into lamb, she was only gone one year and had been fertile before and after 3 years of trying still no lambs, so the chop for her. If you leave them without producing they start to build up fat around the ovaries and that can stop them producing altogether. Personally I would advise no, but it is up to you. Sorry for the negativity ;D
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 03:44:56 pm »
I'd agree with WBF - with no lambs to feed, they'll probably get fat and therefore harder to get in lamb.

But it depends whether you're doing it for fun or for profit and how much you like the ewes. If you love 'em and you don't mind if they don't get in lamb, then give it a go.

We're not lambing next year either but we've sold all our breeding ewes and gimmers but have retained all our ewe lambs from this year to start lambing again in 2018.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 05:23:31 pm »
I agree.  Ewes are designed to lamb every year.  You may be lucky or you may end up with very fat lawnmowers.

baffledog1

  • Joined Jan 2015
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 05:26:34 pm »
Only run a few ewes but after the bad winter a few years ago, the ewes were looking thin. I decided to give them a year off as did another neighbour who like me only has a few ewes to keep the grass down. my six all got in lamb after a years break and so did my neighbours. occasionally now if I feel a ewe has been pulled down by say twin lambs i will give a year off. Only my experience, but i have had no problems with a year with no lambs.

Rhea

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Wye Valley
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 06:10:48 pm »
The breeder we got our sheep from only lambs every other year, so we were planning to do the same as a way to keep our flock from growing too quickly.

Didn't realise this was a potential issue - may need to rethink after reading this  :thinking:

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2016, 06:40:59 pm »
Depends on the breed and what they are eating in their year off.... if only on hay during the winter and then on medium quality grass I wouldn't think it is a problem, but I have Shetlands who don't have a problem taking a year off....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 09:00:00 pm »
I shall not be breeding all my girls every year henceforth, and have been asking other fleece flock keepers how they get on.  On the whole, it doesn't seem to be an issue - although it is the nature if fleece flocks in this country that it's not a big deal if a given ewe doesn't get in lamb one year.

I shall make sure the resting ewes don't get cake, of course.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2016, 09:27:45 pm »
Our ewes are expected to get in lamb during their first cycle every year.  Any that don't or aren't in good enough condition to go to the tup, go.

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2016, 01:56:35 am »
We kept the flock empty one year, well we had seven surprises but other a fallow year. We were rather freaked out about schmallenberg.  All tupped following year.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Ewe fertility and wellbeing
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2016, 08:44:35 am »
Hi there.  We have Balwens and Shetlands, and when a ram lamb sort of let us down (managed two out of eight that year) then a year off was enforced on six sheep, including two who should of been having their first lambs.  All got in lamb after a month with ram this last year - no problems at all....

 

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