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Author Topic: Awful lambing Charollais  (Read 5468 times)


  • Joined Apr 2012
Awful lambing Charollais
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:28:07 pm »
Just wondered if anyone had any insight into why this year could have gone so badly, Charollais mule x Charollais tup,
First had triplets.. huge ram lambs, one survived, second have 2 huge ram lambs, again one survived, third had triplets again 3 huge ram lambs the size you would expect week old lambs.. delivered by c section - all dead, next had triplets again - all ram and all survived.. last one today had 2 huge ram lambs lambed with a great struggle but all dead, They were due to lamb a week past, it was hellish heat that week and we seen nothing, now between 5 - 12 days late they have all lambed - disaster.  Never had a year like this, anyone shine any light on it?

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 11:34:27 pm »
where are you and were you feeding them and did you have them scanned :farmer:


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 11:36:31 pm »
Im in the borders, no we didnt scan, never scanned before and never had any problems. They were all seperated from the other ewes into another field and fed daily, none went off alone or showed any sign of lambing until late then we experienced the problems.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 11:40:51 pm by tom25car »


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 01:11:06 am »
Sorry to hear about your awful lambing  :-*  You'd expect easy lambings with Charollais; sounds like you've been very unlucky.  :bouquet:

Shepherds do say the ewes will hang onto their lambs in good weather, dropping them as soon as the weather turns.  Likewise cows and calves.

We've had the majority of our cows and especially heifers hanging onto their calves this year - one cow's needed a caesarian, the others we have managed to pull the calves out alive, but some of them have been ridiculously large, especially for heifers.  We used AI this year, and it's a mixture of bulls and breeds, so we can't blame the bull or the breed.  We've had the vet out twice, and all they can suggest is to use injections to induce the births - but agree that you can get the cervix not opening up correctly when you do this, which we haven't felt was a good idea with heifers.

Sorry I can't offer anything more specific or relevant - I just didn't want to leave your post unacknowledged.
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


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 08:43:33 am »
We had a C section on a gimmer - our vet said he'd never done as many C sections on sheep and cattle as he has this spring. He thinks it's been the mild winter and animals being in very good condition.

Sorry you've had such a rough time  :(


  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 08:51:58 am »
Sorry to hear of your losses, you have been very unlucky  :(.  I also had a problem with one of my Charollais ewes this year - second time lambing for her.  I was expecting her to lamb before she did although didn't have an exact date, but like yours it didn't happen till the weather changed.  She must have gone into labour during the night and was struggling in the morning, first lamb was breech presentation and born dead after a difficult delivery (she was very tight and it took ages to get the back legs out), second lamb was a hung lamb and that was dead as well.  Both beautifully formed lambs but quite large and both full of fluid.

Like you I don't scan and have never had problems before this year, up to this year all crosses have been with a Ryeland tup and they've all produced cracking lambs, on the largish side.  The only difference this year was that I fed them a bit a week up to lambing but can't see that the amount I fed them would have made a difference - 4 others have lambed fine.

If it's true they can hang onto their lambs then the lambs would carry on growing in the womb and potentially cause problem births - I wouldn't have expected it with the Charollais though. I have another 7 to go!  :P
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 08:59:29 am »
What a shame, I'm so sorry for you.  We've had some very big lambs this year.  We lost one ewe lamb that the mum couldnt deliver but wouldnt let us catch her to help until several hours after the first was delivered (healthy).  The dead lamb was enormous and it was a real struggle to get it out.  Maybe the grazing was just too good.

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 09:48:03 am »
Sorry for your losses  :bouquet:
Wow, that's a lot of ram lambs! my lot lambed jan/feb and by contrast several of the lambs were a lot smaller than I would have expected and born before their due date. Maybe next year if you are able to you could lamb a little earlier- it may help?
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 09:51:26 am »
I would change your ram  for next year :(

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 10:00:56 am »
Sorry about your lambs. So disappointing.  :(

Our first year lambing. You mention that your ewes show no signs of lambing until late and not separating from the flock.

We have found the same with our Soay. Very few of the classic sigs of lambing that I have read about and staying more or less with the flock until at the most 20 mins before they give birth. Is this usual?

My very experienced sheep neighbour told me that he has always found that the ewes never give birth during very fine weather and they often start lambing into the snow. Mine waited until the day after the blizzards.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 11:28:12 am »
cut the feeding your sheep have been to fit and putting it all into the lambs    try to get them scaned next year that way you can adjust the extra feeding accordingly :farmer:


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 02:47:01 pm »
We have had grass growing nearly all winter (S Lanarkshire) which is almost unheard of,  so all our sheep are in very good condition.  That might be part of your problem but as this coming winter will probably be totally different your feeding then will have to reflect conditions at the time.  It does seem odd that you have had all male lambs.
Sorry to hear you have had such a terrible lambing.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Awful lambing Charollais
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 03:30:09 pm »
Thanks for all your replies, i think its just been a mixture of the weather and the ewes hanging onto them, i've got some healthy lambs so not all lost.


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