Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Big Single Lambs  (Read 525 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Big Single Lambs
« on: May 07, 2022, 01:24:08 pm »
Has anyone else had an unusual number of big, single lambs, sometimes born dead, this season?
Mr F was discussing it with our vet today. It has been common this year across the board in our area, with high numbers of losses even with Caesarians. The overall opinion seems to be that the warm weather back in February caused a sudden grass flush at just the wrong time, so unborn lambs grew bigger than normal.  Why so many singles I don't know.
"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

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 02:34:41 pm »
Our scanning stats this year were: Singles 60%, Twins 16%, triplets 25%. That's a very high number of singles for us, with very few twins.

Also the triplets were the last to lamb, so we couldn't even twin any on!

The singles were large, for sure. However all were delivered normally, with no losses.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 05:32:30 pm »
I can't remember as far back as last autumn  ::)  so I'm wondering what was going on with the weather then as a possible cause of so many singles.
"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.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2022, 07:53:34 pm »
200% lambing here so no not lots of singles
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2022, 09:50:04 pm »
I have had a poor lambing year with more singles than usual ( 50% singles 50% twins - more usually in region of BIW's 200%). more borndead, then orf and coxxi - neither of which i've ever had before   :(  .


Singles tend to be big, but mine weren't exceptionally so. I speculatively put my high singles count down to a new ram.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2022, 07:08:29 am »
I speculatively put my high singles count down to a new ram.


As far as I know fecundity is dependent on the ewe's state of nutrition, her fertility and health mostly, and also on external conditions (like weather, food availability etc). That's why commercial farmers flush their ewes prior to the tup going in. So unless your tup has exceptionally low fertility (and in which case you would also have a good number of barren ewes), the high % of singles is not his fault at all.


However - are your ewes all related? I am asking because there are lethal gene combinations, that cause a lot of re-absorption of foetuses and/or very early death of feritlised eggs for example.


I have had a goat, who in her long (and very pampered) life only ever produced single male kids, by a different billy every year...

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2022, 07:53:41 am »
I speculatively put my high singles count down to a new ram.

As Anke says, each ejaculation contains 4,000,000,000 to 40,000,000 sperm depending on how busy he's been. Unless you have lots of empties, the number of singles will depend on how many eggs are released and then successfully implant, rather than it being his fault!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2022, 10:18:16 am »
I speculatively put my high singles count down to a new ram.

As Anke says, each ejaculation contains 4,000,000,000 to 40,000,000 sperm depending on how busy he's been.


It was too early this morning to google that....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2022, 11:12:55 am »
3 singles, 1 set of triplets, 2 pairs of twins here.  Of the 3 singles, 2 were to first-timers and the other to a second timer who had a single last year, and whose grandmother (now retired) had singles all but one time.

All lambs were a sensible size at birth, no assistance required with any of them.  I lamb outside in the second half of April and I don't feed cake at all as a general rule.

I do the opposite of flushing here, I'd be happy if they all had singles, and even more happy if no-one ever had triplets.  (Which is what I learned from the commercial hill farmer I lived with.  More singles = less work for farmer, ewe and land; fewer costs per ewe and per lamb; longer life per ewe; bigger lambs grow faster, more hit the better prices earlier in the season before everyone else's lambs are fit...  Yes a lot of commercial farmers follow the mantra of all twins is best, 200% lambing percentage is best, but if you dig into the costs and returns, it isn't always the most cost effective way for any given farm.)


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

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2022, 03:02:08 pm »
...  Yes a lot of commercial farmers follow the mantra of all twins is best, 200% lambing percentage is best, but if you dig into the costs and returns, it isn't always the most cost effective way for any given farm.)

Totally agree
..... but do love having larger multiples on occasions .... I'm not commercial, I'm rare breed so  triplets grown slowly if female is more added to breed  and if male  hogget tastes better than lamb anyway!  :excited:
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2022, 04:41:25 pm »
Preferring singles over twins might depend on if you're breeding for meat or for breeding stock.  I get the impression triplets are mostly a pain but as I've only ever had Jacob triplets (all reared by dam) I have little experience.
If you are breeding for breeding stock, I suppose a few big and beefy males could be good, but with my Ancient Type Hebrideans, the more twins then the more chance of getting some perfect breeders to sell.


We hoped for about 13 lambs this year - we've got seven  :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim: Mostly they look very promising, just two doubtful ones.  Last year of lambing so we can't think "we'll do better next year".  Someone's having a big joke  ::)
"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.

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Big Single Lambs
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2022, 10:38:54 pm »
I speculatively put my high singles count down to a new ram.

As Anke says, each ejaculation contains 4,000,000,000 to 40,000,000 sperm depending on how busy he's been.

i stand corrected on the ram issue - although he was the only obvious difference - hence my speculative connection.
It was too early this morning to google that....

 

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