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Author Topic: Do mated ewes come into heat  (Read 596 times)


  • Joined May 2022
Do mated ewes come into heat
« on: January 08, 2023, 02:22:26 pm »
Hi all,

Firstly apologies for any incorrect terminology I may use and also if this information is covered somewhere. I have looked but couldn't find an answer.

We have a small flock of Shetlands (11) running year round with a Shropshire ram. each ewe has been raddle marked by the ram from early Nov (first ewe) until mid Dec(last ewe). I haven't directly seen any mating but there is plenty of raddle left behind indicating the deed has been done.

I have however just witnesses on of the ewes approaching the ram and being mated. Does this indicate that she is not pregnant and is in heat once again? Or do pregnant ewes still approach the ram as some kind of back up just in case! 😂

We have only had sheep for 18months and this spring we had our first lambs using a neighbours ram so very much still learning!



  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Do mated ewes come into heat
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2023, 03:15:02 pm »
She will have returned if hes tupped her. He wont be interested in her, and vice Versa, if shes not in season.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Do mated ewes come into heat
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2023, 05:13:35 pm »
The science says what twiz says.  However, I have had a sheep approach a ram 17 days after the last time and he seem to be interested, and she lambed to the first date.  They were good lambs, not premature.  (She was the only Mule in my flock at the time, so no way I mistook her for anyone else.) 
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 Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Do mated ewes come into heat
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2023, 09:55:05 pm »
You would normally change the raddle colour every 14 days, starting with a paler colour and then going darker.

If the tup mates more than the odd one for a second time, then you have a failing tup (he is firing blanks), or if it is the odd one or two, then something has gone wrong in the early stages or the ewe herself is infertile.

If this has only been the one to go for a second mating, I would suggest that there was an individual ewe problem, but it may be best to either remove the tup (so no odd lambing in June or later) or at least change the raddle colour and note down dates.


  • Joined May 2022
Re: Do mated ewes come into heat
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2023, 12:08:55 pm »
Interesting. Thanks for the replies all. I haven't noticed our boy going after any of the others so I'm guessing it's just this one ewe. We arent worried if they lamb out of season just found it an odd scenario.  It is one of the three ewes that I struggle to distinguish between and they all were later mating anyway.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Do mated ewes come into heat
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2023, 08:21:30 am »
If you only have a few ewes lambing it is helpful if you note down the date of mating - put a number on her side (like you will do anyway once she lambed to make sure you can pair up ewes and lambs correctly) and you can then note the date of mating even at a distance and when they are all white. It will also help to check them in the field later at lambing time, especially if you have bigger gaps bewteen individual lambings.


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