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Author Topic: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please  (Read 4864 times)

PPF

  • Joined Jul 2012
Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« on: March 18, 2013, 04:04:47 pm »
Hello all

Some of you will have read that I'm new to keeping sheep and that I lost a Ewe expecting twins last week.  I have one Ewe left (a Zwartable) and she's a first timer.  The chap I bought her from has looked her over and said she's looking really good.

My worry is that I can pretty much tell when one of my little mares is going to foal, but not much idea with my Ewe.  Will she give me any signs before hand and if so, what sort of signs and rough timeframe.  I'm scared to death that I will miss her trying to give birth and I'm even more worried as it's her first time.

She's supposed to be due on 24-26th of this month, however all the other Ewes that the chap had have already given birth.  She's definately got something there and has bagged up a little.  She has access to ad lib hay and is fed Ewe nuts once per day.  She's in a stable so warm and dry.

Any advice would be great.

ZaktheLad

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Thornbury, Nr Bristol
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 08:19:12 pm »
The easiest thing to look for is that her vulva will become slacker than usual and have a more open appearance.  Close to lambing you should notice her vulva turns very pink/reddish in colour.  I often look for hollows just in front of the hip/pelvis bones as this is a sign that the lambs have moved in to the birth position.  You might also be able to see your ewe carrying her tail slightly higher than usual.  However, this is not always so apparent in a first timer.  Other signs to look for are if she goes off her food, seems unsettled and uncomfortable, lying down more than normal and shifting about when laid down.  She may also just lie and stare in to the distance!  Much nearer lambing she may paw at the floor or next build in the straw whilst bleating softly.   Labour can take quite some time - I had a ewe (2nd time lamber) who was in the first stages of slight labour at 10:30pm on Saturday evening and did not actually produce her twin lambs until 6pm on the Sunday - both born within 5 mins of each.  She did not show much signs of lambing until about 10 mins before she actually got on with the job but just looked uncomfortable when laid down very occasionally grinding her teeth.  There is a huge amount of patience required when lambing sheep but at least you have an idea of the date she is due, so that is a big help.  It's also good that you have her inside so you can keep a good eye on her without having to trek across a dark field in the mud and rain trying to ascertain if she is lambing or not.  More often than not ewes will lamb unaided with lambs arriving in the correct position, so try not to worry too much.  I was sorry to hear about your other ewe and hope that you have lots of luck with this girl and that she has a trouble-free birth with a gorgeous bouncing lamb at the end.  I guess you also have the farmer you purchased her from who you could call upon if necessary if you are concerned about if she is lambing or not when the time comes or to assist the ewe if she appears to be struggling with the birth in any way.      :fc:  :thumbsup:

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 08:47:46 pm »
One of the first signs I notice before all the pawing/ stargazing/ restlessness starts is the ewe becomes 'super alert' - every little thing will catch her attention, even things she would ordinarily ignore. Hope all goes well  :fc:
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 06:30:53 am »
Keeping  :fc: that she has an easy lambing for you. Sorry, unable to help with advice . Piccies when baby arrives please  :eyelashes:

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 07:09:27 am »
Dont forget the fluid sack that hangs out as labour starts. And shemay curl her lip up as she lays down and contractions start. Good luck  :fc:

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 07:21:46 am »
Forgot to say, there seems to be more twin lamb disease about this year, because of the shocking weather.

MrsJ

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 07:29:47 am »
Unfortunately, we had one last year that displayed all the usual signs of being about to lamb and then didnt for another 4 days!  Fingers crossed that all goes well PPF

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 07:48:26 am »
Unfortunately, we had one last year that displayed all the usual signs of being about to lamb and then didnt for another 4 days!  Fingers crossed that all goes well PPF

hmm I had one that caught me out like for quite sometime fortunately not 4 days tho'!
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 11:53:52 am »
I'd suggest splitting her feed into twice a day to keep the energy levels up.  Ours generally go off and stand in a quiet corner or under a hayrack and look a bit thoughtful when the contractions begin in earnest.  Once a ewe really starts to push I generally investigate if nothing's appeared at the vulva after 20 minutes.  If you can see the front feet and a nose she probably just needs time.  Any other combination of body parts or lots of pushing with nothing appearing needs checking.  If she's been pushing hard for a while then gives up there's probably something stuck and she's tired out. Tim Tyne's sheep book is recommended.

Mel Rice

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 12:13:49 pm »
My sheep lamb easily (so far touch wood)....In fact I went in last thurs eve to do the feeding and there she was licking her first lamb. All well and good. When she saw me she knew it meant food so came over expectantly. She showed no signs of a second lamb and the first one was quite big.
Munch munch munch....then half way through she leaves her grub squats as if having a wee and back to her food.....needless to say it was not a wee but number two. Once she hasd checked all the nuts were gone(a second or so) she duly went to clean number two
After all she is a sheep and I KNOW where her priorities are.

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Ewe due to lamb soon - advice please
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 02:58:41 pm »
She'll makes very grunty baas as she starts into labour. Very, very different from her normal bleating.

 

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