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Author Topic: ewe's sharing lambs?  (Read 2565 times)

simon sheffield

  • Joined Apr 2014
ewe's sharing lambs?
« on: April 16, 2014, 03:17:26 pm »
Hi, i am new to this so i don't know the protocol. I am sorry if i get it wrong.
I have two jacobs which are in lamb,mother and daughter. It is the younger one's first lamb. When we woke up this morning there were two newly born lambs,i am sure that they are from the daughter as she had lost the size and had a bit of a bloody behind.
BUT they were sharing the lambs one each and both feeding. Has anybody heard of this before without human intervention and what will the consequence be for the mothers own lambs when they are born. Thank you for any advice.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 03:46:29 pm »
Unfortunately it is quite common for there to be a mixup if two ewes lamb together, or if a ewe who is close to lambing is nearby when another ewe actually lambs.

At the point of lambing, and shortly before and after, the ewe is awash with hormones which make her extra motherly.  These wear off after a day or so, and she will then quite possibly reject any lamb which she had been claiming but which is not, in fact her own.  Its own mother will by then almost certainly reject it too, as she didn't bond with it when it was born and it now smells of another ewe.

So ideally, the shepherd sorts out the lambs and ewes very very soon after birth, and if necessary pens the mother and her lambs together, away from any other interfering ewe, while the maternal bonds are reinforced.

If you are sure these are both the daughter's lambs, and that the mother/grandmother has not yet lambed, then I would, as a matter of urgency, get the lambed ewe and both lambs into a private pen, away from the grandmother.  You will need to keep an eye on things and make sure that both lambs are suckling and that the mother seems to love them both.

It is probably tempting to leave the one lamb with the grandmother.  Unfortunately, the most likely outcome would be that when her own lamb is born, she will then reject the one she pinched.  By then it will be too late to get its own mother to take it.  So it really is best to get it back on its own mum pronto, if she'll take it. 

Let us know what you decide and how you get on.  There are lots of people on here who can advise how to get the mother to accept both her own lambs if she isn't keen - but you must act quickly.
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

simon sheffield

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 03:56:52 pm »
Cheers for that, i am going to separate the straight away.

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 04:05:37 pm »
Was going to say pretty much exactly what Sally said!  Pop them both into a pen with their natural mum, keep granny out of the way, once she has her own, she will be content.

Very common, particularly with older ewes - we have our oldest age of ewes in a separate shed because they are being fed, and they are an absolute pain, as soon as one lambs, there is a scrummage of ewes all wanting to claim the baby as their own.

Most of the time I know who the lamb(s) belong to, but if not I would catch the ewe I think most likely and check inside to see if she has given birth to the number I am expecting, and if not, move on from there.  This is only possible close to the time of birth, though.

Two nights ago we had two of them lamb in a heap, two lambs each, so I am afraid it was pout luck who got what - both wanted all four!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 06:48:29 pm »
And the grandmother will bawl her head off as if you've killed her baby, so keep her well out of the way.  She should lamb within a few hours.

We have had attempted baby snatching on several occasions, and it has mostly been with mothers and daughters.  Perhaps they are better tuned in to each others hormones.

I hope it all works out ok  :fc:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 09:09:08 pm »
Did you get sorted out OK?  Has Granny lambed yet?

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 09:28:17 pm »
Wow, how lucky are we to have such advice on tap, Sally, fleece wife et al, you are amazing biggest thank yous on behalf of all learners ( I know we never stop learning l but you are  a few years ahead!) :hug:

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: ewe's sharing lambs?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 08:32:05 am »
It can be a real problem, because the mother who is expecting may or may not want to suckle her own lambs. Ideally the ewe who is expecting needs bringing away, so that the other ewe can bond with her lambs.
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.

 

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