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Author Topic: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?  (Read 6046 times)

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« on: April 02, 2013, 07:18:56 pm »
Have been reading that many ewes  are drying up after 3 or 4 weeks this year:
What causes a ewes milk to dry up? And how can it be prevented?
Lambs are at foot and we want to be proactive and keep an eye out for this - what should we be looking for?

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 07:29:14 pm »
its only happening where ewes are not getting a- enough nutrition and b- enough water. Its just like keeping any animal milking, including human mothers....same principle! Also lambs need to be strong and suckle well.
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 10:29:19 pm »
Our ewes are due to lamb in the next couple of weeks. They seem to be bagging up but what can I do to maintain the milk? They have half a scoop of ewe nuts each day and ad lib hay, mineral lick and molasses lick. Should I be giving them anything else like more nuts or beet or anything else extra?
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 09:27:39 am »
They have half a scoop of ewe nuts each day


It depends on how much your half scoop of nuts weighs ;)

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 04:30:12 pm »
Our ewes are due to lamb in the next couple of weeks. They seem to be bagging up but what can I do to maintain the milk? They have half a scoop of ewe nuts each day and ad lib hay, mineral lick and molasses lick. Should I be giving them anything else like more nuts or beet or anything else extra?

All they need is hay and approx 1 mug (i do things in mugs as most people know what a mug is!) of 16-18% nuts per day from 6 weeks before lambing if big sheep that are in good condition and half a mug or tea cups worth per ewe if small eg primitives. The hay must be good hay and ad lib. Soon Dr grass will be growing and with it comes all the sugars, other carbs, proteins etc. If you have too many sheep to the acre you will have to feed more which is not good....
The reason folks have had problems is due to the delayed spring and not feeding enough to compensate thats all.
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 06:37:57 pm »
Thanks woollyval, that's reassuring. We are on the right track. Fingers crossed the weather continues dry.


We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 07:58:19 pm »
Many farmers around us are seeing the milk drying up, whether 3-4 days or 3-4 weeks after lambing.  Believed to be because ewes need to utilise their fat store to produce milk and if they were in poorish condition due to 2012 grazing quality and 9 months' hard weather they'll have used most of it just to survive and produce their lambs.  If the ewes dry up the lambs will die but it's Mother Nature's (cruel but efficient) way of ensuring the breeding stock will survive to breed next season.  Cake will maintain energy levels but won't put condition back on a ewe in late pregnancy or early lactation.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 12:12:39 am »
True but most commercial farmers are short of money and short of feed....and are reaping the rewards  :-\ will not or should not apply to those who have done their sheep well.
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 12:47:25 pm »
A little harsh, for me to source any hay , silage,turnips it will need to come over 100mls on probably an arctic lorry, my area only has silage no hay straw or turnips and all the neighbours are in the same position,  ewes are fit , silage will maybe last  (never had to feed silage or hay to ewes and lambs outside in april in my life )

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 01:22:26 pm »
Also, don't forget how important water is.  Together with the extra feed post lambing whilst we wait for the grass to grow, make sure they have a good clean and plentiful supply of water.  My girls are drinking 6+ litres each a day at the mo (they are 1-4 weeks post lambing).

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewes with lambs at foot drying up?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 02:27:15 pm »
A little harsh - never had to feed silage or hay to ewes and lambs outside in april in my life )

I agree.  If only we'd all had a crystal ball and been able to foresee that we were going to have the coldest, wettest pre-lambing year in and beyond living memory we'd all have built sheds to take 2000 ewes and had feed, bedding and hay to feed them for three months laid up ready!

 

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