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Author Topic: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?  (Read 2522 times)


  • Joined May 2008
Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« on: April 19, 2013, 08:58:51 pm »
We had one of ewe hoggs lamb this week with a very suspect lamb,  it clearly had at least one joint that is going in the wrong direction, really swollen head as well as rest of the body, the other twin is fine, if a bit small.   We missed the lambing, and the deformed lamb was dead when we found the ewe (hiding behind a round straw bale!) it didn't look like it had died inside her unless very shortly before lambing, not smelly etc.   Would it be possible to have an SBV affected lamb born this late?   

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 09:26:22 pm »
I would say you could have a SBV lamb born at any time if infected midges are circulating in your area, especially if they are uneven sizes and odd in the joints. Hope it's an isolated incident  :fc:
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.


  • Joined May 2008
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 10:13:54 pm »
Thanks for the reply Hazelwood, I certainly hope that this is an isolated incident too, fortunately the majority of the flock has now lambed without any problems ( just over 100 lambs so far). SBV was circulating in the area earlier in the season and we had some barren ewes which I think could be as a result of the virus as would not normally expect it except in one or two older ewes. The 2012 lambs were kept seperately to the rest of the flock and I guess that midges could carry the virus for a while through the winter. I am amazed (and relieved) that this young ewe managed to lamb ok, certainly no assistance, I thought that she had escaped as couldn't find her and her companion was making a lot of fuss, she was in a lambing pen nearby and would have been able to see the ewe behind the bale, but guess she just wanted to summons some help for her friend!


  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 08:32:26 am »
I was sent a link just yesterday about SBV in two calves this week in Dumfriesshire.



  • Joined Dec 2009
    • onnyview free range produce
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 07:37:43 am »
We had a SBV lamb last week. CLassic symptoms, could not lamb her at home ( even with two strapping men and the poor ewe hoisted ) got her to the vet and finally got the lamb out. Big lamb too. Anyway, all the previous 74 ewes lambed fine and a good fifty of them were in the same field as her. Means she was bitten in December , so would have been fewer midges about. I was amazed she got bitten and not the others too, but there you go....

Onnyview free range produce- Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, Hill Radnor and Llanwenog sheep.


  • Joined May 2008
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 12:43:28 pm »
Glad your others were all ok onnyview and thanks for replying. I hope your ewe is ok, after the difficulty lambing the SBV lamb.
 I am wondering whether our ewe just didn't get bitten by infected midges earlier in the season last year and caught it later than the other ewes, difficult to know without testing but we certainly had some problems at tupping time, and a number of ewes barren at scanning which is not something that we would normally see. However fortunately didn't see any with problems through Feb/March, so just this later lamber now. There must have been a warm spell here in Shropshire in December when the midges got active again for a day or two!
Last ewe hogg has just lambed this morning, 2 healthy ewe lambs, phew.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 04:07:05 pm »
Pretty much everywhere has had a higher-than-normal incidence of geld ewes; it's been a dreadful year for livestock. :(

There are so many cases of SBV in sheep which shouldn't, according to what is published about the disease, be able to have it, that you can only conclude that really we don't know much about it at all.

We had one lamb last week that, if we had SBV in our area we would have ascribed to SBV.  But we don't have it in our area as far as we know, and that's one lamb in several 00s, so it's just one of those things.  We get one or two deformed lambs each year, generally aborted or born full term but dead; the deformities vary.  I guess you still get those coincidental deformities whether you have SBV or not - so not every deformed lamb is down to SBV. ;)
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 May 2008
Re: Is it too late to have SBV lambs born now?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 09:11:06 pm »
Yes I think there has been a lower lambing % and higher number of ewes geld generally which has been put down to the bad weather last year. 
For the ewes that have lambed with have had a good % of lambs with more than ever with triplets, we also had some ewes absorbing a triplet at scanning, and the scanner seemed to think that the timing was right for SBV to be a probable cause according to when the virus was circulating in our area.

Will not know the cause as little point in paying to have tests done, and may just have been one of those things with this lamb, just joints in the wrong direction seemed to point towards sbv, just wasn't sure if all the swelling could be an indication to or not.  Feel very lucky that things were not a lot worse this lambing season, apart from the severe snow recently.
Just need some grass to grow now!


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