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Author Topic: New Mums attacking other lambs  (Read 3044 times)

HamishMcMurray

  • Joined Nov 2010
New Mums attacking other lambs
« on: April 05, 2011, 07:10:24 pm »
One of our ewes (Dot) had twin boys this afternoon :sheep: :sheep: All fine, bonded, suckling loads etc. so all good :)

The problem we have is that another of our ewes (Barbara) who had a lamb last week is trying to attack them. Not sure if she's going for mum or the lambs as we didn't let her get close enough. She's fine with the rest of the flock even when her lamb runs over to one of the other sheep and was fine with Dot until this afternoon when she had her twins.

Mum and twins are now in one field and the rest next door in another.  Barbara is coming to the fence and 'growling' at them.

Is this normal and can I expect them to settle down and get along again?

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 07:34:02 pm »
It does happen and sometimes needs keeping an eye on. Generally I find when the flock all gets back together again, there's enough other company and space to distract the 'bully'. Just occasionally you have to keep them separate for some while. Who knows what (if anything  :D) goes on in the heads of some sheep  ::)

Freddiesfarm

  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 08:03:10 pm »
I had it with one of my ewe lambs this year trying to kill everyone else's lambs.  In the end I turned her out in the field and left her to it and she settled down, but not after she had pounded one poor lamb to near death!  Keep an eye on her for future reference and get rid if she does the same next year - no one wants a nasty sheep!

One of my ewes kills her lambsif allowed but after a few days she forgets about it and loves them like a proper mum.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 09:24:20 pm »
Yes I have got a sflk/txl cross ewe that leaves her own lambs and buts them if allowed, but keeping thme in separate pens and holding the lambs on to suck for a few days (while forcing her to stand still with my knee), and then suddenly she calls for them, and is then one of my best mums - never looses her lambs! But still annoying - as she needs watching closely during lambing and then takes up two pens for a few days!

ScotsGirl

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 10:11:59 pm »
I have a mule exactly the same, always cleans her lambs, lets them take colostrum then a few hours later decides she doesn't like one and knocks lumps out of it. This year I changed tactic and after delivering them sprayed the navel from a distance and didn't handle them.  She tried to reject one late on but he was a fighter and although the smallest managed to hide under her to feed and she gave in fairly quickly and took to all three of them. He is now one of the biggest lambs out.

lamb_whisperer

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 09:09:43 am »
I've got a few fierce ewes.  Mainly the mules/cross texel.  Some of them are quite bad bullies to other mothers to.  Luckily I have a smaller field which I put the bullies in until they;ve calmed down a bit.  Once they're lambs are a week or two they generally calm down I find.

HamishMcMurray

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 09:17:30 am »
She's fine with her own lamb, it's the lambs of the other mum (or the other mum rather than the lambs) that she has a problem with. They are still in separate fields but she will not move far away and is still 'growling' through the fence. However she doesn't come any closer when the lambs go right up to the fence so perhaps it's the other mum she's unhappy with.

We plan to leave them in separate fields until the weekend when we'll try reintroducing them under close supervision. The new lambs should be big enough to run away if necessary. It's a shame for her lamb who is desperate to get through the fence and play with her new half brothers.

Could it be that she thinks the other lambs should be hers too?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 09:25:11 am »
It does sound quite extreme, Hamish.  The only thing I can think is whether, when in the hormonal pre-partum phase, Dot tried to nick one of Barbara's lambs, and Barbara is being slow to forgive.
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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: New Mums attacking other lambs
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 12:20:24 pm »
Or maybe one of the other lambs is hers? If they lambed close together, it can happen?

 

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