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Author Topic: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!  (Read 10361 times)

Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« on: April 13, 2015, 06:16:25 am »
So i'm a neurotic first timer. Went out at 5am because I suspected one of our Manx loaghtan ewes would lamb to be presented with twins. Just lovely. Managed to spray cords in the dark and as there was frost on the ground I popped little rain coats on them to help keep them warm as they are outside in a paddock. Membranes hanging out of mum so birth hadn't been long but lambs were up on their feet. Watched for 20 mins. Didn't see them feed but they were looking. Alpaca cria don't feed until the placenta is delivered. Are sheep the same? All the other ewes are gathering arouns. Lovely.

So. Should I bring them in or leave them out??? Temperature is set to be unseasonably warm over the next few days despite the cold night. We don't appear to have foxes visit us (25 alpacas on site!) But do have badgers and a friend has had newborn lambs attacked by them. Really don't know what to do. We don't bring the alpaca\cria in at all unless there is a problem. And to bring them in I assume I would have to catch them all in the feeding pen then just seperate mum and lambs. Don't want to cause any unnecessary stress. To them or me!!! The rest aren't due to lamb until 24th april so another couple of weeks

What do you all think? Can see them from our house as they live on our farm.

Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 06:25:42 am »
Oh and she's not a first timer!

Slimjim

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • North Devon
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 07:36:17 am »
OMG. Get the ewe and lambs inside in a pen to themselves for at least 24 hrs. Lambs must feed from mum within  a couple of hours-  6 at the most to get colostrum. Passing the placenta has no bearing on milk availability. You need to spray the lamb navel s asap with iodine as a defence against bacterial entry. There's loads more others will add I'm sure. Sounds like you need a book.

Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 08:07:52 am »
Thanks for reply. Have books and have done lots of research. But advice is conflictin. As the manx are a primitive breed most say to leave them out unless there is reason to bring in. Didn't want to seperate ewe on her own last night as I thought she was about to lamb. She gave birthnear the hedge.  Sprayed navels at 5am. Stripped teats and there's plenty of milk. Sun is up. Am thinkingg to bring in but lambs will warm up quicker in sunshine.  Do many conflicting opinions. We only have a small flock of 9

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 08:18:55 am »
I would take the coats off until she's licked them dry and they have a bond and are sucking. If it's cold and dry they should be fine without it's when it's wet and windy that lambs struggle but if they are a primitive breed they should be tough and hardy.

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 08:46:25 am »
I certainly wouldn't be putting coats on them (unless they're unwell) as they've been born with a coat on. Ours are also a primitive breed capable of lambing outside. Like you however we have badgers everywhere including a sett on our own land. Local farmers have long regaled us with tales of the damage a badger can do to a vulnerable lamb. As a result we keep newborns in at night for the first week and ideally have them out in a small paddock right by the shed during the day. Our ideal scenario is for them to lamb outside with us keeping a watching brief so all the mucky business is outside. Then bring them all in ensuring they're mothered up and strong. The ewes don't like being in much so we don't overdo it, just until we're happy the lambs are strong enough to get out the way of a badger. Congrats on first lambing  :excited:

Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 08:50:30 am »
They're in and coats are off.  All seems well!

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 08:53:49 am »
That's good to hear  :) .
 
OMG. Get the ewe and lambs inside in a pen to themselves for at least 24 hrs.

Why OMG?  It's common practice to lamb primitives outdoors, and certainly our Manxes did a great job of hiding their lambs in gaps in the wall etc, out of the worst of the weather. Bringing them in would just have stressed ours out, as they're not used to it.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 10:23:07 am »
Our ideal scenario is for them to lamb outside with us keeping a watching brief so all the mucky business is outside.:

Trouble is, blood and placentas can be scented by a fox or a badger from a very long distance - some ewes eat it, some don't.  If they're in the shed you can remove and burn it as soon as it detaches.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2015, 10:26:51 am »
OMG. Get the ewe and lambs inside in a pen to themselves for at least 24 hrs.
More like OMG, get the jackets off and leave them alone outside!! :)  5am is a perfect time to lamb too, they will soon have the sun on their backs and the whole day to get used to being alive before the first night sets in.

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 11:17:31 am »
Our ideal scenario is for them to lamb outside with us keeping a watching brief so all the mucky business is outside.:

Trouble is, blood and placentas can be scented by a fox or a badger from a very long distance - some ewes eat it, some don't.  If they're in the shed you can remove and burn it as soon as it detaches.
You're dead right. We don't just leave it lying around. Its gathered up and burnt. It just seems healthier all round and less chance of infections. As I said that's our ideal scenario. Not sure we've ever actually had one  :roflanim:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 11:46:02 am »
Placentas?  That's what dogs are for  ;D


I would have left them out too, no coats - they'll soon come to the boil in them in sunny weather.  They can be useful briefly for lambs with a sparse birth coat if the weather is wet or hailing, but not primitives.

All the conflicting advice must be very confusing, and when it boils down to it, do what you are happy doing.
Congrats on the new lambs  :sheep: :sheep:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 12:35:43 pm »
The conflicting advice IS very confusing - but it's advice nonetheless and at 5:30 am this morning I was in need of some. I HATE being new at anything but the only real way to learn is to get some experience so that's what we're doing I guess!

I only put the coats on for a short while because it was frosty on the ground and they were feeling cold. Mum had dried them mostly (I dried a little more with a towel) but took them off as soon as I moved them in. I will keep them in for a couple of days, just because we have badger setts on our farm and I have just heard a horrible story from a friend who's lamb was attacked as it was being born! Then I will worm 24 hours before I turn out onto fresh pasture which is adjacent to the other Ewes so hopefully she won't feel too distressed being away from them. 

I have been warned about flystrike with this rain then warm weather. So should I apply crovect to this mum before I turn her out too?

Thanks again - it's nice to not be alone in this new adventure :-)

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 01:11:36 pm »
Seems like you're doing fine!  What works for one breed of sheep doesn't work for another, and also where you are makes a big difference temperature wise.  Local advice is probably the best  ;).

The only thing I would have done that you didn't mention (but may have done anyway) is checked them after 30 minutes or so to see if they have any milk in their tums, sometimes they can be happily sucking on a bit of wool and getting nothing!

Happy lambing!  Oh and photos are always nice to see   :sheep: :sheep:
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Our first lambs are born! Now what??!
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 03:11:23 pm »
Enjoy them!

We are relatively new to sheep and have primitives .... Soay. 

First year lambing we took advice of our local farmer and good friend and penned ewe and lambs after birth ... just for 24 hrs. This was due to danger from foxes/badgers. Neighbour said that singles were usually okay but more danger if twins and fox/badger would know it was easier to pick one of these off as mum protected the other. They did okay being penned but seemed a bit stressed as they are not used to being confined and don't seem to take to it too well.

Next year we left them outdoors and didn't pen at all. No problems and they seemed very relaxed. Our ewes have tended  to lamb near the rest of the flock ..... they don't seem to particularly take themselves off somewhere quiet and have seen on several occasions the other ewes gather around the lambing ewe! They don't interfere but stand over her.

Once the lambs are a few days old they sleep pretty much together in the centre of the flock.

We might have been lucky but will try leaving them outdoors again next time we lamb.



They do look so tiny and vulnerable, especially the twins and we did worry a bit when ours were born on really cold, frosty nights/days but they seem to cope well. Hardly ever caught ours suckle in the first few days but checked mouths were warm and felt tummies were round if we were concerned. I'm told it's the cold rain that harms them more than cold dry weather.

Hope all goes well for you.  ;D

 

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