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Author Topic: Poor badgered ewe!  (Read 4276 times)

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Poor badgered ewe!
« on: April 16, 2014, 09:06:32 pm »
A rather odd scenario but I have four ewes, all of which have lambed (6 between them over the past fortnight). I've just been down to do my evening check and the ewe who lambed twins on Sunday morning (and is being a grand mummy to them) is being harassed by the oldest two (twins) who were born on the 1st. Every time poor Treacle stands still to try and nurse her babies, these two hooligans run over and try to get to her udder themselves. She's snorting and head butting and kicking at them but they are relentless! They don't seem to hassle anyone else and their own mother was doing a fab job herself.

Is it possible they are hungry or are they just being greedy because Treacle has a nice big udder full of milk? I haven't had a chance to pen their mother in to see if she has a problem but will do in the morning. Her lambs are getting pretty big and solid considering how lanky they were when they were born. They seem huge now! Is this a common scenario?

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 07:48:00 pm »
Anyone care to comment please?

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 08:34:43 pm »
Nothing helpful to offer I'm afraid.


Would it be easier to pen the harassed ewe and her twins to give her a break from the trouble makers while you check if there is any problems with their mum/

trish.farm

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • hampshire
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 08:43:04 pm »
I had this for a few days, first time mum kept getting hassled by week old twins from another ewe, they only did it for the first few days and they soon stopped, but might be worth separating them for a bit.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 09:25:00 pm »
I'd definitely separate the new mum with her own lambs from these bullies!

I can't say I've seen this, no.  Is she a first time mum?  Maybe she didn't realise these interlopers were sneaking a free feed at first, and now they know about it they will of course be as bolshy as only a greedy guzzler can  ::)
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

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 09:41:08 pm »
They are all four of them first timers. I've checked mum and there's no problem with her so must just be greedy lambs.

I can't really separate the ewes because they are such a small flock that they get quite upset when separated. I'll just have to keep my eye on Treacle's lambs, to make sure they aren't getting pushed aside too often. We will be putting the creep feeder in the field this weekend so perhaps they can fill up on creep instead!

I was just curious as to whether this was a common thing to happen

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 11:25:27 pm »
Your new ewe won't be upset at being away from the crowd for a couple of days now that she has her lambs - they will be all she needs.  She won't like it longer than that, but it should be long enough to get her lambs established and for the two bullies to get out of the habit.
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smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 11:55:07 pm »
She was penned separately (in the same paddock) for the first 24hrs and just spent most of the time hollering to be let back with the rest of her sisters, despite her new babies. She's an excellent mum though, and tries her very best to get the other lambs away - it's mainly the tup lamb and he's just started with the last ewe to lamb too! I'm not so bothered about that one as she only had a single and he's about the same size as the greedy lambs, despite the 2 week age gap.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 09:11:13 am »
I would pen the ewe with the greedy lambs away on her own with them.  Firstly this stops them pinching off everyone else - and especially, stops them stealing all of any new mum's precious colostrum - and secondly, you will then be able to see if there's a problem with their own mum's milk supply.  Which, given the behaviour you are describing, I strongly suspect there is.  If so, you should be able to get such greedy guzzlers to take a top-up from a bottle; teach them to come to you for a feed night and morning, fill them up, and that will reduce the pressure on the other ewes.

The problem with leaving them be is that not only will they compromise any newborns by stealing all the new mum's colostrum before her own babies can get sufficient, but also by constantly raiding all the other ewes' udders they are likely to cause mastitis in one or more of them.  Any ewe rearing twins has enough work to do producing milk for her own lambs, if she's being milked as well she's at risk of mastitis.
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

novicesmallholder

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Worcestershire
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 06:50:46 pm »
We had a problem with 1st born twins harrasing other mothers for milk at the detriment of other lambs. We seperated the mother and twins for 10 days from the rest of the flock, this did the trick

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 09:54:02 pm »
Thanks for the replies. Mum has been checked and there's definitely nothing wrong with her milk supply. We have Zwartbles, which are a dairy breed so they all have masses of milk. I've tried offering creep but none of them are interested yet.

I think I will see if I can put Daffodil and her lambs in the other paddock instead, to try and break the lambs of the habit. I could put her in with the ewe that had a stillborn and so is raising a single lamb. They were only three days apart lambing so the lambs are of a similar size. She's not let any other lambs nurse from her so she might break them of the habit!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Poor badgered ewe!
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 01:53:10 am »
I could put her in with the ewe that had a stillborn and so is raising a single lamb. They were only three days apart lambing so the lambs are of a similar size. She's not let any other lambs nurse from her so she might break them of the habit!

That sounds like a plan worth trying! 
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

 

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