Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!  (Read 5678 times)


  • Joined Aug 2013
Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« on: August 26, 2013, 09:20:14 pm »
Hello Everyone!

Just discovered this wonderful site. Will be using this as my main point of reference from now on.

I am, however, in a bit of a situation. I have a small flock, 5 ewes and 4 wethers, who are a complete joy to cross graze along side our other livestock.

The problem I have is that our next door neighbours 'rampant ram' broke through the fence and got in with my girls back in April (I'm told around the 22nd). I have only just found this out, in passing conversation the neighbour told me that his ram hasn't escaped since he changed the fencing; that is when the full story came out.

Of course I am really annoyed about this, thinking that I may have to lamb in September, not an ideal time I'm sure. I have also NEVER lambed before in my life. I was planning on doing it at some stage in the future, but I had visions of going on a lambing course first for some 'hands on' experience first.

I'm really, really hoping that they aren't in lamb and that they managed to fight of the advances of the 'lothario ram'. I'm told that the likelihood is that they are.

So, my questions are, what signs do I need to look out for to see if they are in lamb? I trimmed their feet the other day and had a feel of their udders but I couldn't tell any difference. To be honest, I haven't taken much notice of their udders before this saga.

Also, does anyone have any lambing tips they can pass on? This is making me feel more anxious then anything else - having never done it!

Thanks in advance!!


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 09:43:31 pm »
What breed are they? Some breeds are more seasonal in their breeding habits than others.

TBH, if it was me, I'd get the vet to run an ultrasound over them to see if they are in lamb.


  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 09:47:40 pm »
Hi first of all do you know what breed your sheep are and what breed the ram is it can be important is your next door neighbour a sheep farmer if so get him to look at your sheep, But dont panic if it was 24th april your looking at about 20th september the udders will not be showing yet do they look as though they have put on weight. The best thing you can do is relax and let them get on with it most will lamb by there self .


  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 09:52:30 pm »
My sheep are Greyface Dartmoors and the ram is a mule type as far as I can make out. The neighbour isn't a sheep farmer, just has a two ewes and this ram.

I'm hoping that if they are, they will be able to get on with how nature intended.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 10:33:05 pm »
my memory could be faulty - it was 2 or 3 years ago - but I'm sure my ewes started bagging up quite a while before they were due so I would have expected some changes in the udders by now.


  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 11:23:28 pm »
I'd be surprised if they were in lamb.  I'd have thought they'd have stopped cycling before the end of April and wouldn't have accepted the ram. 


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 11:31:19 pm »
what is the breed that can breed twice a yr?
youd be unlucky for them to be in season at that time, but iv seen a pony fall pregnant mid winter so anything is possible.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 12:10:49 am »
It's Dorsets that can breed year-round but there are examples of many breeds lambing unseasonably.

I would think it highly unlikely that your GFDs got pregnant in April - but not impossible.

It absolutely would be worth getting them scanned or otherwise checked.  You still have time to give vaccines and other pre-parturition treatments if they are in lamb.
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

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 08:00:52 am »
 :wave: i doubt very much if any would be in lamb . it does happen but very rarely . if your very unlucky you might get one that happened to be tupping but my money would be on them being ok :fc:  . british milk sheep is another that tup year round. theres a guy near kelso that has a  flock of over 100 soays he keeps the tups in with them at all times.they lamb over about 8 wks in spring .suppose its how it would work in the wild   


  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 08:06:40 am »
Thanks everyone for your replies.

 :fc: that they aren't in lamb. I was so worried, especially when the ram was with them from late eve through the night.
I did have a few choice words with the neighbour as he didn't seem bothered at all!


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Thornbury, Nr Bristol
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 08:46:07 am »
Keep a look out around 14th September just in case!


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 09:03:18 am »
Very unlikely they would be in lamb but we did have a Hebridean ewe that surprised us and had a lamb in August last year as we leave our ram with them all the time. But that is one out of forty and its the first time we have had an out of season lamb off a ewe other than with a Portland.


  • Joined Jan 2012
  • North Devon/ West Exmoor
Re: Pregnant Sheep......Help!!
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2013, 09:14:20 am »
Once you have found out if in lamb or not, a few things:

1. have they lambed before? If so less of a concern. hey know what they are doing and GFDs are good easy lambers.
2. You know the exact dates, so house them / pen them - more for your sake than theirs.
3. get you neighbours mobile no and tell him you expect his assistance if needed if he doesn't want to foot the vet bill!
4. get reading, lots of good books. Recommend Agnes Winter (?), she's a vet. Also look at the smallholder series of dvds.
5. Gfd's  lambs can be a bit dozy, struggle to find teats (too much wool), so dag / crutch. But a mule x may be more livelier.  Shame it wasn't a nicer tup.

 :fc:  But agree think they would be unlikely to have caught or certainly all of them in one night.

Traditional and Rare breed livestock -  Golden Guernsey Goats, Blackmoor Flock Shetland and Lleyn Sheep, Pilgrim Geese and Norfolk Black Turkeys. Capallisky Irish Sport Horse Stud.


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