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Author Topic: in lamb or not?  (Read 4269 times)

Elissian

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Wiltshire
in lamb or not?
« on: August 08, 2011, 12:30:32 pm »
My wilts horn flock finished lambing on April 16th. The ram was in with them till march the 6th. I have a pet zwartbles running with them. She still hasn't had a lamb so if she was served on the day the ram left i make that 154 days . I watched her present herself to him quite early on and he put his head down and drove her away, i presumed that he'd come round to her when he ran out of options!
She has had a small udder of watery milk for a month and last week it turned white and thicker which i thought a good sign but now it's back to the clear thin liquid again. She's got swellings both sides that stick out like a separate entity when she's on her side but i've never seen it move. She's eating well and can run fast when a bucket is shaken but spends a lot of time lying down.
is it out of the question that she could be in lamb after this length of time? she had her first single last year but i missed the delivery and i found it dead so i really don't want to miss this 1

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 05:34:43 pm »
I am not aware of the Wiltshire Horn or the Zwartbles being breeds that can breed year round - I think it's only the Dorset that can do that?  Our Charollais certainly come into season a lot earlier than the local types but are not sexually active in the spring.

So I think it is highly unlikely, but you will want to be sure.  And if it's not lambs, what is it?

BH double-checks for lambs as follows.  Put ewe on her bottom, double her over a little (not too much), lean over her and feel her sides.  There shouldn't be anything firm except a lamb.  If you can't feel anything firm, you can push your fists into her stomach and check that she really is empty.

If the ewe has fluid coming out of her teats, then something is going on.  Is the udder lovely and soft and pliable?  Or hot, and/or hard?
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

Corrie Dhu

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 05:47:48 pm »
All sheep breeds can lamb all year round, including primitives, if they have been barren there is a very high chance they will be cycling, different if they are rearing lambs or have reared one.  I had Shetland ewe hoggs lamb last week and some old Heb ewes which had been the victim of a (now eaten!!!) marauding Shetland tup.  Over the years due to keeping Shetland tups which are terrible for escaping, I have had lambs born at all times of the year so it is perfectly possible she is in lamb.  That said, if she is fat, this can make them have a small udder and fluid will come out of it.  She'd have to lamb in the next few days unless the tup got her another time. 

Elissian

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 09:48:26 pm »
Thankyou for the advice, i'll turn her over tomorrow and have a feel.
Her udders are soft and body temp, her milk has gone white and thicker again.

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 06:47:58 am »
We had a lamb yesterday from a white Welsh Mountain ewe who had been "rescued" by a friend.  She had only been in contact with a ram for a few hours and as at the time she was wearing three years of fleece no one really gave a thought to the possibility of a lamb.  I am kicking myself to some extent because I noticed she was looking rather plump a few days ago but put it down to the fact she had been on decentish grass for a couple of weeks.  Poor girl had been grazing scrub most of the summer.  Still both she and lamb appear to be fine and although its a single its not a bad size.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 09:13:48 am »
 :o  I am gobsmacked!  I am starting a thread to find out what is actually the case in terms of breeds of sheep and when they can lamb!

Glad they are both ok. 
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

Elissian

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 10:11:24 am »
Well i turned her over and her udder is a little bigger today, not hot or lumpy, with white milk, no clots. However i couldn't feel any lambs at all. her whole abdomen is very tight like a tightly stretched sheet of rubber but i would have expected to see some movement. It looks to me like i just have a fat sheep, i stopped feeding her at the end of april but had started giving her a handful of nuts a day 2 weeks ago as i presumed she must be nearing her time and thought it might help get her milk going. Oh well, we were looking forward to having some black lambs, now the children(young adults)will have to take the "time to put her in the freezer" jokes from my other half!

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 04:09:18 pm »
I was pretty gobsmacked too Sally.  It was the last thing I was expecting to see in a field full of mums and lambs we were about to wean plus a few odds and sods such as this girl.  Her owner is absolutely delighted with his new ewe lamb though.

Corrie Dhu

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 09:15:13 pm »
A very tight belly is a very good sign she is in lamb.  However a word of caution, you should not turn sheep up during the latter stages of pregnancy and you should also not draw their udder.  Turning them can cause the lamb to malpresent, and drawing the udder will remove the plug which keeps out nasties.

Sally I am not saying if you put a whole flock of Shetlands to the tup in March you'd get them all in lamb, however, with my hoggs the tup was only in with them for a matter of hours, and I had 5 lambs, all produced ewe lambs too!  I will wean the lambs early so they can go back to the tup in November.

Elissian

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 11:13:07 pm »
I was told by my shearer that the change in the milk from clear to creamy would indicate that she was nearly ready to lamb and an old farmer friend who came over a month ago drew milk off her and said she had a way to go yet. Can she really be this late with delivering

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 11:40:30 am »
In my experience, when the milk is in, they will lamb in the next week or so. Never known anything like that. Can sheep have 'ghost' pregnancies?

Corrie Dhu

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: in lamb or not?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 12:19:05 pm »
In my experience, when the milk is in, they will lamb in the next week or so. Never known anything like that. Can sheep have 'ghost' pregnancies?

They can have phantom pregnancies and they can also carry fat in their udder which comes out as white stuff.  I had a Shetland ewe which had NOT been near a tup so there was no chance she was in lamb or had aborted.  I was rooing her (plucking the wool out) and when I went near her udder she braced herself for a lamb sucking.  I happened to have a shetland pet lamb at the time so on a whim I chucked it in a pen with her and she allowed it to suck whatever was in her udder.  For a week I supplemented it until it refused to come for a bottle as the ewe was in full milk for the lamb.  That's one of the most unusual situations I've known!

 

poorly sheep heavily in lamb but has twin lamb disease

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