Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs  (Read 3986 times)

countrygirlatheart

  • Joined Apr 2008
how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« on: February 04, 2009, 08:40:50 pm »
I have a ewe with twin lambs who is doing them very well, however ..... she has already dropped quite a bit of weight (I'm new to this - possibly condition score 2.0 - 2.5 ??) Her lambs are now just over two weeks old.  Her and my other ewes with lambs are currently housed on straw, get ad lib hay, have free access to a Vitalyx dam and lamb tub, and get about 1lb of 18% protein 'cake' twice a day.   

Can I give her even more ??  (I already have visions of people passing out at my sheep being fed so much but they are BIG sheep !)  I'm a bit worried that (according to my books !) she is approaching peak lactation and may lose even more weight.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 09:31:27 pm »
That sounds fine for grub......have you wormed her and put spot on for lice? Stressful times often cause an increase in populations of little visitors....and many people underestimate the damage lice can do esp in housed animals!

There is not a lot more you can do......maybe cut the ration to a 16% or bulk it out with some more fattening stuff such as some sugar beet shreds fed dry or some rolled barley. I assume the lambs are looking amazing?
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

countrygirlatheart

  • Joined Apr 2008
Re: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 08:27:41 pm »
thanks woolly

the ewes were wormed about three weeks before lambing (Combinex to include fluke)   Should I worm them again now ?  If I do and they're housed does this just mean they and their lambs pick them up again as they forage in the straw ?

lice - eek !  should there be symptoms ?   they're not itchy and don't look anaemic    if they've got any can they be seen with the naked eye (once you've dug your way through about 5 inches of black fleece!)

thanks again

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 10:12:46 pm »
No don't worm again.....they cannot get anything from straw ;D and should be ok! Lice can be seen.....but with great difficulty, I always do mine if housed....just in case!

I would make sure your hay is good quality and not worry too much if everyone is happy....they will soon pick up once the grass starts!!

You could set up a lamb creep for your lambs so they eat more and drink less!!!

Bet they look fat and round ;D ;D ;D
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 10:32:54 am »
Ewes will lose weight when rearing lambs. She is probably just a good type who does her lambs better than herself.

Much better than a fat ewe with not much milk.
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

countrygirlatheart

  • Joined Apr 2008
Re: how to keep weight on a ewe with twin lambs
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 10:05:05 pm »
thanks for replies folks

probably worrying too much -  the ewes are as nosey and chirpy as usual and so far lambs growing like mushrooms   one lamb is slightly less lively than the others but eating fine and looks ok - do some of them just have quieter natures than others as babies ? (possibly a daft question re sheep!)   The tup lambs are already jumping on the ewe lambs !

 

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