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Author Topic: When to split wether lambs from mum?  (Read 3278 times)

kate7590

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
When to split wether lambs from mum?
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:18:30 am »
We now have 2 little wethers and was wondering at what age they should be split from their mum and introduced to our ram & wether (where they will live together until ram is needed later in the year)

We're thinking of moving the ewes (and ewe lambs) away from the wethers, so the wethers will be left in the field they are used to IYKWIM. Then should we just open the gate to the rams field (connecting)?

The wether lambs will stay here as pets (because we're too soft!)
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 10:26:00 am »
Depends on the ram. If they can see and smell each other through the fence he should realise they're not a threat.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 10:32:52 am »
Once they are about 4 months old, or older, depending on breed and time of year.

kate7590

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2015, 10:33:49 am »
Ram is very laid back, he accepted the full grown wether with no issue whatsoever. They all share a fence and are fed daily on the same gate (either side) so are quite close now. I hope there won't be any problem when introducing them, I doubt there will be.
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2015, 11:39:28 am »
We don't wean lambs until four months at the very earliest and there's no rush after that with wethers, unless you are doing a forced weaning.  The only time you really need to separate lambs from their dams and sisters is when they are entire males.  The dams will do the weaning themselves by about five months.
It sounds as if your separation will be an easy slide, just popping the wethers through the gate - the best way as they can still see their mums and already know the tup and the other wether.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 12:08:37 pm »
Your not the only 'softy' Kate, I have spoilt wethers too  :innocent: I dont keep my sheep for meat, I keep them to keep the breed going. One pet  cheviot wether (Hamish) stayed with his mammy and she weaned him naturally as Fleecewife said, its easier, if you have the ground. Sometimes when they are' all boys together 'my older tups show em whos boss for a while till they get the message. No harm done l just keep an eye on them. :sheep: :love:

kate7590

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 01:53:58 pm »
Thats brilliant. I will leave them til 5months or so in that case.
Luckily we have the 2 wether lambs so they will be company for each other when the time does come. I suppose we are lucky they were born so early (30th December & 22nd January) so they will be happy in with the other boys before their mums and sisters are put to our ram later in the year (We're thinking probably October/ November so we'll have later lambs next year)

We are *hopefully* going to breed next time for meat..but we will have to see because we've already got very attached to the lambs this year, which is why they won't be going anywhere! :)

Thanks so much for the replies, Im glad Im not the only 'softy' here :)
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 03:51:05 pm »
I've been thinking about this lately too. My consideration is, if I leave them in, how long will the ewes need to gather their strength for the next pregnancy?

I tupped mine late October so lambs are due late March.  If they are with mum for 5 months then she will have two months roughly to recover, at a good grassy time of year. Is that enough?  Is it just a case of keeping an eye on their condition?  By 5 months I guess the lambs are not getting a lot of milk in any case.

The ram lamb we used this year was 9-10 months old. How early are the boys sexually capable?   :thinking:
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: When to split wether lambs from mum?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 05:43:18 pm »
I've been thinking about this lately too. My consideration is, if I leave them in, how long will the ewes need to gather their strength for the next pregnancy?

I tupped mine late October so lambs are due late March.  If they are with mum for 5 months then she will have two months roughly to recover, at a good grassy time of year. Is that enough?  Is it just a case of keeping an eye on their condition?  By 5 months I guess the lambs are not getting a lot of milk in any case.

The ram lamb we used this year was 9-10 months old. How early are the boys sexually capable?   :thinking:

The younger ram lamb I used this year was 6 months old the other one was 8 months old, both covered and got in lamb all of the ewes they were put to within the first ten days (although I used a teaser)

Granted my Charmoise ram lamb was only put to 7 charmoise ewes

This year I am lambing in March due to uni term times but I would usually lamb in April as I lamb outside and the weather is nicer at that time, so lambs would be born in April, they then would be weaned beginning of September so 4-5 months old, fist two weeks in september the ewes are put on poor grazing (scrub) to dry up, after that they are moved to better/good grazing which puts condition on and may flush a little before the ram goes in November (although I dont really want to flush the mules anyway)

The pedigree charmoise lambs are weaned at 4 months of age, wich is a pain this year as I have december/january born ones needing weaning in May which I have no idea where to put them yet  ::) ::)
I bought the ewes in lamb at welshpool, wouldnt usually lamb this time, although the lambs are as hard as nails as although the ewes walked into an open field shelter to lamb them, they havnt been back in since so have been out in all the frost/snow from hours old

 

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