Lambing Update March 10th 2019

In regards to the most part lambing has been going really well this year, other than the “tiny twins and their mother” that lambs have all been born healthy and strong.. No stillbirths, no weak starts to the lambs, no help needed in regards to lambing out.  Momma’s all bonding well, lots of milk and active fast growing lambs.

Maude’s lambs are Massive and both ewes and sadly both are non-staying, due to the fact that they have extra teats.. Something I had not seen on her before but she had always thrown me rams before, so I do not know if she throws more often than not. She does not have extra’s herself and perhaps when crossed with a different ram, it will not show itself but I certain will now be aware of it in her line.

Pardon the bit of manure on this little ewe but just so you can see what I am talking about.. Now the issue with these should be clear enough, a ewe only has two milking quarters and regardless of if these two little front teats are giving milk or not (many do not) if a lamb latches on, it will typically get 5 to 10 percent of the milk available and keep trying hard on it, where just behind that teat, is the good teat with lots of milk just sitting there waiting and not being properly used.

While I know there are some folks that are not as picky. I am. I do not hold back or breed from ewe’s or nanny goats that do not have proper bag placement, good teat placement and shape. I will not sell them either, they are freezer camp when they reach the right age.

It’s a ewe lamb year for sure.. we have currently Seven ewe lambs and we had 4 ram lambs. Areo had twins, I was not expecting that, she has twin ewe lambs, both good size, the first-born chocolate lamb with the white head is bigger then her white sister but it’s not because there is anything wrong, it was just the space in momma and she is eating really well and growing well.  Photo of her below.. Her big Sister is A1 and she is A2..

Now in regards to the “tiny twins”

Sadly they are no longer with us, the smallest one H2 had a rapid onset lung infection (which is very common in such a tiny lamb, all it takes is a bit of fluid from birthing or swallowing wrong and the problem just grows from there)

H1 however was a bit different, I was pleased with his strength, his willingness to take the bottle, however hidden under that seeming good news was a very deadly issue. I had noticed that his cord was a touch swollen, it had been dipped and left pretty long. I was concerned that it was the bedding that was a touch to damp that was not helping this, so I moved them over to a soft pad under the puppy pads so that all piddles would be soaked up and they could easily move to a dry spot to rest on and the littles ones cord dried like normal.. Not so H1’s, I treated it again and went, I think infection, so he was given a antibiotic treatment as was H2 in the hopes to help on this.

H1 peed at just right the moment for me while I was checking his cord and I just stared, as he was peeing out his cord area instead of his man part.. well no wonder if was never drying out, showing signs of infection and not healing up despite what I was doing. It was sending the infection and rot up into his wee body though that cord..  Because they are side by side, everything looks right from the topside when he was going.

Its my understanding that they can also have this kind of infection in the cord if birthed poorly or in dirty conditions but I know that this was not the case as they were born in a jug on clean straw.  Part of the reason we clip and dip is to help prevent this type of thing from happening even with everything else being normal.

Poor little wee baby..  I have had sheep for 15 years and I have never had seen this before and hopefully I will not again.. After some more reading, checking in with some of my trusted mentors and vet.. everyone was in agreement that when the full case was laid out that the most humane thing would be to help H2 cross over.

A hard choice to be made but it was the right one for sure.



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14 Responses to Lambing Update March 10th 2019

  1. Glad you had such a good season with only a small amount of loss. We never breed anything with defects either, including extra teats. Best should be bred to best and the flock will continue to thrive and produce well. When you start bending on things, even minor things, the quality of the flock disintegrates rapidly.

    • Me too.. I am still waiting on the one ewe to lamb but she is young and I am only expecting a single, we will see.. she looks good so far, I think she got caught on the last breeding cycle is my guess. I totally agree with you, I have heard all the excuses from my friends, but I like the mother, but its the color I want, but its the pattern I like but I need to keep that line despite it have this or that issue.. over and over again.. .. But .. BUT..

      Nope, NOPE.. we can breed in good traits just as easily as we can bad or poor ones.. Sadly I find the smaller the breeding program the more likely folks will allow faults in their lines. It’s a very hard thing to have years where none of the babies make the grade and I have had it happen to me..

      Other years like this one, I have four that currently meet all my Keep Back/Grow out conditions.. I am not sure I want four more ewes on the farm, which will make this a very hard choice indeed.. we will see.. lots to think about and talk over with hubby.

  2. mariazannini says:

    re: he was peeing out his cord area instead of his man part…
    Well, I learn something new everyday. I’ve never heard of this. Thank you for updating us.

    Kidding has been stressful this year, but I think we’re done now. Thank God.

    • You and me both, it was right there in my medical book but I had never seen it before and If friends over the years had it happen, I never heard them talk about it.. Sorry to hear that your kidding has been stressful but glad you are in the tail end of it as well.

  3. Silveryew says:

    Thank you for the update. I’m glad it’s been an ok season, despite everything.

    I understand that you don’t want to breed on with anything even small. My sister does the same as they don’t buy any livestock but have made their own herd, choosing what traits to focus on. Both physical and mental characteristics count for us. Sure a cow might be a good milker but if she’s vicious or has a temper, we can’t justify passing that on, both for their safety and the safety of the farm hand they have come and help out.

  4. Widdershins says:

    Ah, poor babies, and poor you for having to kill them, but it is as you say, for the best. You have a strong heart and a good Spirit. 🙂

    • Strange, I had to really mull this comment for min.. I always think of “kill” as a perfectly healthy animal that is being killed so that I can process them, When a critter is not healthy, I think of helping them cross over with less suffering.. I will need to mull this more.. you are right.. the word fits both and yet I have a difference in my mind.. interesting..

      Yes, poor little ones and its always a hard thing..

      • Widdershins says:

        I, too thought about whether I should use the word ‘kill’ because you seldom if ever use it yourself, but it felt honest to me, and not some polite euphemism for what is simply a fact of life.
        Our modern culture has shied so far away from death that there is a gaping void in it’s place that none dare tread in for fear of being swallowed up by their fears.
        Which is not to say that death is the end of anything, it’s merely the next step on a great adventure. 🙂

      • Fair point, I say it in real life but not on the blog.. I remember writing that I was going to be killing a chicken and butchering it when I first started blogging and someone wrote and commented, that I needed to get with the lingo.. it was freezer camping it.. It made me laugh to be honest.. and it has stuck with me. Its a fair point, I do believe that the spirit does move on, that is part of the reason, at times I feel its lingering and I will stop and talk to it and shoo it onward and upward to be born again.

      • Widdershins says:

        Heh, I can just see you ‘shooing’ them. 😀

  5. Pingback: Farmgal’s All Seeing Eye 2019- March Update | Just another Day on the Farm

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