Jkorpi

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How long should it be between my ewe giving birth to my first and second lamb? It has been a little over an hour and I'm not sure if I should be worried. thank you
 

Mike CHS

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Are you sure she has another lamb? Is she still having contractions? Has she started passing the placenta? It's unusual they go more than an hour between lambs unless there's trouble.
I was going to ask that question also. I have seen ours literally have them minutes apart but normally 10-20 minutes but I have also seen them take an hour plus a few minutes.
 

Jkorpi

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I was going to ask that question also. I have seen ours literally have them minutes apart but normally 10-20 minutes but I have also seen them take an hour plus a few minutes.
She ended up not having another lamb. Vet came and checked. Maybe a little inexperienced on my end. The placenta sure looked like another bubble bag coming out. Thank you for responding!!
 

Sheepshape

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Phew.....panic over. Up to an hour is the stated time in most articles on sheep, but I've had ewes go as long as 4 hours with a perfectly healthy second lamb born at the end.

My ewes are scanned, so I have a good idea of how many lambs to expect, though there are a few false positives and negatives. If a ewe hasn't produced her second lamb after about 45 minutes, particularly if the sac has come down, then I examine the ewe. More often than not there is a 'rump first' birth which can take a bit longer and needs to be delivered quickly as the lamb can inhale and die whilst being born. Other forms of malpresentation also slow the birth process down and may need sorting out. If a ewe has passed the second sac and is pushing hard, but nothing is appearing, the she needs examining straight away as it is likely that something is amiss. A second lamb is usually born much quicker than the first as the passages have already been stretched by the first lamb.

Never be afraid to put a very clean (or gloved), short-nailed and lubricated hand in there!

Good Luck.
 

Ridgetop

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As is usual for us, we have now had 2 ewes that produced lambs 12 hours after the first one! This is NOT usual for lambing.

The first time was about 20 years ago. We had a large Suffolk ewe that had been given to us to raise market lambs for the Fair. She was ENORMOUS with a basketball sized udder. The first lamb was born in late afternoon/early evening. A single HUGE ewe lamb. Placenta passed. We were shocked since she was still huge. I scrubbed up and went in but no other lambs were present. Strange, but this is the world of livestock. The next morning, over 14 hours later DS3 came up from milking to tell me that the ewe was having another lamb. I went down, thinking he was wrong. Nope! He was right. Twin ram lambs, normal sized, were born. She raised them all. Since I had gone all the way inside her, and there was no lamb present, and she had passed the afterbirth, I figure that she had a second pregnancy in her second uterine horn. This was obviously designed on her part to confound us. She was a sheep! They can be devious!

The second time it happened was in March of this year. Another single birth and placenta. Next morning about 16 hours later another single ram lamb was born and another placenta produced. Obviously another double pregnancy in each horn. Another tricky ewe!

However, most ewes and does that have kidded here (in the hundreds of times) have all produced their babies within 45 minutes of each other unless they were tangled or it was a malpresentation. I just rearranged the various parts, and out they usually popped. There are always exceptions, but normal kidding and lambing gives the mom time to clean the first baby off before the second one is born. If you need to speed up things for some reason, remove the first baby and mama will get on with business.

Knowing if there is a second baby inside can be tricky However, often the ewe will strain with no result. She will look preoccupied and often ignore her lamb or kid. There is no need to worry unless the straining goes on for an hour with no results, then definitely get in and check things out.

Congratulations on your first lambing! :yesss:
 
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