Excessive mucus in pregnant ewe

sheep_scout

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He is sure she did not lamb, asked what I'm feeding her. Going to call in the morning to hopefully troubleshoot.

Could a drastic change-up in food cause this? She was being fed alfalfa hay, but since she's been here I've re-introduced her to spring grass (rye/clover/etc) and started her on a small amount of corn/alfalfa pellets. Plus free choice hay which I haven’t seen her touch.
 
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sheep_scout

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She is self-sucking. Caught her red-hooved with her head down there suspiciously but she stopped when I got close. Checked -and yep- both teats slimy and wet!

My first thought is getting a cone of shame for her? I do know this is a habit hard pressed to break. 😔
 

farmerjan

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Call the breeders, tell them you want to exchange her. You will never completely break her.

If the udder was tight when you first got her, there is a chance she did lamb before she came to your place and another ewe "took " her lamb... They do that often... or the lamb just went to another ewe and got something to drink and just stayed with her... it is more common in sheep that are kept in bigger groups. And some people will not realize that a ewe did not have all the lambs that they are claiming...

Or she dropped the lamb right after you got her home, it was dead or something got it and you never found a trace. That happens often too... unless they are in a very close watched small paddock.....where there is absolutely no way they could lamb and have it disappear...

Or third scenario... she was getting close, didn't like the pressure, and has found a way - self sucking - to relieve the pressure... and now has breached the possibility of the new lamb getting quality colostrum and such. Or for the lamb to even get enough to eat.
Unless you are right there, a ewe can lamb and all signs of the lambing can be gone in an hour or 2. That is part of nature's way to protect a birthing female from any more exposure to predators than is absolutely necessary... lamb, get it up, then they clean and move away from the area so scents of birthing are farther away from where the ewe takes the lamb to for safety .
 

sheep_scout

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Just got off the phone with the breeder. She gave me a few different options to think over including swapping her for another ewe/lamb pair that I was considering last time. Another option would be to just return her.
She also said although unlikely, it IS possible that Sherry lambed at the same time as another ewe because there was a ewe that dropped twins while she was gone.
It's all very disappointing because Sherry has been super sweet and doing great other than this big mystery! If she wasn't self-nursing I would opt to keep her and grow her out even if she did not have a lamb.
 

Ridgetop

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Call the breeders, tell them you want to exchange her. You will never completely break her.
Self-sucking s a cull fault in dairy animals and in any animal that needs to feed young. @farmerjan is right, you will never break her.

Even if you breed her again, she will nurse herself whenever her udder feels tight so the lambs will be deprived of milk and colostrum. They will not thrive or grow right.

You paid for a pregnant ewe. Return her and take the one with lambs. No matter how sweet she is, she will get less sweet as time goes on and she continues self-sucking. You will lose lambs with this behavior.
 

SageHill

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Just got off the phone with the breeder. She gave me a few different options to think over including swapping her for another ewe/lamb pair that I was considering last time. Another option would be to just return her.
She also said although unlikely, it IS possible that Sherry lambed at the same time as another ewe because there was a ewe that dropped twins while she was gone.
It's all very disappointing because Sherry has been super sweet and doing great other than this big mystery! If she wasn't self-nursing I would opt to keep her and grow her out even if she did not have a lamb.
If you like the sheep that the breeder has I’d definitely do the swap for a ewe lamb pair.
 

sheep_scout

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If you like the sheep that the breeder has I’d definitely do the swap for a ewe lamb pair.
That is what I think I am going to do... The ewe in question I do like, she is long-bodied and tall with a nice topline- also Dorset/Suffolk. The lamb is a very nice ewe lamb. The breeder was very kind about the whole situation and even offered to meet me halfway to swap sheep.
 
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