Lambing Shelter?

KWhitted

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I rescued five dorper sheep last month. Two rams and three pregnant females (two of them VERY PG). We quarantined them for two weeks per the advice of out vet. They are ready to go out back to the back 7 acres but should I keep the females in a smaller, separate shelter until after birthing? We have a donkey out back but no guard dog.
 

Sheepshape

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Personally I'd keep them back until they have lambed. You can intervene if there are any lambing problems and make sure that the newborn lamb(s), which are very vulnerable to predators in their first few hours, are both safe and feeding well. You can easily check that the ewe has colostrum after she has given birth, dip the lamb's cord in iodine (to reduce navel and joint ill) and check that the afterbirth is expelled. Heavily pregnant and lactating ewes benefit from supplementation with ewe nuts and won't have to compete with a pair of feisty rams.

Though housed sheep theoretically can pick up more infection at lambing, good hygiene will pretty much eliminate this.
 

Baymule

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Being hair Sheep, they can get bred back as soon as 1 1/2 months after lambing. I myself was negligent in getting the ram out and have an “oops” in the lot right now. Poor girl needs a good rest. My fault. 100% my fault.

Please keep the rams separated from the ewes until they are ready to breed again.

With 3 ewes, you might want to only keep one ram. You can sell one or take to slaughter. I’ve taken 3-4 year old rams to slaughter and found the meat to just fine. I just changed the ram’s name to Ramburger. LOL
 

KWhitted

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Three of the sheep (young ram and two 2 y/o ewes) are pure white and very loving. They actually act like dogs and want to sit on you and be loved. My big boy ram I was told is 2 years old and the other only 10 months. The Big Boy (Hercules - because he is huge) is a black face and will let you pet his nose but is skittish otherwise and then there is a 1 y/o black face female that is bred. The plan is to "share them with my neighbor but they are all so sweet Im afraid I won't be able to let any of them go.

I've got a birthing pen all set up for the girls. The previous owner couldn't tell me anything other than they were bred so I have been doing a lot of reading and watching youtube to become more familiar with the process. Ive got a lambing kit ready to go as well just in case assistance is needed. We live in Central Texas so Im not too worried about the weather right now.

@Baymule thanks for the breed back info. I wasn't aware of that. I definitely want to give the girls a break.
 

Sheepshape

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Now, KWhitted, you are new to the site, and it's great you're here, but first rule is Post Pics. , we all love pics. and especially pics. when we have to try to guess things ....like due date, number of lambs expected etc. A pic. of Hercules would be great, too.

Average sheep gestation is 147 days, which doesn't help a lot if you don't know when they were bred!

Take pics. of the girls from a number of angles and pics of their udders and lady parts will help us to guess the due date. Feel to see if there is a sunken area either side of the tail, too,as this indicates that they are close to birth.

Exciting times.
 

KWhitted

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8FF5440B-1F0D-4126-B21C-43104A793B92.jpeg 5FACA4AC-EBEF-4A5F-94DC-B626F741C154.jpeg
Hercules (Ram-Bo is to his right in the first pic. He is 10 months old)
5D916AFF-1C8D-4125-9A2F-8A7CC3B94B66.jpeg F9AA0C57-7274-48E6-8A3F-90EB7BD600AD.jpeg
Bluebell. 1 y/o First birth
AD9DABFF-735A-405F-844A-0F8D3C13CFC2.jpeg image.png
Priscilla (2 y/o this is her 3rd birth)
 

Sheepshape

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Both boys are 'well built' for sure.....Hercules has testicles down to his knees!

Priscilla looks to have a pretty well developed udder, but her vulva usually would be a bit redder and more swollen if she were 'imminent'......watch out for a mucus plug from the cervix which would mean that the cervix is beginning to open.

Scarlet probably has a bit longer to go and may well develop quite a large udder if she has had two sets of lambs before. She will also develop little 'hollows' either side of her tail as the lamb(s) 'drop' into the birth canal.

First timers are always a bit more difficult as they often develop their udders quite late in the day.

They look nice sheep.

 

KWhitted

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I was told by the previous owner that Priscilla throws twins and Scarlet singles. But we will see. I just want them to be healthy and safe. :)

I believe Priscilla was bred back pretty quick because a mountain lion attacked her and killed her babies. Or so I was told. I have been walking them out to the back 7 acres everyday and letting them stay for about 6 hours then I bring them back up front. There are tons of trees but for some reason it seem to get hotter back there. The boys stay by their side. Ram-Bo is an attention hound and rubs against me the whole way back. And yes Hercules is "Well Hung". My 17 y/o says it looks painful :)
 

Baymule

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Just to let you know.....ram lambs can breed the ewes as soon as 2 months old. :\ For that reason I generally castrate at two weeks and name them Dinner.

My "oops" ram lamb is 1 month, 1 day old. I think I'm going to give him to a neighbor to start his own sheep flock with. He comes from one of my best ewes and the neighbor could use him for a couple of years, take to slaughter, then get another ram lamb from me from our new ram. But anyway......just to illustrate how critical it is to keep the rams separated....this little stinker at twenty-eight days old had his nose all up in one of the ewe's business. :thShe is butting him away, but he comes right back. I have to get him and his mom out of there, then wean at 2 months.
 

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