1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Update on our 4 piggies - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

Oh dear... ewes being prep'd for slaughter might be pregnant

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sheep' started by shepherdO, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Aug 24, 2019
    shepherdO

    shepherdO Overrun with beasties

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Okanagan area of British Columbia
    Oh dear. We'd earmarked two older ewes for slaughter at the end of October and I've had one separated for fattening up over the next couple months. I just added the other to the same pen today, with, (yes, I know you're going to think/say I'm an idiot) my lovely, newly purchased texel ram lamb. He's not quite 5 months old, and I guess I was banking on the likelihood that he had a bit of maturing to do, and also that the ewes wouldn't be cycling yet in late August.

    Well, today as I was heading out I noticed some white residue on the vulva of one of the ewes... I was in a bit of a dilemma, but I thought that as this point, if she'd already been bred, I might as well apply some raddle marker to the ram this evening to at least have some clear evidence of breeding. As I was doing this and explaining to my son why we were doing this, he mentioned that he'd seem some white residue on the OTHER ewe that I just put in this morning.

    Arrgghh... yes, yes, yes, I know that rams can breed early and I know I was being incredibly risky keeping them all together. Anyhoo, I'll hopefully find out tomorrow whether or not the ewes are being bred (via raddle stains).

    My question now is: should I keep them and try to get some lambs out of them, or should I continue with the slaughter plans? They're already booked in for Oct. 29. Things I'm weighing:

    CONS re: LAMBING THEM OUT
    * this would mean a mi-January birth, the coldest time of the year in BC. Lots of cold, and -20C or colder weather
    * both moms are old, and they had dismal experiences last year - 25% lambing success rate between them. I'd have to really manage their feed wisely so as not to get huge lambs this year
    * at least one of them is showing her age (6-7 i believe)
    * I wouldn't have as much freezer meat :)
    * I didn't really get a chance to flush them, which would be good as twins would mean smaller lambs.

    PROS re: LAMBING THEM OUT
    * They'd maybe/(hopefully?) handle labour a bit better the second time, being already 'stretched out' a bit
    * I don't like the idea of sending them for slaughter when they'd be 2 months pregnant - almost halfway...
    * I'd hopefully get some lambs out of them. They're great looking suffolk/rambouillets, and the labs that they had (3 didn't make it through labour) were stunning - I mean, absolutely stunning.

    What d'yall think? Has anyone purposely sent pregnant ewes to slaughter?

    Thanks for your thoughts. Man, it's been a tough weekend. More on that in another thread...
     
  2. Aug 25, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    15,060
    Likes Received:
    34,132
    Trophy Points:
    793
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    2 months along.….I don't think I could. We can all weigh in with our thoughts and opinions, but the ultimate decision is yours. The fact that you are struggling with it shows me that you are uncomfortable with it.

    Don't beat yourself on putting the ram with them, we all have a few "oops" hanging around. You may make mistakes, but I bet you don't make this one again.
     
    mysunwolf and B&B Happy goats like this.
  3. Aug 25, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    6,400
    Likes Received:
    9,682
    Trophy Points:
    543
    If it were me....I'd give them a chance. But, I'm just that way - I would be worried that "the best lamb EVER" was just waiting inside to get a chance.

    But, a smaller feed bill and meat in the freezer is a good option too. See - I'm no help at all!
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  4. Aug 25, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,534
    Likes Received:
    6,075
    Trophy Points:
    378
    Location:
    S coastal VA
    First -- I would confirm IF they were pregnant, not just being bred. I'd move the ram lamb until then.

    If pregnant you would definitely need to BE THERE TO ASSIST...otherwise, why even let them carry? If pregnant and you don't feel you can be there at lambing, abort now.

    Just my own thoughts on being a caregiver & farm management.
    Yeah, I'm pretty direct but, sometimes we need this. :)
     
    mysunwolf and B&B Happy goats like this.
  5. Aug 25, 2019
    Roving Jacobs

    Roving Jacobs Seeing Spots

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    695
    Trophy Points:
    203
    Location:
    NE OH
    Personally I'd remove the ram, give them a dose of lutelyse in 10 days and send them to slaughter as planned. Lambing out ewes with a history of complications in January doesn't sound like something I'd want any part of. Even if they have beautiful daughters are they going to be hard to lamb too? You chose to cull these ewes for a reason, they could be feeding your family this winter instead of being a drain on your resources.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2019
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,817
    Likes Received:
    6,493
    Trophy Points:
    443
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I’m not a sheep person but that was my thinking as well…