Pregnant?

Snowytails

Exploring the pasture
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Points
11
We are new to sheep. We have two Shetlands, an ewe and ram that were born in March....we've had them since late July. We are not sure if our ewe is pregnant. It's hard to tell what her belly looks like under all her wool. Are there any signs we should look for?
 

norseofcourse

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,653
Reaction score
2,159
Points
313
Location
NE Ohio
Welcome to BackyardHerds from Ohio - will she let you feel her udder? If she is pregnant it may be starting to swell a bit.

Do you have a place to separate the ram if need be? Sometimes a ram can be too rough for a pregnant sheep, or a new mom and lamb(s).
 

Latestarter

Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
11,384
Reaction score
17,465
Points
623
Location
NE Texas
Greetings and welcome to BYH. If they've been together the entire time since birth (March 2016?), it's a better than even bet that she's indeed pregnant. No idea when it happened so no idea when she'd be due. There's quite a bit of info and experiences shared on this site in the lambing threads and other sheep threads. Browse around and make yourself at home. If you have questions, by all means ask! We have a great group of very helpful Sheeple here and they'll try to help as best they can.
 

Ponker

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
194
Reaction score
224
Points
163
Location
North Central Arkansas
Since Shetland Sheep are seasonal breeders with the ewes coming into season in October or November, I'd say that your ewe is probably pregnant. Back calculating with the earliest date of October 1, she'd be due at the end of February. I agree with norseofcourse with separating the ram. The ewe carries the lamb lower in her belly toward birthing time. Her bag, being a first timer may not swell as much but the teats should distend.

Here is a good publication for signs to look for.
 

Attachments

  • Lambing Signs.pdf
    51.1 KB · Views: 116

purplequeenvt

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
2,061
Points
333
Location
Rineyville, KY
From my personal experience with Shetlands, I would guess that if she's pregnant, she'd be due in March. My ewes rarely start cycling prior to the middle of October.

I know of some people that have early (January/February) Shetland lambs, but it's not as common. My ewes were put in with a ram on Labor Day and I know that 3 of them didn't go into heat until November and are due beginning of April.

Her vulva will swell and puff a little, but it's not nearly as obvious as with larger "commercial" breeds. I'd keep an eye on the udder. That's going to be you most accurate sign.

You could also have a blood test run or have your vet do an ultrasound.
 

Bossroo

True BYH Addict
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
1,416
Reaction score
636
Points
221
Just for your information ,since we don't know where you live, the first heat of the year for wool sheep on the WEST coast of this country starts in Mid July and into August. While the hair sheep breeds will breed off season / year round.​
 

Latest posts

Top