purplequeenvt - Lambs 2017

purplequeenvt

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This is our 2nd year breeding a few ewes for fall lambs. I don't remember off the top of my head how many we bred last year, but this year we exposed 10 and 6 settled.

It's a little tricky since our breeds don't usually breed out of season. We used CIDRs and PG600 to get them cycling. Last year we had twins and singles, but this year the ewes were given BoSe (we are in a selenium deficient area) prior to breeding.

They were due yesterday and 2 lambed right on schedule.

The first ewe, Shirley (a 2 1/2 yo Border Leicester) had twin ewes early in the morning. This was her first lambing. She did not get bred as a yearling and this was her chance to redeem herself. Safe to say she did.

The 2nd ewe, Jane, is also 2 1/2 yo BL. She had twins this spring. She gave us 2 white ewe lambs and a black ram lamb last night. Yes, triplets!

A 3rd ewe seemed to be in labor last night, but didn't seem overly serious about it so we let her be. No hard pushing, no cervical dilation, no water bags. This morning she was pushing more, but there was still no dilation. After manually trying to dilate her for a while, she was making no progress. The decision was made to put her down and try to save the lamb.

For those curious about how/why this decision was made, there are several factors:

1) it's the weekend so having a vet out to do a c-section is very expensive.

2) c-sections are hard on sheep and the ewes often don't survive. There was no guarantee that the lamb was alive and we would either end up with a ewe that could never be bred again or a dead ewe with meat that we couldn't use due to the medications.

3) a terminal c-section obviously means the ewe dies. Still no guarantee that the lamb will live, but you don't have a dead ewe with unsalvagable meat. This option sucks, but is often the best option.

I am not at home (on a trip out of state to meet my new niece!) and this was my sister's sheep so she needed to make the decision. She chose terminal c-section. She had a neighbor who knows livestock and our BIL helping. They managed to save a really nice silver ewe lamb (there was only the one). The lamb was 12 lbs and was trying to come out sideways, hence the problems. Sad as she is, my sister knows she made the right choice. One life was saved and the ewe's carcass won't be wasted.

The lamb is doing extremely well and is now a house lamb, at least for the next few days.

FUN FACT:
The first 2 ewes (the twins and trips) were bred to the same ram. We had a heat wave (90+) right before the rams went. Despite the heat AND the fact that he had really bad pneumonia (106 fever when we found him sick) right before going in with the girls, he managed to settle all 3 of his ewes, has a 250% lambing rate and 4 were girls. We are still waiting on his 3rd ewe (a crossbred).

3 more to go. Freyja, a Shetland, Valarie, a cross, and another BL. I can never remember that ewe's name, but she's really fat so I call her the Obesity Queen.
 
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norseofcourse

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Congrats on the lambs!

That's a shame about the third ewe, that's got to be one of the hardest decisions to make. From what I've read you often end up with a dead lamb and ewe :( A live lamb and minimal suffering for the ewe is one of the best outcomes of a tough situation.

Hope the other ewes have no problems!
 

Latestarter

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Sorry your sister lost her ewe, but at least a replacement was saved. Isn't 12 pounds rather large? Grats on the successful breedings and the majority being ewes! Hope your luck holds! Grats on the new niece as well! Have an enjoyable and safe trip!
 

Bruce

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Hard decision but it sure looks to have been the right one.
 

purplequeenvt

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Sorry your sister lost her ewe, but at least a replacement was saved. Isn't 12 pounds rather large? Grats on the successful breedings and the majority being ewes! Hope your luck holds! Grats on the new niece as well! Have an enjoyable and safe trip!

It's large, but not overly so for the breed. We routinely have 14/15 lb lambs. The biggest issue in this case was the ewe's weight. She was too fat and with just the one big baby, there was enough space. 2 smaller lambs would have been better.
 

purplequeenvt

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The last 3 ewes all went in the last couple days.

Valarie (crossbred bred to BL) had boy/girl twins. The ewe lamb has something going on with her legs, but since I haven't seen her yet, I can't say what's up, with them yet. It could have something to do with the size of the mom vs lambs. Mom is tiny (she's part Shetland) and the babies were 12.5 and 8.5.

Nessie (BL) had black boy/girl twins.

Freyja had a gray katmoget (just like mom) ram and a black gulmoget (just like dad) ewe.

I will take pictures of everyone when I get home.
 

purplequeenvt

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I got home last night so that means it's PICTURE TIME! I might accidentally mislabel them.

These are the first set of girls.


One of the triplets


One of Shirley's girls (1st set)


Shirley and baby


Shirley's other girl


A triplet (the surviving girl)


Shirley's twins


L-R: Valarie's girl, Nessie's boy (I think), and the triplet girl


Nessie's boy


Thula, the bottle baby


Thula


Valarie's boy and one of the BLs, not sure which one


Valarie's boy


Freyja's boy, Garbanzo. We all thought he was black, but after looking at him today, I suspect he's actually brown (ignore the brown on his fleece, that is part of his pattern and not a signal of his genetic color).


Her girl (doesn't have a name yet) - black gulmoget






Baby teeth!
 

luvmypets

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Your killing me with these pics! They are so cute, I wanna snuggle the shetland :love
 

Bruce

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Too cute!!!! You sure they aren't stuffed animals??
 

norseofcourse

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Nice lambs! Is it easier to not get attached to the ones that all look alike?
 

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