Was offered some sheep..

Girlies' Mum

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The ewe that lambed this morning kept close to a dead fall tree. I've noticed that a couple of the ewes have their lambs up in that dead fall. Maybe because they are prey, they are trying to hide their lambs? :idunno It was 28F this morning. I was cold. I never saw the lamb shiver. His momma did a good job of licking him clean, he got right up and got a warm belly full of colostrum.

@Girlies' Mum during our recent "snow" I had a ewe that lambed in the open either in the night or early morning. I went outside and found a new born! I carried the lamb to the shelter and the ewe stayed there for the day. The ewe this morning insisted on keeping her lamb apart from the flock and would not go to the shelter. I am still pretty new to this, the little nuances of the different ewes behavior is interesting to say the least.

2,000 ewes lambing! Wow, I am impressed. Will you start a thread on the lambing? Please tag me so I don't miss it!
I hasten to add I don't personally lamb all 2000! Indeed my presence is a bit of a drop in the ocean, but I do lamb so many I lose count, that's for sure. Maybe 4 in an hour at "peak" times if everyone else has gone for lunch! Most of the care is welfare feeding and watering the Mums and cleaning their pens etc. The Pet Pen reached 120 last year (though they did take some lambs from other farms). Will definitely post some pics and explanations - it is a different world.
Here's my proudest from last year - a lamb successfully put on a sheep lambing a singleton. if we have a singleton about to lamb, we get a lamb from the pet pen and wipe the membranes all over it at the time of the single lambs birth, and then give the pet lamb to the ewe to lick the membranes off - very often the ewe will take the pet lamb too. We put P on the ewe and on the put-on lamb, so they can be watched extra carefully. Doesn't always work, but it often does - and hey presto, new Mum for an orphan! This was my first Put on Lamb that I did on my own, so very proud of them! The other one is a frequent occurrence when the lamb doesn't understand that Mum may stand up!
 

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Baymule

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Those are tiny little pens! I guess it helps foster the lambs if the ewe has nowhere to go to get away from it. It does sound like a whole different world, can't wait to see and hear more of it!
 

wolf

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One thing I noticed different, between the sheep I have now and the goats I had previously - is their ability to stand UP and browse on trees and shrubs is different. Where my goats could stand upright like deer and clean off trees 6-ft. in the air - the sheep have trouble reaching that high, something about their body structure, and will only limb-up trees about 4-ft high. If they get to anything higher, they need something to act as a step-stool - caught my ewe using a lawn-chair I left under a tall shrub for shade when I sat out there. Both are great for cleaning scrub, but with the sheep I have to clip and toss away any berry-canes with thorns - they eat the leaves, but don't like the stickers from the canes. The ewe gets up the house steps, but can't seem to get down the same way - jumps off the top step to the ground instead. As for the ram, he's totally more ornery than my buck goat used to be - the buck was a sweetheart, would love on me like a dog... the ram I gotta watch for, or keep him too close to me for a charge. The only time he doesn't think about challenging me, is when I have his feed-bucket in hand. He's leaving for freezer-camp later this week.
 

Girlies' Mum

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Those are tiny little pens! I guess it helps foster the lambs if the ewe has nowhere to go to get away from it. It does sound like a whole different world, can't wait to see and hear more of it!
There are lots of things about commercial farming that break my heart, despite the fact that my neighbour is definitely one of the most welfare conscious farmers - indeed his wife is a vet. The main reason I helped was initially to get lots of sheepie experience quickly so I wasn't so ignorant with mine - though that still stands, my main reason nowadays is to try to help ensure that the welfare of the sheep in the pens (food/water/clean straw/looking out for lambs that aren't coping etc) doesn't get overlooked in the rush. Yes the pens are small, but they are only in there for one or 2 days usually - there are about 100. They get fed on mainly feed concentrate and turnips with a bit of silage which they adore, which is maybe some consolation.

The alternative is leave them all in the fields (as another neighbour does and I believe is usual in New Zealand) and let nature take its course - you need bigger flocks and there is a massively higher mortality of both ewes and lambs. I personally can't handle that.

Will start a new thread when lambing starts!
 

Reindeermama

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Just throwing this in. I assume everyone has read the story about the sheep in England where they keep getting out to eat grass at the village green.(I love it, so I'll write it down just in case) The farmer shored up his fences, but had a cattle guard. They were still getting out to eat at the village green. Farmer didn't know how. The sheep(someone finally saw) were laying down and rolling over the cattle guard to get the nicely maintained village green. Lol...I tell that to anyone who says sheep are dumb. An older cattle rancher told me I didn't want sheep, they were too dumb. So I told him this, and got quite a kick out of the expression on his face. You can confirm it by looking it up on the internet.
 

Girlies' Mum

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Just throwing this in. I assume everyone has read the story about the sheep in England where they keep getting out to eat grass at the village green.(I love it, so I'll write it down just in case) The farmer shored up his fences, but had a cattle guard. They were still getting out to eat at the village green. Farmer didn't know how. The sheep(someone finally saw) were laying down and rolling over the cattle guard to get the nicely maintained village green. Lol...I tell that to anyone who says sheep are dumb. An older cattle rancher told me I didn't want sheep, they were too dumb. So I told him this, and got quite a kick out of the expression on his face. You can confirm it by looking it up on the internet.
My biggest darling, Blackberry (my current avatar) can open plastic feed bins that are sealed. She hits the side of the plastic bin with her head till the cover pops off then uses her teeth to fully remove it.

She can also open gates (that have just a chain) which is simply a pain!

Not stupid...
 
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