Weeks away from lambing? Maybe not!

BSue

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Okay, so I recently joined the forum today! Yay! :welcome

Because I wanted to ask your advice on something. According to my guesstimate, my ewe Esther is a minimum three weeks away from lambing. Her udders are ssslllllooooowwwllllyyy bagging up. But today I noticed some significant change in her vulva, it's swollen. I know that ewes start to get themselves and their bodies ready for lambing but so soon? Or is my guesstimate off? I know that you love pictures so here you are.

IMG_20190903_130215.jpg IMG_20190903_130028.jpg

Any insight would be appreciated. :D =D
 

Sheepshape

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Welcome to the forum.

Ewe gestation is an average of 147 days with the range 140-150 days (approx.). Vulval swelling can be anything from 2 weeks before lambing. Esther's udder looks like she's a bit of a way to go yet, but first-timers may only 'bag up' on the day of giving birth.

Here's the rear view of a ewe who went into labour shortly after the pic. This girl's udder felt hot and congested (as is normal by the end of pregnancy)

big udder.jpg


Esther doesn't look like she's 'dropped' around the tail area, but wool breeds hide things....feel for a hollow either side of the tail. Not easily seen on my ewe either.

Good Luck.
 

BSue

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Welcome to the forum.

Ewe gestation is an average of 147 days with the range 140-150 days (approx.). Vulval swelling can be anything from 2 weeks before lambing. Esther's udder looks like she's a bit of a way to go yet, but first-timers may only 'bag up' on the day of giving birth.

Here's the rear view of a ewe who went into labour shortly after the pic. This girl's udder felt hot and congested (as is normal by the end of pregnancy)

View attachment 65867

Esther doesn't look like she's 'dropped' around the tail area, but wool breeds hide things....feel for a hollow either side of the tail. Not easily seen on my ewe either.

Good Luck.

Thank you @Sheepshape, very informative and thank you for the picture as well. I agree that Esther has some time left, but I was taken aback at the vulval swelling. According to my guesstimate we are on day 120. Now it's just a waiting game. :pop
 

Sheepshape

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but I was taken aback at the vulval swelling
I think it depends a lot on where the placenta and the lamb are (obstruction to lymphatic and blood supply). Try not to concern yourself....she's just trying to worry you!
 

BSue

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@Sheepshape
I have another concern today. I have noticed that over the past three days Esther's poo has become mushy and soft and a lighter brown color. Is this normal in pregnant ewes?
 

mysunwolf

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@Sheepshape
I have another concern today. I have noticed that over the past three days Esther's poo has become mushy and soft and a lighter brown color. Is this normal in pregnant ewes?

That's usually due to an increase in protein! Have you changed their feed or is your weather shifting/getting a lot of rain?
 

Sheepshape

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Is this normal in pregnant ewes?
As mysunwolf says, usually a dietary change, but as the lamb moves into the birth canal the bowel can be squeezed and need to a bit of loose bowels.

Just thinking.....have you wormed Esther recently?. A ewe's resistance to worms drops off in the few weeks prior to and during birthing. The ewe's immune system downgrades so she does not recognise 'foreign bodies'....her lambs....and immunological rejection occur. During the few weeks before birth (and steadily increasing to the time of delivery) foetal cells are entering the maternal circulation via the placenta, and this relative loss of the immune response prevents her body from recognising the foetus as 'alien' and in need of rejection. Unfortunately other foreign proteins , like parasites, are not dealt with so well, either. I worm most of my ewes when they come into the shed to lamb.

Good luck with the lambing and let us know how Esther and her lamb(s) fare.
 

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