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What is Wrong with the Old Girl?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sheep' started by Sheepshape, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. Apr 19, 2014
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape Loving the herd life

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    Longface is over 10. She has had a small flock (estimated at 26 ) of lambs in her time. Last year she had quads,but her milk failed and all ended up having to be artificially reared.

    Last autumn she was retired....kept with the lambs too small to go to the ram. Always a 'big' girl......well fat, really, I noticed she was getting even bigger a couple of weeks ago. She has had just the rather poor pasture and not very good silage for food all winter. She has continued to expand.

    I checked her udder a couple of days ago.....pretty flat, wrinkly old lady's bag. Checking again today, it looks a bit firmer, teats filling and pointing a bit.

    Is the old lady pregnant? Pseudocyesis?

    My lambing finished over two weeks ago.She has never been exposed to our rams at all this season. A neighbour's ram jumped the fence to our land,but he was in the field with my pregnant ladies. Could he have visited the 'dry ewes' as well?

    What do you think? IMG_9026.jpg IMG_9020.jpg She definitely doesn't have bloat,seems very well, is eating VERY well and has been calling to us from her field for a few days (a very tame old girl who uses this tactic to beg for food).

    I really don't know if she is 'in lamb', but she looks it. I have separated off from the 'dry' ewes and put her with ewes and lambs who are receiving regular feeds. (She will be fine with lambs as she always played the 'earth mother/aunty role in past years).
     
  2. Apr 25, 2014
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape Loving the herd life

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    As nobody responded I am attaching another pic. from yesterday.

    Any change? Seeing her daily makes it very difficult for me to decide.

    IMG_9046.jpg

    Bottom left is the blurred image of Gordon my Naked Neck cockerel running for the biscuit crumbs with which I persuaded old Longface to stand still.
     
  3. Apr 25, 2014
    promiseacres

    promiseacres True BYH Addict

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    wow... she sure "Looks" pregnant to me! I'd keep an eye on her.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2014
    bcnewe2

    bcnewe2 Loving the herd life

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    I had the same issue this winter. My old girl couldn't have been bred she had lambs on her. I worried and fretted all winter thinking she had hay belly or parasites even after worming. At 5 months and 1 week from her last lambing she popped out tiny twins. So much for hay belly. Her twins were perfect and tiny. Did I mention tiny? I had fed low quality hay and not much grain and they spent the better part of winter staying in the barn out of the "polar vortex".

    If there's a chance at all she sure does look pregnant. Are you going to shear soon. You could really see better without all that wool
     
    promiseacres likes this.
  5. Apr 25, 2014
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for the responses.....I have felt her udder again today and it is growing and quite warm.....not an old lady's bag.

    It is still pretty cold here at night and we usually don't shear until July,but I'll probably 'crutch' her a bit. She is a local breed of sheep (Beulah Speckled Face) and they are very woolly mountain sheep. Howveer, there is still a whole lot of ewe under the fleece.

    Did you ever discover the father bcnewe2 ?We kept her well away from our rams I have never seen a 'visiting' ram in her field,but the old beggar has a twinkle in her eye! We DID find a ram of the neighbour's in with our pregnant ewes a while back. This guy had an injured foot and had had to jump at least two fences to get to the pregnant ewes.Maybe his foot injury was from jumping other fences....like into the 'dry' ewe field. Our fences are about 4 feet high,but some of them can jump this easily.

    She has recently been wormed very thoroughly as we had wormed her once and then had an outbreak of scab and she had a second injectable treatment,so I'm sure it's not worms.

    Being a tame old girl,I have had a good feel of her belly and it has the feel of a pregnancy....I'm unable to get my arms around her fully, and I have long arms.

    Her appetite is excellent and she seems very well.I'm keeping her close to the barn now with a sick lamb and her mum and the bottle lambs. She will come in at night with them. I'm giving her food as though she is having triplets (as this is the smallest number she has ever had!) The grass is growing well now.

    Time will tell. I'll take pics. of her again for comparison in a few days.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2014
    HoneyDreameMomma

    HoneyDreameMomma Loving the herd life

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    I'm not a sheep expert, but based on the pics you've posted, she does seem to be getting bigger. I vote for pregnant! Definitely keep us posted. :pop
     
  7. Apr 25, 2014
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    You will definitely have to keep us posted on this old girl. She is beautiful, BTW.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2014
    alsea1

    alsea1 Loving the herd life

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    LOL, I guess she decide to come out of retirement
     
  9. Apr 26, 2014
    BrownSheep

    BrownSheep Lost in the flock

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    I remember Longface from last year!
    Some ladies just like being a mommy too much. Hope it works out well for you.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2014
    bcnewe2

    bcnewe2 Loving the herd life

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    I knew who the father was. My ram. I had lent him out and he left in November but the strange part for me was that he bred them back within a week or less of giving birth. I hear now that's not really uncommon but it is for us and I have always let my ram run with my ewes full time unless he's on loan. For us, normal is breeding back at about 3 to 4 months not immediately.
    Since your oldster looks so much like she's bred I'd be doing just what you're doing and feed her as if she is. You can cut back later if you figure out she's not.
    I do love good surprises!