The Bayou Gardener

General Category => Livestock => Topic started by: MikeM on February 12, 2019, 06:00:00 PM

Title: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on February 12, 2019, 06:00:00 PM
I thought I had posted some lamb pictures but since I didn't I'll post some here.  We had 8 ewes in the lambing pen and had two that delivered big singles and the other 6 had twins For a total of 8 rams and 6 ewes.  The other 12 are due in another month and like I mentioned in the other thread, lambing got delayed while we were trying to get our parasite load under control.   We culled heavy in late summer and went from 45 down to 20 breeders.

The pictures around the creep feeder were taken this afternoon.  The black lamb in one of the pictures is the one that had the weak pasterns and she is perfectly normal now.

The last picture of the little ewe is one of the ewes that we had a hard time getting them gone which is why she is smaller than the others but she will catch up in the next months.  She has had so much handling that she is more pet like than the rest even though none of them are on the wild side any longer.  We got her from a dry lot situation which the sellers didn't divulge but we found out from another source.  As a result her immune system wasn't as strong as it should be so she just about got eat up with Barber Pole worms. We have tested fecal samples on her 3 times in the last month and she is well under acceptable range.  She is a sweetheart so we will take the time to make sure she stays healthy.

Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Double B on February 12, 2019, 08:30:19 PM
I am sorry to hear about all of the parasite troubles but it sounds like you got it handled in time. The lambs are beautiful and I hope the rest that are due next month are as happy and healthy as these. Thank you for letting us ride along on this journey with you.

Double B
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on February 13, 2019, 09:17:30 AM
MikeM----all so cute and so fortunate to have you taking such good care of them!!
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on February 26, 2019, 11:07:36 AM
We can actually walk out in the fields today without wearing Muck boots. The lambs are growing like weeds and a couple of the bigger ones are having a bit of trouble getting their heads into the creep feeder. They have just about ran out of grass in the paddock they are in so if I'm going to be outside for awhile I just open a gate and let them out on the "lawn" around the house. If they start getting too far away I can usually get them back in by just walking down toward the shop.

I wish our cows were as easy to move around.  :)
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on February 26, 2019, 03:07:28 PM
They got in some pretty lush grass below the house and got so excited they almost broke into a trot to get as much as they could.  To get them back under control I had to get Lance to turn them back and then to hold them in the yard.  I let them eat for around 20 minutes and wanting to have a bunch of scours tomorrow I put them back in where they just lay down in the shade of a tree.  As much as the sheep trust me they want nothing to do with that wolf like creature stalking around them.  :)

Holding sheep isn't a job that Lance likes at all as he would rather be pushing them on a drive. :)


Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Maggie13 on February 26, 2019, 04:57:08 PM
Thanks Mike! I always enjoy seeing pictures of your homestead your sheep and your dogs. I can see a little cartoon bubble over Lance saying "Go ahead make my day and take off running. I dare you"
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on February 27, 2019, 06:45:41 AM
MikeM.....They have really grown, and as Maggie indicated , Lance is just itchin"!!
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on February 27, 2019, 06:51:00 AM
Lance is so intense he will start shaking if I don't tell him to go one way or the other.  He has so much natural talent that I always feel guilty that he hasn't gotten enough work to let him reach his potential.  We originally got our first couple of sheep to let the dogs work but then it changed to the point that the sheep became the reason for everything. :)
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on February 27, 2019, 07:01:20 AM
Such an amazing and intense inner drive in those dogs....and always so fascinating to watch.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on March 23, 2019, 04:56:50 PM
Lance is getting more work this spring than ever and is getting more proficient fast. The pasture grass hasn't greened up a lot but my neighbor has several acres of grass this is nice cool season grass but is not fenced.  I have started letting the sheep out of the pasture and sending him up the driveway to keep them from getting off the farm.  It works great since when I'm ready for them to come in I just walk in the field with my bucket of feed.  The next group of breeders about ready to start lambing in a week and the first group will be weaning in a few days.

On a sadder note, one of our guardian dogs went whacko the other day and attacked my ram and at least two and possibly three of our registered ewes.  My wife (Teresa) called the dogs into the side pen and closed the gate on them so I could bring the girls in to check them out.  It just happened that our vet was out to do a Health Cert for Ringo (our ram) who is soon going to his Forever Home in Texas. He is getting to old to service numbers as large as our so I found him a nice easy retirement home.  As soon as the gate closed the Akbash attacked my girl Maisy and battled her literally into submission and stood with his from paws on her chest.  He wouldn't budge when Teresa went in to order him off and he even lunged at her.  She had the sense to get out and by that time I arrived and went in to break it up.  He growled at me but my foot is as fast as his head and in this case I won.  I hated to do it but I put him down the next day.  I have never seen a dog act that viciously after never (or rarely) showing much agressiveness in the past.  He started getting more aggressive about a month ago so I had some tests run with negative results.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Maggie13 on March 24, 2019, 04:40:34 AM
I am sorry to hear you had to make that hard decision regarding Thor.(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Smilies/i-KsBnXKb/0/a550ac4a/O/hug2.gif)

An aggressive dog is not something I would want to deal with.

Can I assume the sheep he attacked are recovering?
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Double B on March 24, 2019, 08:56:31 PM
I hate to hear this Mike as I know we all get emotionally attached to our animals. My next door neighbor at the lake noticed his big male German Shepherd becoming aggressive last week when I was there. They took him to the vet and he told him that his eyesight was going and suggested they take him onto a specialist in Dallas. They confirmed that the dog was going blind and his vision was blurry already. She told them that he would become increasingly aggressive as his eyesight continues to decline. They are facing a similar decision to make like you. I am very sorry that you had to lose the guardian dog.

Double B
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on March 25, 2019, 05:13:34 PM
Sorry about your dog, Mike...was he old and maybe getting a little senile/ cranky?
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on March 27, 2019, 04:28:58 PM
The sheep are good now. I had to do some nursing but the wounds they have are clean and in spots that I can get to and keep clean.  Ringo's ear got ripped open but it also is healing well.  These sheep are all yearlings that were born here so they are used to being handled which makes it easier.  The ram's new folks will be here Friday and head out Sunday after they rest a bit.

The dog would have been two years old in September so he was still a pup in the guardian dog world.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on March 27, 2019, 04:41:09 PM
Oh,wow....not an OLD cranky dog at all!!
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on March 28, 2019, 10:40:52 AM
The yearling group has started to lamb this morning.  This one is a single ewe lamb which is what I was hoping for with this one.  She has caught up with her sibblings size but she has a small frame not suitable for twins yet.

All of the ewes born on the farm are super tame so she didn't even pay attention when I squatted down about ten feet from her while the lamb was born.  My Great Pyrenees helped her clean it off and things settled right down.

Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on March 29, 2019, 02:30:28 PM
Mr. Murphy is showing his head this time.  We have a couple of bottle lambs in the house. The dam is one of two ewes that lambed about the same time but how they got rejected isn't clear. Both lambs had been cleaned and you could tell they had nursed. I think our Great Pyrenees might have somehow got them away from the ewe(s) but that's only a guess. When I picked them up to take them to the shelter the dog ran the rest of the flock off and she has never done that before. One of our Sand Mountain ewes had lambed just a little bit later so I made her stand and let both of them nurse a few times. I was hoping we might be able to graft one or both of the lambs on the ewe but she was having none of it. At least they got some real colostrum but we'll finish the day on colostrum replacer. Ewe lamb on the left and ram lamb on the right. The ewe was the smallest lamb we have ever had at 5 1/2 pounds.  I have a grafting gate that I could use to force one of the ewes to take one of them but it's better for the lambs to be a pair rather than alone.  Ewe lamb on the left and ram lamb on the right.

Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: bordercollie on April 01, 2019, 09:05:31 AM
Mike, So glad you got the colostrum in them. I don't know if the product "Orphan no  More"( available at Valley Vet) works on lambs but it sure helps with bonding  in calves/cows.  It smells like ammonia  and cows will lick it off of the calves and bond in that way. It takes maybe a few days but usually will get that mama moo before long and can leave them together. We use a swinging gate to separate   them but where the mama can reach in and lick the calf.
 
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on April 01, 2019, 10:11:01 AM
Thank you - I will definitely look into the Orphan no More. 

We have a third lamb that I pulled figuring I would have to put her down.  She appeared to have some spinal damage and wasn't able to raise her head up to nurse.  I could feel a raised area on her neck where it appeared a disk was pushed out of alignment either during delivery or she got stepped on.  I brought her in to be able to get some nutrition in her and work on her neck while she's feeding.  She still isn't quite over the hump as of yet but she has full movement of her neck and is eating normally.  We have a 10x10 dog kennel that we rigged up with wind blocks and a shelter inside with heat lamps.  We are keeping them in dog kennels inside at night and hopefully the weather will warm up so they can get some exercise outside.  They have the run of the lawn area but they don't go more than a few feet from us.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Maggie13 on April 02, 2019, 04:25:09 AM
I hope things settle down and the temperatures warm up in your area to make things a bit easier on everyone.
5 1/2 lbs is so tiny. After reading this I went and picked up a 5 lb bag of sugar to get a good idea of how wee the little girl is.

Has Maisy been a "hands on" helper with cleaning the lambs in the past?
Has she separated the ewes from their lambs before?

My fingers are crossed that you are able to locate an  "Orphan no  More" like Judy suggested for lambs.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on April 02, 2019, 10:14:06 AM
This is a new thing for Maisy but also the last time since we are set up with separate herds. I love lambs but would just as soon they are dam raised.   :)  She had been one of the few dogs that I knew of that could be left in with the ewes when they are lambing.  The blood smell during lambing gets a lot of dogs excited and can make them unpredictable.   She is older now though and evidently she has decided she wants to be a momma or it may be the recent loss of the other dog that pushed her to that though.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on April 16, 2019, 10:09:44 AM
Our winter lambing is officially over this morning.  The last of the 12 yearling ewes in this group had a ram lamb right at 6:00 this morning that weighed in at 11.1 pounds.  This is one of the largest lambs born to this group and this ewe is one of the smallest.  The spot just outside our bedroom window seemed to be the location of choice this season as almost all of them lambed in this area.  We are carrying 31 lambs right now and the 8 ram lambs that are from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 months old will go to the sale next week.  We need to get our number of ewes down to around 30 going into winter so there will be quite a few ewes sold this summer also.

Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on April 16, 2019, 03:04:50 PM
Sweet little lamb :)
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Maggie13 on April 20, 2019, 12:23:27 PM
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Smilies/i-ttn8M7D/0/1e732d54/O/iagree.gif)
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: bordercollie on May 08, 2019, 08:43:30 AM
Me too ! 
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on May 08, 2019, 09:07:41 PM
This has been our best group of lambs since we started with sheep.  We have had 17 ram lambs and 22 ewe lambs with only one loss (still born) so that is about as good as you can ask for.  We don't do quick turn around with our ewes and give them a break so they are only bred once a year.
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: MikeM on May 28, 2019, 08:59:19 AM
We will be weaning the last born lambs soon but we weaned the bottle lambs yesterday.  They had only been getting a few ounces a day plus feed so they are fat and sassy.  Maisy made the transition back with the rest of the herd pretty easy as she still looks after them and the rest seem to understand that the lambs are off limits in the pecking order duels.

Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Rabbitproof on May 28, 2019, 12:56:48 PM
Looks like a contented bunch!
Title: Re: January 2019 Lambing
Post by: Double B on May 28, 2019, 09:20:42 PM
Beautiful herd, Mike. When I look at that picture, I can't help but think of the John Anderson song, "Black Sheep of the Family"