Author Topic: Lambing Season 2018  (Read 3590 times)

Online MikeM

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Lambing Season 2018
« on: January 27, 2018, 07:54:05 PM »
I have been asked about our lambing and since I love talking about my girls here is an advance post.  The girls were in great shape when they went in with our ram and from the looks of them most are carrying multiple lambs. I'll update this when the lambs start arriving (which should be soon).

We took some pictures of the sheep while we were out feeding and taking a look at how everyone is doing. The ewes we put with the ram in October are due to lamb starting in 2 weeks. We have a couple that are showing signs of being ready NOW so they might have gotten bred through the fence.

The younger ewes were put in a month later and a few didn't cycle right away so they will be due to lamb mid February into March. They were all in really good condition going into breeding and several look to be carrying multiples.

First up is 34 who used to be known as Wild Thing and she is sold with her lamb(s). She will never be tame but she is a sweet one that doesn't panic when being handled.

Next is 70 who is smaller than I like but has perfect lines and dropped twins last season.

Then there is 122 who can be handled like a puppy dog but she is my girl and will probably stay here long enough to retire.

Next is Notag - she has soft ear tissue that doesn't like to keep ear tags in place and since she is another of my girls, she doesn't need a tag anyway.

Maisy is our Great Pyrenees but she is first my baby.  She must put on several miles following me around the paddocks when I'm working out there.

Thor (our Akbash pup) is taking his treasure off to hide somewhere so mean old daddy can't take it away. I had it sitting by the gate so I could throw it away and he grabbed it and hauled butt.  He is just over six months old and weighed 79 pounds this morning.
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 06:26:54 AM »
Thanks for creating a new thread for a new season.
I really enjoy seeing pictures of your flock. and of course Maisy and Thor.

 I will be camped our anxiously awaiting the births of Hopefully many Twins!
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Offline Double B

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 08:44:39 AM »
Mike,

This is one of my favorite threads on this site. I think that we are all rejuvenated in the spring as we ready our gardens but seeing new life born also reminds us of the simplicity and innocence of nature.

Please keep us updated!

Double B
14.08 acres, John Deere 5055E, Stevens Row Hippers and cultivator, 8' Bush Hog, 74" Frontier Tiller, John Deere Z950M

Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 09:01:34 AM »
Lambing season is my favorite part of having livestock in spite of the issues that can come up.  :)  As they get closer to term their behavior changes.  They have multiple shelters in the paddocks but only use them when it is pouring down rain.  We have an area at the rear of my shop that as they get closer they start congregating in or near that.  That is where I call them in for feeding and where they get taken care of so that is sort of their safe place.  That is also where I feed our guardian dogs so this morning I sat down on the door step with the dogs eating and the sheep all laying around chewing their cud and thought that I really love this life.  It can be a bit labor intensive when you start something like this so late in life but it has been an awesome trip.
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Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 09:44:34 AM »
Mike--Thanks for posting.  I always enjoy your pictures of the sheep and your dogs.  Some very interesting stories.  Looking forward to it.

Ben
Northwest La. zone 8b

Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 12:22:52 PM »
We could start seeing lambs on the ground as early as next Monday so we got all of the animals sorted today. We pulled the ram and the three wethers and put the dogs in with them. Maisy (our Great Pyrenees) has been through a lambing season but the Akbash pup has not. When the ewes start lambing we can introduce them to the pup under supervision to show him they aren't toys.  I wasn't as concerned about it last season since we were bringing them into a shelter but this season we are lambing in the pasture.  Bouncy little lambs are a temptation even to an experienced dog and we would rather spend the time and not go out to find dead lambs.

We will bring the ewes into the catch pen tomorrow for the younger ones to get their vaccinations.
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 09:30:53 AM »
The first two ewes had lambs a day earlier than we thought but they are within the average time and full term (the single was born sometime during the night and the twins were being born just after we walked out to check on them this morning).  There is one single and one set of twins but we won't have any details until later in the day.  We give them about half a day to make sure they are bonded and then we will go out and weigh and sex them and put in ear tags.  We try to do what's needed in the first 48 hours since they have no fear and you can walk up and just pick them up.  After 3 days it's a whole different story.  I'll post a couple of pictures later.
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Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 01:17:44 PM »
Great Mike-- you  did not miss it far predicting Feb. 9th.  Looking forward to the photo.

Ben
Northwest La. zone 8b

Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 02:52:51 PM »
Guessing the due dates can vary by a week or sometimes two weeks since you don't know if the ewes are cycling when you put them with the ram.  I'm hoping it isn't going to be a ram year but all 3 of the lambs born this morning are boys.  7.25, 8.0 and 14 pounds.  The big boy has some cute moon pie brown markings and great build for a day old boy so we might it as as a ram and the other two will be sold.

They got ear tags and the ewes got an extra ration of alfalfa.  They are keeping their lambs off by themselves so I had to do some re-positioning of water troughs.  We did introduce the dogs to the lambs and went about as expected.  Maisy licked all of the butts which is the  way these dogs memorize the scents of "their" sheep.  The pup I kept away from the lambs since the ewes went into attack mode when I brought him out.  They trust Maisy and let her sniff and lick them.

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Online bigboberta

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 04:56:52 PM »
Mike, I have been watching your posts on your sheep.  I don't reply because I know nothing about sheep.  I am really enjoying these posts.

Bob
Bob Guidry, Retired Firefighter.

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Easleyville, LA


Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 05:27:46 PM »
Thanks Mike for the photos-- they are really cute.
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 05:42:48 PM »
Bob - that is quite alright.  There are enough people that read them as you can tell by the number of views but I also like talking about my herd and am proud of them  so it is sort of self rewarding.  :)
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 06:01:23 PM »
Adorable!
  Thanks for posting the pictures Mike I always enjoy seeing your critters.
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 11:58:14 AM »
I expected more lambs by now but the sheep aren't always cycling until they have been in with the ram for a couple of weeks.  Either that or Ringo (our ram) took it easy for a few days but I'll post a couple of pictures from this morning.

I had the dogs out working on some training this morning and went ahead and let the sheep come out with us in the back yard. I was out in the cold and Teresa took some pictures from the warmth of the living room. :) Just kidding of course since we normally share the workload but I like to do most of the training.

I was doing some light "Stay" training and Maisy has started sticking one paw up (not on me but just holds it up) so I took advantage of it a couple of times by saying "Paw" when she raises it and now she does it consistently. Almost - the one with her standing on her back legs started with the "Paw" request. We train for a couple of minutes then mingle among the sheep then do a bit more training. They like it and do really well at it.

Maisy has been super with the new babies and I'm leaving her in with them more and more since she is so much more mature this year. Thor gets fairly long periods during the day but he is still young and shows it. The last picture shows that the puppy doesn't look like a puppy anymore. We have had a few folks tell us are handling the dogs too much but I like the results I get. Many call their dogs and they MAY come. I call and they are right there (as long as they aren't on alert) and don't mind at all going back to work. We follow the lead of the farms where they came from and it works for us.

The pup is pushing 85 lbs now.
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Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 02:02:08 PM »
Mike  Thanks for the update on the dogs and the photos.  For some reason I noticed that the photos allowed me to zoom in on them and I was able to scan the pictures zoomed in.  I showed them to my wife and she enjoyed the photos of the dogs as much or more than she did of the new lambs.  Maybe you are off to a slow start but you may still have some pleasant suprizes.  Your wife did a good job while being protected from the cold.

Ben
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 02:56:38 PM by Ben »
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 02:29:38 PM »
Ben - I'm glad she liked them.  :)  We didn't have a reliable date last season since we didn't know when they had been bred and they looked like they were ready to pop for over a month.
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2018, 04:51:14 PM »
I was out with dogs and noticed that one of the ram lambs born the other day was nursing on our #70 ewe who has not lambed yet.  We were getting ready to go into town so I could get an MRI on a shoulder that has been bothering me for 6 months so we figured we would break 70 away from the herd and put her and another ewe into one of our holding pens until she has her lamb.

When we were coming up the driveway you could see that there was a ewe that was losing the afterbirth and after she moved a bit you could see her lamb laying beside her.  I went out to make sure it was 70 and made sure the twin lambs were back on their mom and all was well so we didn't have to use our jail this time.  A ewe usually won't stand for another lamb unless she is restrained to graft one but that lamb is an equal opportunity sucker and will latch on to any teat that is in his vision.

It's cold and raining today but there should be another or two in the next day or so and I'll post some pictures then if I can get some good ones.
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Online MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 10:03:55 AM »
When I looked out the window a couple of hours ago, my favorite ewe Notag was cleaning off her new born lamb.  I went down to get some pictures and was pleased to see we finally broke the streak and have our first ewe lamb of the season.  I'll give them some bonding time and then go down and tag and weigh her.  I'm guessing she is 11+ pounds .

I put up some electric netting around our back yard yesterday since we were having friends over for dinner and they wanted to see some lambs.  About dark they were all headed out (at least I thought so) so I went out to close the gate and turn off the electricity.  I looked out this morning and saw two of the young ewes had evidently been laying down when I turned the power off and they spent the night outside the paddock.

I cooked some beef ribeye steak and some lamb chops and lamb steaks since they had not eaten lamb.  All except one piece of the chops were eaten and most of the steak is now in the fridge so I take it they liked it.  :)


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Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 11:31:31 AM »
What a way to start the day----Congrats!!!!!

Ben
Northwest La. zone 8b

Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 12:49:37 PM »
Thanks for posting the pictures They all look really healthy!
My fingers and toes are crossed for more ewe births.
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