Author Topic: Lambing Season 2018  (Read 3614 times)

Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2018, 01:56:58 PM »
My fingers are crossed that the next group will be mostly ewes!
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2018, 04:26:51 PM »
Thanks Ms Maggie.  The boys that we have on the ground are all on reserve so they pay for themselves also.   :)
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2018, 08:47:51 AM »
I was out feeding the dogs early this morning to try and get chores done before the rain starts.  On my way through the sheep bedding area to check them out I spotted a ewe cleaning off newborn twins - one ram and one ewe.

That makes 8 rams and 4 ewes.   There should be two left in this group to lamb but I mentioned before that one ewe may have aborted at some point.  Then 8 more in the next group soon.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2018, 11:00:41 AM »
Our ewe that just had twins Wednesday finally came back in so we could get some pictures.  She did the same thing last year - went to the spot the farthest from any activity and spent two days there. We didn't get a good shot of the ewe lamb but did the ram lamb.  Both were 9.2 pounds when they were born and pretty much identical except for which ear the tag is in.

We have electric netting set up in what is our back yard still to call them in for alfalfa rather than go through the mud to take it to them.  We have had friends come down from the city that were shocked when they see critters grazing almost right up to the house door.  :)

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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2018, 09:08:23 PM »
It seems twins are quite common.
Do they ever have triplets ?

 Thanks for the update Mike.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2018, 09:28:38 AM »
Triplets are fairly common and occasionally they will have quads.   I would rather have all twins since they seem to mature faster and have no issues weaning at 8-10 weeks. We have several that have had a single for two years in a row so they will be bred back and sold this summer.
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Online Double B

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2018, 11:33:38 AM »
Thanks for sharing the photos. Those brown and white sheep are exceptionally nice to look at. What kind of sheep are they? Do you need to shear them or are they just raised for meat production?
14.08 acres, John Deere 5055E, Stevens Row Hippers and cultivator, 8' Bush Hog, 74" Frontier Tiller, John Deere Z950M

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2018, 12:14:42 PM »
BB -  about half are full blooded Katahdin and half are a Katahdin/Dorper cross.  Both breeds are hair sheep and bred for their meat.  You can see some of them didn't shed very well but that usually gets better in their second year.
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Online Double B

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2018, 03:29:09 PM »
They are really beautiful creatures. Looks like y'all have a lot of fun with them but I know they are a lot of work too. Love looking at your photos!

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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2018, 07:23:39 PM »
As you can tell I like my sheep and like talking about them.  We have a couple of local teachers that bring groups of students out so they can learn about them and we are pushing a couple of our current crop of lambs on to some new 4H members.

It was a lot of work putting in our infrastructure but the sheep are fairly low maintenance.  Hooves have to be looked at and trimmed if needed about every 4 months and we run our own fecals so we randomly check for parasites on a regular basis.  We give vaccinations normally about a month before lambing for the adults and the lambs get shots at about 4 -6 weeks of age.   I'm pretty hands on with all of our animals so trust is a big part of them not being stressed out and fighting any maintenance.  They trust me and will come whenever I call.  Of course they never know for sure if there is a food bribe involved so they come anyway.   :)
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2018, 07:09:48 AM »
4-H is a great way to get kids off their butts learning and doing!

  They trust me and will come whenever I call.  Of course they never know for sure if there is a food bribe involved so they come anyway.   :)
 

Bribery with food is universal It works on most Critters.

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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2018, 11:12:34 AM »
Our #55 ewe had a single ewe lamb this morning.   No pictures till later but I'm guessing she is a little over 10 pounds so now we have 8 ram lambs and 5 ewe lambs.

My camera isn't cooperating and I think the shutter is sticking open since 12 of the 15 pictures I took awhile ago are over exposed (including the newest lamb).  I'll still post the couple I did get. We will be bringing everyone in over the next couple of weeks for shots and weights but the 1st born lambs are growing like weeds as you can see in the 1st picture.

The other picture is one of our yearling group that will be lambing soon. I'm hoping her coat sheds better over time since I like her lines.



I need to figure out what sheep code makes one of them to have to go pee in most of the pictures I take.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2018, 01:16:44 PM »
Here is the last born after putting an ear tag on her -  it's a ewe lamb and a big girl.  She was right at 12.5 today so probably a little over 11.5 at birth and is from the ewe that we had to pull a lamb from last season. You can barely tell it but she is going to have dark spots all over her head and back. That's two seasons in a row that this ewe had a single but since she has perfect confirmation and throws big lambs she can stick around for another season at least.

We still have one more from this bunch to lamb then the last eight should start around the 21st of this month.  We will call them all in the shelter before the next batch starts to lamb to give vaccinations and check/trim hooves.  My shoulder is a long way from being usable so I've been making good use of our friend and helper Jay (who is holding the lamb).
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2018, 07:43:06 PM »
Two of our yearling ewes had twin lambs this afternoon.  By the time I got out there to make sure they were healthy it was getting dark so I'll get the details in the morning. 

That makes 17 lambs on the ground so far with 6 more ewes due to lamb.

We are pretty hands off when it comes to lambing time.  We handle all of the sheep throughout the year to avoid having to fight with them come hoof trimming and worming time but we don't mess with the lambs early on.  One of our mentors did an apprenticeship at one of the larger Sheep Stations in New Zealand.  He said their approach to lambing was to go on vacation when it comes time for lambing.  You often have a tendency to save a weak lamb when in most cases they weren't meant to survive and often become problems down the road.  Last year we brought them into shelters and gave them bonding time but all mostly what that did was stress out the ewes who only want to be left alone for a couple of days.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2018, 12:51:33 PM »
Here a few pictures of the single ewe and one set of twins. The other ewe and her twins are still off in the far paddock.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2018, 02:14:08 PM »
Evidently our ram had a few busy nights.  I went down to tag the 3 in the stall and looked out to see another set of new born twins and a big single lamb.  They need some more bonding time before messing with them so I don't know their sex yet.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2018, 06:49:34 PM »
All 3 of the latest lambs are rams.  The twins are from our smallest ewe that we almost didn't breed because of her size.  The tins are 6.2 and 6.4 pounds.  The picture doesn't show it but the scraggly looking ewe actually has a beautiful coat under all of that hair that she is shedding.

The single ram is 10.5 pounds. We still have 4 more to lamb and hopefully we will get at least one more ewe to get us to our maximum base numbers if not a few more breeders to sell.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline sharon78070

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2018, 08:30:17 PM »
Beautiful! :)
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2018, 06:38:53 AM »
They are so darn cute!
Thanks for the update!
 I am very happy to hear you are on the mend!
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing Season 2018
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2018, 03:19:23 PM »
Roller coaster weather.  It's supposed to get down to freezing tonight and as expected my fruit trees are in full bloom.  We got a few pictures this afternoon.  Our ram Ringo must have taken a few long breaks since we still have 3 ewes left to lamb. The picture of the ram at the mineral feeder reminds me that I need lower that dish.  He has good size and was 14 pounds at birth and is pushing 50 pounds right now at 30 days old.  They are on momma's milk and grass only so far but better than a pound a day is good and they won't be as fat as they would on grain.

The second picture is the ram lamb that at the edge of the gaggle that was born a couple of days ago.  Like all of the ram lambs they are long and lanky and will be ready for market at a good time for us.  I'm going to list two of the lambs as possible herd sires for a commercial flock since they look better than a lot of registered rams that are on the market.

We will start weaning the first born about this time next month and give the ewes a couple of months to regain some condition since we are going to breed the 10 oldest again in late May.

Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
L3200 Kubota with loader and box blade. Husqvarna rear tine tiller
19 acres in southern Middle TN