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Country Discussion Topics
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Lambsicle
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screaminghollow    Posted 01-27-2005 at 06:51:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
During mornin barn chores, about 6 am, amd 8 degrees, and everything snow covered, I was filling the water for the ram and the bulls, and in the dim light it looked like one of the steers was sniffing a "cow pie." The steer jumped back like he'd been zapped by the electric fence. Then he circled around and sniffed at it again. A second time he jumped back. I paid closer attention and noticed the "cow pie" moved. I climbed the fence and went in there and the cow pie was actually a little new born black lamb. All wet and ice starting to form on it.

Now this is a real puzzle since all the ewes were put in stalls in tha barn last friday before the snow. I scooped him up and carried him in the barn and strted checking the ewes. Found one that had some blood dripping from her back end. I put the lamb down next to her and she tried to "stomp it to death" Never saw a ewe act so violently toward a new born. That ewe was the only one that showed signs of giving birth. I grabbed her and rolled her over and put the lamb's mouth on her teats but the lamb was so very cold in the mouth, it didn't even try. Took the lamb in the kitchen and put him in a box and sat that on a heating pad. Then back to the barn with a soda bottle and fought with that ewe to roll her over again and milk her out. Got about a cup of thick creamy yellow milk/colostrum and returned to the kitchen. I warmed the milk up and tried to feed the lamb and nothing, it just laid there. It's ears wouldn't even stand up. It's mouth was still cold inside and I even told my daughter it probably won't make it. Well, we rubbed it down real good, and kept it on the heating pad for over an hour. Then I packed him up in the car and brought him to the office. Again he's sitting in the corner on the heating pad. Took my first phone call of the day, and he suddenly sticks his head up and "BAAAAAAAAAA!" Client was sort of understanding. Just finished giving him a few ounces of his momma's milk and now he is bumping around in the box like he wants to run around. Geesh, had a bottle lamb last spring and he was a royal pain in the tush!
If he makes it though the day, I guess the Mrs. can take him to school tomorrow. I am sure her 4th and 5th graders would love to take care of him. I'll let them name him.


Bob/Ont    Posted 01-27-2005 at 07:57:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
We had that problem a few times Screaminghollow. The worst year was when we got the ram too early and the lambs where born around now. Keep the ram away from then untill a month or two later next year and the lambs will be born in warmer weather. You have saved the lamb is sounds like but you will need to bottle feed it now. If the lamb gets away from her she will dissown it every time, it can happen even if your kids come out there and pat it and get their scent on it. Sheep are fussey that way.
Later Bob


screaminghollow    Posted 01-27-2005 at 10:21:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
I passed a farm a few days ago, and they had a nice crop of lambs, already up to 15 or 20 pounds and eating grass. Is there a special breed for fall lambing? We were lambing last year from January until April, but most came in Feb. They'd be a bit more profitable if born in late Nov. or early December. It is generally a bit warmer here then anyway.
We keep the ram with the ewes all year, except when we move the ewes into the barn for lambing. The ram stays out in the pasture all yr., we have a wether to keep him company. The ewes go back out in the pasture if they reject their lambs or when the lambs are a month old. Our temps in February are an average daily high of 40 to 45 degrees. So by then, month old lambs can make it ok. If the ewes haven't lambed by the second week of March, we often throw em back out anyway and let them lamb in the pasture.


RN    Posted 01-27-2005 at 16:29:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sheep fall lamb breeds? Check Finnsheep, Polypay(sic?),Katahdin, St.Croix for other than spring lambing. Could also check Cheviot for hardy sheep. You still have to control ram access, individual ewes vary. Fawteen might have some tips, I think he has Shetlands.


RayP(MI)    Posted 01-27-2005 at 19:06:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have Shetlands. Typically come in heat mid November, which means they are born about the first week in April. We try to keep ewes separated from rams until their second heat cycle, which comes mid December. That way little ones come toward the end of April. Much warmer then, and not so stressful on ewes or little ones. Mighty stressful on fences however!


RN    Posted 01-27-2005 at 22:40:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Fences need to be strong is right. Seperate ram pasture with shed and feed pans next to garden, Merino ram liked to bump fence post, other rams, building and people. Little Shetland got pushed aside when he first joined the boys, I fed garden weeds over the fence to divert rest and fed him by hand through fence. Ewes were seperated into breeding pen/pasture, select ram turned in. Sometimes wrong ram made it through/over fence and out to main pasture. Messed up breeding records, Merino lasted couple years, bulked up fleece on some offspring, then got shipped out. Shetland helped make some finer wool for the spinners, caused less trouble. RN.


Bob/Ont    Posted 01-27-2005 at 11:10:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
You have a lot warmer weather than than I thought. Maybe breeding them earlier would work best for you. Lambs sold good around Easter up here in Ontario when we used to have them. People would be lineing up at the gate for them but ours where never ready then. It's suprising how a lamb like yours will recover when you bring it in and warm it up. Well you have a pet now and a pest when it gets a taste for the silk on the cobs of your garden corn. Good luck with it.
Later Bob


mud    Posted 01-27-2005 at 07:07:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
that is quite a morning. never heard a lamb in the background when i called a law office!


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