Tuesday, March 14, 2017

More Lessons from the 2017 Lambing Season

Mostly for my own future reference, I wanted to jot down a few additional notes from this year's lambing season:

  • We had more breech deliveries that we've ever seen. Just a note for future reference - water will break, mucous plug will come out, but you won't see feet and nose emerge. When you reach inside, you'll probably feel hocks rather than rear feet. Push the lamb back in and try to manipulate at least one leg back through the birth canal. You'll have to flex the foot at the pastern (curl it back towards the outside world). Pull with one leg if necessary.
  • Taking the trailer out to the sheep was a revelation - we saved 5 lambs during the sleet/snow storm on March 6 by penning them in the trailer out of the wind and wet. It took about 48 hours for them to get their legs under them, but now they're catching up. Much easier to have the trailer next to the sheep than to bring them all the way home!
  • Moving ewes and young lambs went much better this year. We focused on the start of the move - we got all of the sheep up, let them get paired up, stretch, etc., and then asked them to move.
  • The Omega 3-6-9 lamb and kid supplement seemed to help turn around dummy lambs. Getting a little energy and some vitamins into them seemed to sustain them until they figured out how to nurse. The BoSe shots may have helped with this, too.
  • I remembered that catching a ewe is easier if you have her lambs! Caught several ewes that needed medical attention by simply catching their lambs and letting them come up to me.
  • Catching a lambing ewe that's afraid to be caught is a different manner. Using a dog (or another person) to distract the ewe helps.
  • Stripping out a ewe with a big bag or big teats is easier with two people! Feeding her lamb(s) her milk allows us to keep the lamb(s) with her.
  • Our lambing interval was just 23 days this year! Not sure why, but it might be related to the fact that we were able to graze the ewes next to the rams (who were in a hardwire fence) - we had the same ram effect as using a teaser. We'll have to keep this in mind!
I think that's it for now - I'll add to these as I recall more lessons!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the lessons with us. Lessons help us to plan for the future without making mistakes. Keep us updated about the thoughts.