Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lambs can come any day now

Lambs can come any day now. hurry first lambs come quick.

Megan's 5th birthday

Today is my first birthday of the year. Happy 5th Birthday Megan... lambing season is here. they can come any time now. Hope they all have twins....  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Next week i'm getting together with a photo person to take picture of the pregnant sheep.

Next week i'm going to get together with a photo person to take pictures of my pregnant sheep. and them take pictures of the sheep when the lambs come too. She's going to borrow a lamb for easter pictures.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lambing season can start any time after satursday.

Lambing season is here again. Getting everything ready. Still have to finish making another lambing shall.  I can't really check my ewes very easily where they live. They can lamb anytime after this Satursday. This Satursday is also Megan's 5th birthday.  I'll keep you guys updated..  

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Birth Process

The Birth Process
Once the water breaks you should soon see the appearance of the front feet.
This ewe has already given birth to her first lamb and is ready to give birth to another lamb.
This ewe has already given birth to her first lamb and is ready to give birth to another lamb.
The lamb's head should lay above and between the front legs in a normal presentation. The feet should also be pointing downward in a normal presentation. Feet that are pointing upward are generally from a breech birth. Lambs can be born in the breech position, but you will want to be sure to have the birth progress rapidly. As soon as a breech-positioned lamb is born, hold him up by his back legs and rub down his sides to help remove any fluid from his lungs.
The next step in the birth process is the appearance of the head. Most of the time a thin membrane will still cover the lamb. This membrane should break as the lamb is born. However, you may want to be nearby in the event that the lamb needs assistance. If the birth is progressing, allow nature to take its course. Only assist if necessary.
Remember that a young ewe who is giving birth to her first lambs will take more time to complete the birth process than an older, more experienced ewe.
As more of the lamb appears outside of the ewe, allow the ewe to continue pushing until the lamb is completely born. When the ewe stands up, the umbilical cord will break on its own. Do not cut the cord as this is likely to cause excessive bleeding. Allow the cord to tear on its own.
Once the lamb is born, check to make sure that it is breathing. Wipe the head and nose off well to make it easier for the lamb to breath. If the lamb is not breathing, try inserting a piece of straw a short way into a nostril to encourage the lamb to sneeze. You may also need to lift the lamb up by the rear legs and vigorously rub its sides.
In cold weather it is also a good idea to dry off the ears and tail as best as possible. This helps to prevent freezing. Allow the mother to lick the lamb to clean off the rest. She should be "talking" to her lamb now that he is born.
If the mother is still lying down, move the lamb toward her head so that she can lick off the lamb. This is a bonding process for the mother and lamb to identify each other. They will need to be able to identify each other once they are turned out with a group of ewes and lambs.
Do not move the mother and her new lamb into a lambing pen until she has given birth to all her lambs. A ewe that is forced to lamb inside the smaller sized lambing pen runs a higher risk of laying down on the first lamb that was born while she is giving birth to the second lamb.
Lambs who are born outdoors on pasture don't have to be brought inside to a lambing pen. Use your best judgement based on how well the ewe is caring for her newborns.
A vigorous lamb will soon be trying to stand up. For weaker lambs, they may need a few minutes longer (sometimes up to an hour) before they are ready to stand up to nurse. You may want to give any weaker lambs a dose of a high energy/vitamin and mineral drench to provide extra energy until they are able to nurse on their own.
Once the ewe has finished giving birth to all of her lambs, she can be moved into a smaller lambing pen for several days. This gives her additional time to bond with her lambs and allows you to keep a closer watch on the lambs to make sure they are getting enough milk to drink.
Your last tasks once mother and lambs are in the lambing pen are to check her teats to make sure they are open and to check that the mother has milk. Another task is to dip the lamb's navel in iodine to prevent any navel infections.
The process of lambing is an exciting part of nature. It doesn't take any time at all until the barn is full of a group of happy, healthy lambs. Understanding this process will help you to determine when a ewe will lamb and will hopefully allow you to spend more time sleeping at night and less time getting up in the middle of the night to check on the ewes!

Appearance of feet during birth.
A closer inspection of the ewe shows that the feet are positioned correctly and are pointing downward.
Head appears during birth.
Shortly after the feet appear, the head should appear above and between the front legs.
Birth of a lamb
Allow the ewe to push the lamb out on her own. Also, be sure to let the umbilical cord tear on its own.
Drying off the head
Use a towel to dry off the lamb's head and nose. This will help him to breathe easier.
Mother bonding with newborn.
Allow the ewe to lick her lamb. This helps clean off the lamb as well as helps the mother to identify her offspring.
Lambing ready to stand
A vigorous lamb will soon begin trying to stand.
Check teats for milk
Check the ewe's teats to make sure they are open and to make sure the ewe has milk.
Dipping Navel
Dip the lamb's navel in iodine to prevent a navel infection.

Lambing Time

Lambing Time
Unlike most other farm animals, sheep are seasonal breeders and lamb in the spring months when the weather is warming and ample supplies of grass are available. Sheep can be housed for lambing or are more commonly brought to a field close to the farmyard where the shepherd can keep an eye on them. We illustrate the process of lambing.

ewe ready to lambThe first sign of lambing comes when the ewe leaves the rest of the flock and finds a quiet location in which to lamb. Within an hour or so, labour will start.

ewe ready to lambWhen the ewe is in labour she may stand and paw the ground searching for a lamb in the hope that her efforts have been productive.

lamb now appearingLambs are normally born head first with the front feet tucked up under the chin. Sheep generally lamb freely without intervention, but periodically a lamb may be breached in the womb or otherwise displaced and the ewe may require assistance from the shepherd.

lamb now ready to be bornThe moment of birth. Once the head and shoulders are through the rest of the lamb is pushed out very quickly.

lamb is bornAt birth lambs are often born with mucus membranes covering their faces. The ewe will instinctively clear this by licking the newborn lamb. If the shepherd is nearby he will assist by removing the membranes and placing the lamb in front of the ewe.

the new born lambLicking will continue for some minutes and during this time the lamb will be gaining strength and starting to think about milk!

young lambAfter the first lamb, the second quickly follows. Some breeds of sheep have only one lamb. This is a survival mechanism for sheep that live in cold hilly conditions where ewes may have insufficient milk for two lambs and where hypothermia can quickly kill.

young lambIn just fifteen minutes both lambs have been born. After birth the "after birth" will follow. This is the mucal membrane that contained the lambs within the womb. Part of this can be seen trailing from the rear of the ewe. Sometimes the ewe will eat her own afterbirth.

farmer checking the young lambThe urge to suck is very strong in the new born lamb and within 20 minutes the lamb will be looking for milk. The shepherd may assist the lamb if it is struggling to find the ewe's teat.

lamb now looking for milkThe first few days of milk contain "colostrum". This is a very thick form of milk that is produced only at birth by the ewe. It contains many beneficial antibodies that help prevent the lamb from becoming ill. Some lambs are not so lucky however. The ewe may reject the lamb or sometimes simply have insufficient milk to feed it. Lambs in this situation become orphans and are looked after directly by the shepherd.

Monday, January 7, 2013

4 weeks to go

Only 27 days until my first ewe is due. Got to get ready for the busy season of lambing. I only have 4 ewes that are hopefully pregnant but i just hope everything gose right. pray that it dose.