Lambing Season – Ewe Care

Our Expecting Ewes 2016

Lambing Season feels like Christmas on the Big O Franch.  We watch with anticipation as the babies develop, and make sure the ewes are in good condition.  We introduce the rams to the ewes in September and October for lambing late January through mid March.  Sheep are seasonal breeders, and we choose to introduce ewes and rams early to make the most of the year.

This year we have four pregnant ewes, Sasha (our original girl) Val, Bunny, and Novel.  We picked the three new girls from a dairy up north, and they are now expecting their first lambs.  Sasha is due to lamb before the end of the month, so we have been busy getting ready for tiny babies.

Pre Delivery Care

Four weeks before lambing we administer vaccines.  This timing helps promote protection for susceptible lambs.  We believe in guarding the health of our animals, so we have a testing program in place for our herd.  This lambing season we tested the ewes for Johne’s, OPP, CL, and Q fever.  These are some of the main chronic illnesses that exist in our area, or could pass through to humans.  It was a pain to learn how to take blood samples, and we had a tough time finding healthy animals to start our flock.  But, now that we know our girls are clean, we can follow the plan, and maintain a healthy flock without much input.

At the same time we take blood samples, we shear and clip toes.  I look them over carefully for signs of illness, and check their feet, mouths, and udder development.   At three weeks before lambing, Sasha’s babies can clearly be seen fighting for space in her very crowded belly.   I love to put my hands on her sides and guess what part of the lamb gently touches my palm.

 

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