How long after lambing can you breed - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 06/23/09, 12:53 PM
 
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How long after lambing can you breed

The ewe I'm getting had twins in Feb. The person I am getting her from had told me that the ram has been with her since March so she may be breed, so that would mean two births in one year. I have heard of three in two years, but I would just like some expert thoughts on weather or not she is full of it, or if my buy is getting better.

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  #2  
Old 06/23/09, 03:04 PM
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What is most important is if the breed of sheep you have will breed out of season. Most sheep are seasonal breeders (breed in fall for spring lambs). Sheep that developed closer to the equator are less likely to be seasonal breeders.

So not knowing what type of sheep you are talking about, I can't answer your question....

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Old 06/23/09, 03:08 PM
 
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It's possible in the hair sheep breeds, but not sure about all the woolie breeds. smile

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Old 06/23/09, 03:09 PM
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I just saw your other post was about Jacob sheep. Unless they have been crossed with something else, Jacobs do breed seasonally. So I would not expect them to be pregnant.

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Old 06/23/09, 03:29 PM
 
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They are Jacobs. I was unsure, I had heard that it was possible for 3 in two years. I know that it can be done with cattle and didn't know if it could be done with sheep. How early could you tell if it was a freak thing.

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  #6  
Old 06/23/09, 03:38 PM
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Rose,

Your ewes that are about to lamb now were bred in Jan/Feb. That is still the time when seasonal ewes would be in cycling (it drops off in march generally). If I had to guess what happened, they were breed before in the season but aborted or they were ewe lambs at the time of breeding. In November, you will just have to look at their condition and see if they have bounced back from nursing. You may want to pull the lambs at 60 days to give the ewes time to rebuild before breeding again in Nov.

That is a little different than a ewe giving birth in Feb and breeding right back in March. It is possible, but not the norm.

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  #7  
Old 06/23/09, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
They are Jacobs. I was unsure, I had heard that it was possible for 3 in two years.
Thats based on CONTROLLED breeding.
Some sheep can concieve while still nursing lambs, as soon as 30 days after lambing
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  #8  
Old 06/23/09, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
As for lambing 3 times in 2 years...surely that takes a toll on the ewes health?
Its all in tne management. Ewes that aren't kept in condition and good health, won't breed reliablly ........ not saying poor management won't have some serious tragedies, just those using an acceleerated lambing program need to be good knowlegable near full time shepherds
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Old 06/23/09, 06:42 PM
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Some wool breeds can cycle and conceive year-round. We have Dorset, Polypay, and Ile de France just for that reason. Hair breeds like Katahdin, Barbados Blackbelly, and St. Croix are the same and I think Dorper too.

The best way to control when lambs are due is to keep the ewes and rams - including ram lambs - apart until five months ahead of time. Varies by a couple days depending on breed.

Peg

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Old 06/23/09, 07:32 PM
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Rose,

I put my rams in on the first Sat after Oct 1st for Lambing March to first week in April. I leave the rams in for 35 days, so that two heat cycles happen for every ewe. Last year I messed up and left a ram lamb on pasture too long and ended up with lambs the last week of January and into Feb. Won't make that mistake again (he breed the first one at 5 months old exactly).

You are right, when you have several hundred ewes, you will see a lot of different things in one year that a smaller flock might take years to see. The darn sheep just haven't read the sheep books, so they don't know that whatever it is they just did, can't happen....

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  #11  
Old 06/23/09, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
The best way to control when lambs are due is to keep the ewes and rams - including ram lambs - apart until five months ahead of time. Varies by a couple days depending on breed
Absdolutely right, but to control how long it takes the lambing season to run there are methods to use the rams (or teasers) to tighten up the birthing dates, not unlike PMSG synchronising. Seperate but close enough to affect each other.
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