Average Lamb Weight

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ONThorsegirl, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Hello, Everyone
    I'm new to the group but I was wondering what every ones average weight is for a lamb. We have NCC and NCC Crosses.
    Thanks, Melissa
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Chevies on my place dropped 9 to 11 pound lambs if they were singles or twins. Rather interesting as most breeds seem to have smaller twins and bigger singles. Good stocky little lambs that can run like the wind seconds after slinging off the last of the birthing goo!
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Oh and welcome to the HT Sheep board nice to see your first post was here!
     
  4. Laurie J

    Laurie J Well-Known Member

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    We have Suffolk sheep, and our lambs run around 12-13 lbs. average. This year we had a huge single who weighed 24 lbs.! Mom and baby are doing fine, although at 1 month of age he looks much older! We had a set of triplets that were 10, 11, and 12 lbs.
     
  5. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Well, Thanks for welcoming me to the forum, it seems really good and informative.

    I don't understand, we have good size sheep and they are healthy and suck but as embarressed as I am to say our average weight is only (-)6 lbs. They grow fast and quick but why are we getting such small lambs. We are going to try a different feed this year and see if we get any larger lambs.

    To help me out would you guys mind answering some more questions?
    What is the average weight of your ewes?
    What is the 100 day weight of your lambs, and Weaning weight? Also at what age do you wean?
    What feed do you feed, when and how much?
    Sorry for all the Questions, but I jsut want to see what we are doing differently.
    Also with the bigger lambs, 11lbs and such do you have many ewes having a hard time lambing?


    Thanks, Melissa
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have to say the Cheviots almost never had a hard time lambing, no matter what sized lamb they had. Certainly we did have smaller lambs from them now and then, first timers might have a smaller lamb at 2 yrs old, but then lambed at a fairly steady average. If your feed is low in protein (under 14%cp) the lambs might be smaller. I don't consider 9 pounds to be big at all and 11 is hardly a record. The biggest we ever had was an 18 pound suffolk, and the smallest (that survived) was just under 4lbs for a Rideau Arcott.
    The Cheviots I had (still have a few) were a good 130-160 pounds.
    100 day weights depended on what I fed, grass fed born in April could be 60-80 pounds. If they had creep feed or even just corn they could top 100 pounds. It seemed like wasted feed on the Cheviots as they'd just keep growing on grass and by 6 months had a leaner finish. The NCC's were a lean bunch, anyhow. Now if they lambed earlier they almost seemed to be a little smaller at the 100 day point, they certainly used pasture well. Creep feed grains or pellet/ grains are either free choice or fed once a day. My vet always suggests a twice a day feeding but we only tried it the once and it didn't make a lot of difference. I'm really not a big fan of pelleted feeds anymore, just too much frothy bloat. Now any feeding is a waste if you're fighting worms, a bit like bailing lake Niagra....... you can't get a big enough bucket, to stop what's coming in! Weaning Cheviots is fairly easy once they hit 40 pounds the mums are largely done with them anyhow. One of the shorter lactations in sheep although they milk heavily enough.
     
  7. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Hi Melissa,

    Right now I'd be happy with 6 lb lambs... dd's yearling just had twins and I doubt they top 4...in fact, they're sure to be a good bit less than that (might weigh them today.)

    I'm new enough to sheep to not be able to answer many of your questions, but I do know that head size will play a part in whether or not the delivery is difficult. I just purchased two dorset lambs from a breeder who consistently gets 12 lb lambs, even with twins. This year she had one ram that was nearly 20, and his twin was still 12! She says the toughest part is the head size for her ewes. I'd rather have a smaller lamb and easier delivery :)
     
  8. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Welcome to the Forum!

    I Raised their smaller cousins for a number of years. Most of my lambs were the 2 to 3lb area.

    Could be a number of things, including the breeding line you have.
    However, I have always liked when the ewes had a little smaller lambs, as it was easier on Delivery, as kesoaps said.

    I think with the Cheviot breed in general, they were bred so the lambs could get up, nurse quickly and are hardy. I know mine did, with in 5 minutes they were up. Within 15 minutes they were bouncing around.
    The smaller lambs, normally mean they can follow the flock faster.
    They do not tend to finish out as fast as some of the Commercial breeds, but they do tend to catch up.

    Have had other breeds and they can take as much as an hour to even get up and nurse.

    http://www.nc-cheviot.co.uk/public/general.php
     
  9. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Hello, When you say there smaller cousins do you mean the miniature cheviots? I know a few people who rasie them but not around here, Mostly in Manitoba and British Columbia. Cute little Fella's.

    We have always liked having the smaller lambs as, like you said, easy lambing and they are up quickly and sucking right away.

    So thanks, for all the advice and info everyone. It has helped, so now I feel that it might not be our fault the lambs are small but it could be for the best.

    Melissa
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Small births are fine my Rideaus grow phenominally fast so its not a big problem that they come out so small. Cheviots greatest attribute is their growth rate, and motheing is a major reason they work so well. I got rid of mine because they were absolute ding-a-lings to handle. If yours drop smaller lambs and are managable count your blessings.
     
  11. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Yes, they were the BHC or mini Cheviots. Really nice little sheep!
     
  12. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Our Cheviots are great, they are good moms and great to handle as the ewes have all been to shows before and will be as we show at quiet a few shows a year. We find the chviots the least flighty, the best to handle out of the other sheep we have, Suffolks, or Hamp/Crosses.

    I haven't seen the miniature Cheviots before but I have heard that there great little sheep. Is there much market for them, mainly meat?

    Melissa