Ewe's Udder Lopsided

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by OregonGuys, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. OregonGuys

    OregonGuys Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    We have a fifteen month old ewe taking care of her first lamb, a single. The lamb is now about 8 weeks old. Both halves of the ewe's udder were balanced and equal until about 1 week ago. Now, one side is much smaller than the other.

    We were afraid it might be an infection, so we examined her. The smaller udder half is the same temperature as the full half. No sign of soreness, or hardening. Everything seems ok.

    Is it possible that the lamb is simply only drinking from one side, so the other side has just shut down production? Both the lamb and the mother seem to be in perfect health. Should we be worried?
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    Oregon, your right in that you shouldn't be worried. Some single lambs will drink from both sides, some will drink from one. Your chap would appear to have opted for one side which is providing enough for it's needs.


  3. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    The Great State of South Dakota

    I bet the lamb is....we are experanceing this with out cows now...calves are just drinking from the frount 2 teats! Good Grief!
  4. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2004
    Shouldn't be worried -- best thing to do, though, is to keep an eye on her. If the lamb is ONLY drinking from the one teat, you can always pull milk from the other side if it starts to get a little too big for your liking.

    Sheep milk can be frozen in ziplock bags to be used with orphan lambs (NEVER heat the milk if you want to keep the natural goodness of antibodies and so forth, just sit the bag out to thaw to room temperature -- bags of milk shouldn't be kept frozen for more than two years to prevent freezer burn). It's also a healthier substitute for cow's milk, being with less butter fat content it's almost like having 2% or skim. Fresh or frozen milk can be used in cooking (but if it's colustrum, be sure to mark it as such and keep that only for orphan lambs within the first day or two of life).

    Do check for hardness; do check to make sure the teat does not drag the ground (or any other object) -- this can cause sores and will lead to mastisis if not taken proper care of.

    If the udder feels dry, you can prevent cracking with bag balm or any other moisturizer (but try to keep it away from the drinking teat as it might deter the lamb from suckling).

    Good luck.