How long after lambing can you breed

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Curtis B, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Curtis B

    Curtis B Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,767
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    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.
     
  2. LibertyWool

    LibertyWool Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    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....
     

  3. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    It's possible in the hair sheep breeds, but not sure about all the woolie breeds. smile
     
  4. LibertyWool

    LibertyWool Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
     
  5. Curtis B

    Curtis B Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,767
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    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.
     
  6. LibertyWool

    LibertyWool Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
     
  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

    Messages:
    47,779
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Thats based on CONTROLLED breeding.
    Some sheep can concieve while still nursing lambs, as soon as 30 days after lambing
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    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
     
  9. PNP Katahdins

    PNP Katahdins sheep & antenna farming Supporter

    Messages:
    2,847
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Location:
    far SW Wisconsin USA
    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
     
  10. LibertyWool

    LibertyWool Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    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.... ;)
     
    AchesonAcres likes this.
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    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.
     
  12. equine@apex.net

    equine@apex.net Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Franklin, Ky.
    my ewes are lambing in February this year - was hoping to leave the ram in with them till May 1st. What are the chances that the hair sheep ewes will rebreed and lamb again in the fall? All are super healthy with excellent care, pasture and a little non gmo grains with proper calcium and vitamins too. One momma twinned last winter (Jan. 2016) and she has one little girl this early spring. Another has twinned on her first pregnancy and the third ewe is a two year old due any moment. New to sheep and still learning!!
     
  13. mustangglp

    mustangglp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    California
    Mine would probably go about 50% more if I sell the lambs I leave my lambs with the ewes till I sell because I don't have the fencing to rotate fields and keep everyone separate same with the ram.
     
  14. Hiro

    Hiro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Location:
    VA
    Very likely. Be wary to not overwork the ewes. Their capacity to breed is impressive. But, you can wear ewes out in a hurry having them lactating and rebreeding constantly. We do three breedings every two years with the healthy, prime ewes. The ewes that are more mature, 1st timers or have had issues get once a year breeding.
     
    mustangglp likes this.