Murray enjoying a quick cuddle with one of our Triplets
Lambs can present themselves in a number of different ways but we would hope to see two front feet and the nose of the lamb. The diagram below helps to illustrate the numerous positions that lambs can present themselves in.
As a Shepherd you must get involved when an unusual presentation is seen due to the fact the lambs or the ewe can die from a traumatic birth. This year Murray had one ewe with twins both in breach presentation. It was necessary therefore to push the lambs back inside the uterus and realign the lambs and then assist with the ewe with the lambs birth.
Once the lambs are born the ewes immediately start to clean their lamb and within a few minutes the lambs are trying to stand and get their first drink, The video below shows Mildrid's first lamb seconds after it was born.
Once the ewe has cleaned her lamb off we then give them time to bond with their lambs. Although we lamb outside we bring all the ewes in with their lambs to make sure the lambs are healthy and we make sure the ewe is producing enough milk. Some first time mums are also a bit shocked by the process and this gives them time on their own with their lambs.
Before the ewes go out we trim their feet and worm them, this is to make sure they stay in a good condition due to the fact they can soon loose body condition if they are not in full health especially when they are feeding two fast growing lambs.
The lambs will stay with their mums until August when we wean all the lambs and separate the ram lambs from the ewe lambs.
Mildred with her twins
This year we have achieved a 180% lambing percentage with our Dorset Ram Dirk which is fantastic for our Jacobs. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the results from our Jacob Ram Ussian with only 10 out of the 18 he had ended up pregnant.
Which in comparison to Dirk who had 49 ewes of which 46 were pregnant means Ussain performed poorly. The limit for one ram is about 50 ewes to one ram, so therefore we were very happy with the fact the fact Dirk had covered 46 in total.
It was Ussian first year as a working ram but this was very disappointing for us as it is vital that we continue to bring new pedigree ewe lambs into the flock. And therefore we only have 7 new pedigree ewe lambs born this year.
Myself and Murray now have a hard decision to make, looking forward into the winter breeding season of whether to give him another chance.
Our Dorset x Jacob Lambs