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Hope you can stand another sheep question. Can't seem to find the answer in anything I've read. So I need to use a life line.


How long before they lamb do I need to stop working my ewes? And how old do the lambs need to be before I can train with them.


Keep in mind that they are worked regularly, only with my dogs that are far enough along that we don't have any major wrecks, sheep rides etc. Worked about 20 minutes at a time.


Was rather dumb of me to oust the wethers before my first lamb crop! I'm afraid I'm going to be short sheep for training for a while.

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Guest PrairieFire

It depends.


Ewes need to exercise, I beleive it is good for the lazy things to walk - I purposely place water a distance away from feed and minerals so they have to walk even when we don't push them.


The last trimester I don't work them much with young dogs or at all in close spaces or through doors - but use the older, quieter dogs on them all the way through lambing - that's what the furry bastards are for...

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Thanks Bill, with our mares we work them just about up until the time they foal.. Of course we adjust their work load and use a good heaping of common sense.


However I had two novice people tell me that I was being "cruel" working the ewes. And was going to cause them to lose the lambs...Of course these people have been in novice for 3 years, their sheep have names, won't work them if is too cold, too hot.. or the stars and moon just aren't lined up right.


While I take good care of my sheep..the bottom line is they are here for only one reason..

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I've held off starting two pups in part because my ewes were due this month, but have continued to make them move around for exercise with Red even up until yesterday. I got my first lamb late today. Got 3 more to go (yeah, big flock here) and I'll still be out there just about every day walking them quietly around the field. Red's awfully good with the lambs too. He'll take his nose and literally push them along if he has to 'til they catch on to the idea.


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I have ewes forced walked around about a mile a day as they near their whelping time.

I do this with Rex since he's natural pacer but the idea is to stress the ewes inorder to pinpoint any unexpected ailments,mainly ketosis.

Ketotic animals,when stressed will fall behind the herd and eventually stop and/or hit the ground. Immediate treatment sure saves them,otherwise once they lamb and go off their feed,you are looking a dead sheep standing.

I wouldn't work youngsters in their last trimester though.

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