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2014 Lambing

Mark Billadeau

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We have between 65 and 70 bred ewes this year. Typically they can lamb in the field, the barn yard, or the barn; however this year the field and barn yard are covered with a foot of hard crusty snow so they all are lambing in the barn stalls or right in front of the barn (they have access to the field and barn yard).


So far we've had 5 sets of triplets, 7 sets of twins, a single, and a still born lamb.


We have a few pens in the barn for "at risk" lambs like triplets, wandering lambs, wandering/inattentive ewes, and small lambs. We generally like to give triplets a few days in a pen but that won't be possible this year; clearly we do not have enough pens for this year's lambing (note to self: build 4 more pens in the barn this summer). One set of triplets has a small lamb so they get a pen until that lamb is strong. The other pens were filled with other triplets and a set of twins with a wonder lamb.


This morning two sets of triplets were born right next to each other and one of the ewes was certain the other was trying to steel her lambs. This ment the problem ewe and what I think are here 3 lambs were moved to a pen bumping out another family unit.


Three more weeks of lambing.......

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Good luck with the lambing.

Your operation is in the same size category as ours; we have 83 breeding ewes this year.

But this is Iceland, and lambing time does not start before the first of Mai (and we belong to the early starters). We do the lambing indoors, putting out them out as soon as the lambs are a couple of days old (weather permitting).

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The high percetage of triplets continues.

19 ewes have lambed out of 65-70 bred.


8 sets of triplets

9 sets of twins

1 single

High fertility rate!

In my neck off the woods we are pretty "Goldy Locks" about fertility; singles is too little (and a culling offense when repeated), and triplets is not really positive either, it is a bit iffy to send a ewe in the hills with more than two lams (but I know my ewes, some can be trusted to pull it off). And that means weaning the third under a single mother, or a bottle lamb.

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We have dorper kat crosses. Since I moved back to MO we've started having triplets every year. First I was thrilled. Then I found out how much worrying I do about if Momma's are producing enough milk. Plus twins finish out quicker.

Now that I don't want them I have a couple sets every year.

Go figure.

This year I've only had 1 set of trips, one died so I guess I can hardly count that one. But I've had a year of ram lambs. Out of 14 lambs born this last month only 2 are ewe lambs.


I also have ewes that have 6 month old lambs on their sides or younger (lambs) popping out twins. I thought it was hay belly! LOL

I've never had lambs so close together and I don't normally separate the ram. I like lambing smaller groups a couple times a year. Makes for fresh lambs to work dogs. Usual is about 9 months apart. They all look healthy. The lambs are a bit small but not knowing we going to lamb so quickly, I was feeding cheap hay and the extra cold winter took it's toll so small lambs are not surprising. Glad my ram is out on loan. I don't want July lambs!

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