Future lifestyle blocker in Southland

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7 years 11 months ago #37892 by idragu
Hi, My husband and I settled on our 6 acres of deer fenced bare land a few months back (about 5-10min from our current house) and I have been trawling this site since for future ideas and landscaping ideas. We plan to build our forever house and man shed over the next 5yrs and eventually have a handful of animals.

I haven't bothered introducing myself before as we have just been using the land for dirt bike and quad bike fun with the kids but 2 weeks ago we put a friends sheep (33 of them) on the land while they are in america for 6 weeks to get the grass down. The sheep aren't due to Lamb until Sept so we were happy just checking on them regularly and moving them around the paddock as that is about the limit of our farming knowledge thanks to a week of advice before they left :)

Saturday morning during a regular farm check we discovered 2 sheep had multiplied and we now had 4 extras springing around the paddock much to our surprise. They seem happy and healthy and the mums seem to know what they are doing so assuming they aren't new to this but I however keep panicking that they will freeze or be abandoned or something as I have never had to look after lambs before.

We are lucky enough to have a lot of knowledgeable customers at work and friends to advise us and between them and the information I have found so far on this site I feel pretty confident that we can handle anymore surprises that might come also arise from such early lambs and inexperienced "farmers".

So here I am introducing myself as I may need to post a few questions over the next month [;)]

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7 years 11 months ago #489680 by Ruth
Welcome to the forum. :)

Sheep and lambs, once they're safely born (which they usually are) are pretty well right on their own. Just watch for lambs which suddenly appear down in the dumps and shivery, which would be because they were not getting enough/anything to eat for some reason. If they're running around with their mothers and gradually looking rounder and happier, they're fine.

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7 years 11 months ago #489734 by Deanna
Well if you've been about a while you'll know just how helpful this place can be. So welcome, and good luck with your sheep sitting, and little newies! :D

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 11 months ago #489737 by LongRidge
A good ewe will stay with her lambs, and talk to them quite often ..... and be able to count. Some ewes cannot count, so they wander off after the noisy lamb and leave the quiet one behind. Generally this happens, if it is going to, soon after birth.
The main thing for you to watch out for is the bum of the lamb getting blocked by it's poo. When that happens, catch the lamb and very carefully scrape off the poo with a blunt knife. Or better still one person hold the lamb still while the other person snips the wool off with scissors.

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7 years 11 months ago #489746 by Deanna
Out of 19 lambs I had that happen to one LR, that stuffs like bleeding concrete super glue! :eek: I got a bucket of soapy water and softened it off, then trimmed the wool. Happened to chicks too.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 11 months ago #490854 by idragu
Thanks for the advice. We are up to 10 lambs now and only one has been rejected after escaping the break it was in when she had it and spending a night on its own in the cold so I now I have a very happy lamb in my office at work. We almost lost it but thanks to owning a rural business we had a lot of help and advice from customers stopping in and have been lent a heat lamp, teat, throat tube (which we haven't needed yet) got a farm supplying colostrum and one customer even gave it a penicillin shot.

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7 years 11 months ago #490857 by rider1803

idragu;495588 wrote: Thanks for the advice. We are up to 10 lambs now and only one has been rejected after escaping the break it was in when she had it and spending a night on its own in the cold so I now I have a very happy lamb in my office at work. We almost lost it but thanks to owning a rural business we had a lot of help and advice from customers stopping in and have been lent a heat lamp, teat, throat tube (which we haven't needed yet) got a farm supplying colostrum and one customer even gave it a penicillin shot.


Wow you are doing very well for "sheep minders" who didn't have anything to worry about to have 10 lambs! Isn't it lovely to see everyone pitching in to help :D

Confirmed horse addict.

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7 years 11 months ago #490860 by muri
You've done really well Idragu. Just shows most sheep can manage without the 'experts'

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7 years 10 months ago #490967 by idragu
I spoke to soon we were up to 12 lambs but sadly we lost one who was rejected by the mother and although it was only born earlier that morning and seemed fine when we checked again at lunchtime was very floppy and unable to hold its head up. We rushed her home warmed her up and tried to feed her and she did seem to start to come right trying to sit and passed both solid and liquid but I think she went into shock (bottom started jaw shaking uncontrollably) and she passed quite quickly after. I am a bit gutted I know its part of farming but with them not being our sheep and after being so successful with the boy lamb and doing so well minding them up till now suddenly dealing with 2 sheep in a row rejecting lambs and losing one so quickly has thrown me a bit. It hasn't put me off wanting to have a handful of our own sheep eventually tho and the owners are back this coming weekend. On the whole I have enjoyed it :)

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7 years 10 months ago #490968 by Stikkibeek
It's quite important not to intervene too quickly with new borns. Mum needs time to bond, especially with multiples, but by all means monitor from a quiet "safe' distance and act if you need to.
Sounds as if you are doing very well, so keep up the good work. You might like to discuss with the sheep's owner, what the future of the ram lamb you are raising will be. He will need to be castrated (wethered) as tame ram lambs can become very dangerous when grown up.
And welcome to the LSB :)

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 10 months ago #490976 by Deanna

Stikkibeek;495714 wrote: It's quite important not to intervene too quickly with new borns. Mum needs time to bond, especially with multiples, but by all means monitor from a quiet "safe' distance and act if you need to.
Sounds as if you are doing very well, so keep up the good work. You might like to discuss with the sheep's owner, what the future of the ram lamb you are raising will be. He will need to be castrated (wethered) as tame ram lambs can become very dangerous when grown up.
And welcome to the LSB :)

What she said! [;)]

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 10 months ago #491004 by idragu
Yeah we have tried to stay away from the mothers as much as possible. We leave them with the mob usually about 24 hours and then move them out of the breaks and into the main part of the paddock full of the good grass. Was a bit of a shock having the girl lamb abandoned and in such a bad way soo quickly.

I hope to be able to reach them tomorrow about the ram lambs balls :) So many conversations I wasn't expecting to have or even need to think about when they left 5 wks ago

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7 years 10 months ago #491006 by kindajojo
Sometimes the ewe abandons the lamb because she knows it's not right.....it happens...don't beat yourself up, deaths are inevitable.

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7 years 10 months ago #491021 by LongRidge
I suspect that there was something wrong with the lamb, because a healthy one will live for up to 28 hours without a feed. I would suspect insufficient selenium, and/or iodine but iodine deficiency is far worse for male newborns than females.
We have 4 kids in residence at the moment, in a cage in the lounge. They got cold after being born in the frost, and one looks like a prem. We rub the kid/lamb with handee paper towels to dry it but not to wash off it's scent, and place it in front of the fire. Then catch the doe/ewe and milk off some colostrum. Get out the stomach tube, hold the newborn up in the air by the head so that the line from mouth to gut is as straight as possible. Measure the length from mouth to gut, slide the tube in. If it gets to the measurement then it is in the gut, if it won't go that far then it's probably in the lungs so start again. Then pour in the colostrum. If the mother has no colostrum and we don't have any saved, then the newborn gets dexolite.

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7 years 10 months ago #491203 by idragu
Thanks, I am feeling a lot better about it now. My husband has been talking to a few farmers as well and the general consensus is that the lamb wasn't right to start with and was a lost cause from the beginning.

The whole experience has made me even more excited and keen about eventually moving out there. At least then we will be able to more easily check on the animals when they are our own and I will be better prepared. I have really enjoyed looked after the sheep and their surprise lambs. Cant wait till we can build and move onto our land.

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