New Member - Ewe issues

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6 years 9 months ago #511866 by Wollyton
Hi there, I am brand new to this forum although not brand new to LSB. We have a smallish piece of land in Wellington where we keep sheep, pigs, chickens and mini ponies (all pets)

I came across this forum in the wee small hours while listening to the new ewe crying pitifully outside my bedroom window!

On Saturday we were given a ewe by one of my colleagues who thought keeping a lamb and it's mother on a small section in the city would be a great idea!! Needless to say when he let his dogs "out to meet them" they both jumped the back fence and took off for 2 days. When they were finally returned apparently mum had rejected the baby. I am not convinced that this is the full truth as I now believe they have the "rejected" lamb living inside wearing a nappy as this had been the plan all along, however the farmer who sold them the sheep wouldn't separate mum and bub. I suspect that mum was proving too much trouble and they wanted to off-load her as quickly as possible.

In any case they have given us mum and she is currently paddocked with my 2 weathers. She has cried non stop for the past 2 days (sleep? What sleep!) and not being experienced with ewes I wondered if there is anything I should be doing to try and settle her. She has a full udder and is no doubt a bit traumatised at being moved in the back of my colleagues car! I can imagine she is missing her bub and is uncomfortably full with milk.

We do have the option of re-homing her down the road to live with another ewe and her 2 lambs and one other young orphan lamb, but don't want to cause her more unrest if this is likely to be a disaster.

Not really being a sheep person I am a little stuck on what is the best thing for her. Would she be better with other ewes? With lambs or will she settle down with my boys?

I feel terrible for her but also can't face the prospect of weeks without sleep as she bleats outside the window!

Is anyone able to offer any advice? How long will it take for her to settle down?

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6 years 9 months ago #513404 by muri
Replied by muri on topic New Member - Ewe issues
She will settled down, she is obviously missing her baby as well as being a good mother. How long, it will depend a bit on the ewe and her breed, some are more attached than others.
When I have a stressed animal, I give it rescue remedy to help calm it. It wont stop her crying immediately but it will reduce her stress and she will get over it more quickly. I thing I would hang on to her rather than shifting her yet again and causing more stress again

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6 years 9 months ago #513405 by Wollyton
Replied by Wollyton on topic New Member - Ewe issues
Thanks so much Muri that is great advice. I use rescue remedy fior my cats, so makes perfect sense to give it to the sheep. ��

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6 years 9 months ago #513417 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic New Member - Ewe issues
Sheep have pretty good memories so at the mo' she's amongst complete strangers and as you say, very uncomfortable at best. Not surprised she is bleating, poor girl! if she is missing her lamb that much she might be better off with the other sheep 'family' you mention, one of those lambs might at least take off the surplus milk.

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6 years 9 months ago #513421 by Wollyton
Replied by Wollyton on topic New Member - Ewe issues
Thank Geba. It's so frustrating that keeping pet lambs in the city is the current craze, and I feel terrible for Mummy sheep. Will see if she has settled at all tonight, otherwise may see if I can borrow a lamb and see if that does the trick

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6 years 9 months ago #513424 by igor
Replied by igor on topic New Member - Ewe issues
You could milk the ewe for your own use Wollyton. Feta cheese is traditionally made from ewes' milk. Are you up for a bit of experimentation with unfamiliar foods?

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6 years 9 months ago #513428 by Wollyton
Replied by Wollyton on topic New Member - Ewe issues
We are both vegan, but I guess the pigs might like it! I am not sure if she trusts us enough to milk her, but I had thought of that option to relieve her pain

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6 years 9 months ago #513429 by igor
Replied by igor on topic New Member - Ewe issues
The pigs would love it.

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6 years 9 months ago #513430 by muri
Replied by muri on topic New Member - Ewe issues

Geba;520527 wrote: Sheep have pretty good memories so at the mo' she's amongst complete strangers and as you say, very uncomfortable at best. Not surprised she is bleating, poor girl! if she is missing her lamb that much she might be better off with the other sheep 'family' you mention, one of those lambs might at least take off the surplus milk.


I very much doubt that she will take on another lamb, its hers she is missing, not a lamb in general. You would be putting her through even more stress probably by trying to get her to take another lamb she doesnt really want

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6 years 9 months ago #513432 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic New Member - Ewe issues
I hate this craze of taking lambs off their mothers to raise them as pets, first of all it's expensive , time consuming and then there are all the problems with hand raisesd lambs especially ram lambs. Not to mention the stress on the mum and the lamb. sOme ewes are excellent mothers and will go on for days looking for their lamb.
You really need to get her to a distant paddock with company ....out of earshot

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6 years 9 months ago #513437 by Wollyton
Replied by Wollyton on topic New Member - Ewe issues
Thanks everyone, she seems to be a lot more settled tonight and is making friends with my fellas. I am worried that she is so thin compared to them though!

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6 years 9 months ago #513440 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic New Member - Ewe issues

Wollyton;520547 wrote: Thanks everyone, she seems to be a lot more settled tonight and is making friends with my fellas. I am worried that she is so thin compared to them though!

Once her stress levels go down, she should start eating for herself again, rather than feeding a lamb, and should put on weight. She probably didn't have anywhere near enough grazing in her former home, and the life of the lonely lamb they have taken off her, seems a bit bleak.

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

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6 years 9 months ago #513443 by Wollyton
Replied by Wollyton on topic New Member - Ewe issues
It's horrible, but I guess the main thing is she is safe and will be appropriately cared for by us. I dare say we will end up with the lamb when the novelty wears off

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6 years 9 months ago #513568 by RaeM1
Replied by RaeM1 on topic New Member - Ewe issues
I would take her down to the neighbours to see if she will take their lamb on, I would be worried about her getting sick with mastitis if left the way she is. What a crazy thing for the previous owners to do, She sounds like she was a great mum and to have her baby taken off thats not good.

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