How do folks keep track of lambs?

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10 years 8 months ago #473013 by LongRidge
Stu, The Manager can do that to some extent, but it is not possible for me. People that can do it peeve me off :-)).
All our ewes are marked with a tag that is big enough to see the number of from a few meters away. At lambing, I check which ewe has lambed and which sex lamb/s she has. We mark the lambs with spray raddle. We then mark onto a Swivel tag, yellow for female, orange for male a number. We tail young, when the maternal bond is stronger. At that time we try to line up the tags we have written with the mother and lamb. We find that if the ewes and lambs are allowed to spread out in the yards, they can be penned as a family lot, especially with the marking of the lamb.
That way we can keep track of which ewe has done the lambs well, and which ewe has done herself well but not the lambs.

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10 years 8 months ago #473015 by kindajojo
once they have lambed I leave them for 24 hours then move the family group into the yards check them over mark as required and move them into the more grassy paddock. I often wonder if the ewes think
" hey you know Eunice, had her lambs the other day...... anyone seen her....

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10 years 8 months ago #473037 by hilldweller
Next year you could tag 12-24 hours after birth, when they're easy to get hold of (especially if they're lying down). That works well here.

hilldweller

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10 years 8 months ago #473039 by LongRidge
Remember to catch both/all the lambs and hold them all until the last lamb has been finished with, otherwise the ewe will run off with the free lamb.

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10 years 8 months ago #473049 by Inger
This year, I've caught and tagged the lambs the day after they're born, before they can run too fast. A shepherds crook and a small lambing paddock makes the job a lot easier. I got tired of trying to work out whose lambs where which, in the yards, so decided to tag them at birth this year. It's worked really well. This year, it'll be so much faster working out which ram lambs to ring, cause I'll know straight away who their parents are.

Once the lambs are tagged, I hold them out in front of the ewe to lead her into the next paddock for better grass. If the lambs bleat, she'll usually follow fairly well, but sometimes it takes a couple of tries before the ewe gets the idea. The older ewes know the routine from previous years and are easier to shift with their lambs.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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10 years 8 months ago #473112 by eelcat
For the first time we devised a system for tagging our lambs and ewes. We bought 4 colours of tags. With left and right this gives us 8 possibilities and then any really recognizable ones get no tags. We did the tagging of the lambs as soon after birth as we could. Many of our ewes are tame enough that we could tag them with the matching tag whilst doing the lambs. The odd one needed doing in the yards after we had tagged the lambs. This is recorded in a book. We rarely keep lambs over that are not distinctive in some way so next year we can repeat the tagging. Any new ewe lambs that we decide to keep over that are not distinctive looking will just get a new colour for their babies. We have 10 ewes this year and 10 lambs and this season it has been brilliant - we know who belongs to who.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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10 years 8 months ago #473118 by LongRidge
We have used different colours of tags and different ears, and it becomes a real pain trying to remember which is what. We seldom keep replacement rams, because our flock of 50 would soon be very inbred if we did. We do keep replacement ewes, but they do not get their adult tag, in the other ear, until we have decided whether they have grown well, or got FE, or had a worm or scald problem. The eartags sometimes rip out, and other times cause a wound which gets large enough for the birth tag to fall out. Because our sheep are tagged, we do not earmark any of them.

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10 years 8 months ago #473147 by barnes
Well lets see ...

Di ... has 2 boys ... one light fawn head, the other darker and has recently developed a mild case of navel ill, thus his name is Cassidy ... as in hop along. I'm watching him as mum tends to lose the use of one side of her udder sometimes so I need to be sure he's still feeding.

Iana ... Has a boy and a girl ... the boy is the most spotty lamb, the girl is darker but with few girls I know which one she is too.

D2 ... Has a boy ... he's kind of a smudgy spotted thing ... called R2

Joat ... has a big girl ... her first lamb ... matching dark shoulders and a perky disposition ... that one is Sunny

Her ... (poor girl I never could think of a name for her) ... has a girl ... pure south suffolk so she's jet black right now.

They will all fade to be white/black faced sheep soon, but by then I'll have thought up names for them all and know them too well to make a mistake.

As well as these there is Molly, Woppy (my 2 young arapawa girls, not bred yet)
and Silk, up and coming ram lamb.

We used to have more sheep, we had 12 ewes and a ram, and I could tell them and their lambs apart just as easily. I think it helps having a breed that produces patterns in colour though!

(I must confess when we shear I mark the letter of the name on each one in raddle so I'll be able to tell until I've gotten used to their new look ...)

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10 years 8 months ago #473151 by hilldweller
In previous years I've bought blank tags and written out numbers for the lamb(s) to match each ewe. So if the ewe was 17 the lamb would be 17 or if twins 17A and 17B. That worked OK but it meant a bit of faffing around to write the tags out once I'd seen how many lambs were born, wait for the ink to dry etc, and sometimes the numbers became unreadable. It was good though in that when the lambs were in the yards I'd know straight away which ewe they belonged to.

This year I bought numbered tags in two colours: one for singles and one for multiples. The lambs just got tagged in approximate numerical order as they arrived, from 001 to 100. I'll know at the end of the season whether this works better. It will mean I can only tell which lambs belong to which ewe by checking my notebook, but I'm liking that with singles a different colour from twins if I see a ewe with only one lamb I can tell whether she's supposed to have another one.

With both systems the tags are too small for the numbers to be read from a distance. Ewe lambs kept as replacements will eventually get a big tag with a new number that begins with a digit for the year, so this year's will be 30, 31, ... 39, 310, 311....

Tags are cheap and if can't tell your lambs apart otherwise then tagging plus a notebook gives you the potential to make much better selection and culling decisions than is possible by simply looking at them.

hilldweller

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10 years 7 months ago #473192 by terralee
Hmmmmmmmmm have just had my lot sheared yesterday and I am having a wee bit of trouble recognising them from a distance now ...except Tammy Lambie as she is my only coloured ewe now:rolleyes: ...mind the lambs weren't done so I am finding that I can tell the ewes who lambed by knowing who their babies are :)

Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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10 years 7 months ago #473193 by Kilmoon
I usually tag within a day or two of birth, but each is distinctive, so its easy to tell apart. Look for hairy ears and legs, how white they are (ie dirty or clean), size of lamb vs others, ear shape/floppiness, pinkness of or black splotches on nose, their baa.

I use the fold over tags that clip back into themselves (Allflex) light blue tags for ram lambs, dark blue for ewe lambs, I use a soldering iron to etch the year and their number into the tag before using the black marker pen over the etch. That way even when the black wear/fades off, I still have the number.

Hubby, loves playing name that baa (especially if we have guests over)...I've yet to be wrong on who is baaing and why (ie "hello, where is everyone else?", "oh sh*t, my lamb is down a tomo!", "ahh, feeding time!", "hello boss!" - as in the recognition call that I've wandered into view and it might mean feeding/moving time etc, and my favorite when I've left their view: "ahh, anyone just see where the boss went?" - and are we supposed to be following - but that would mean a clicking of my tongue for that).

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10 years 7 months ago #473202 by Deanna
Ha ha Kilmoon, I know what you mean. My favourite, on a quite morning or afternoon when you have quietly hopped over a fence to check on them and no one notices for ages, then the obligatory 'hey, she's in the paddock again'. Responses. ' I, I see her, tah'. Or 'munch munch, what ever!'

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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10 years 7 months ago #473203 by terralee
Mine all have the same cry ....Got Nuts.Got Nuts. Got Nuts.:eek: I delude myself they all love me:rolleyes:

Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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10 years 7 months ago #473215 by Deanna
Ha ha ha, yesterday having run out of sheep nuts a week ago, I had to take 3 ewes with their lambs into a paddock where the flock were, and I knew the flock would think that the grass was greener where the 3 ewes were coming from, so I sent Mr D to the diagonal gate with a bucket with a handful of stones in it and told him to rattle it. So we were able to chase the 3 ewes and lambs quickly in opposite, before the flock twigged. Mr D swears the last ewe that stood and insisted he must have something for her, as the rest of the flock headed back to me, call him a 'Basket' as he apologised and left.

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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10 years 7 months ago #473221 by muri

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