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Should I wait or intervene

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1 Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:34 pm

islandgal99

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Newbie sheep owner alert!!!

Dilbert and his four girls are awesome - more like dogs than livestock, and would follow me anywhere, which I suppose is good for milking sheep. I literally trip over them in the field, as they are always underfoot. They are all this years babes and they are all East Friesian or E/F x Lacaune. Everyone is healthy.

I have never seen Dilbert breed. I saw signs the other day that one of the girls was clearly in season (swollen vulva, tail cricked to the side, standing and waiting for "something"), and Dilbert was sniffing her pee (which I understand is good) and making funny faces after (which was funny as could be - I could post pics - and is good). And he was 'chest butting' her, showing some interest but never attempted to mount. I've never seen him do the deed. And some days, he seems more interested in humans and what we are doing than in the in-season girls. So should I be intervening, training, helping him in any way? Without lambs, there is no milk, and having milking sheep with no milk, is, well, pointless. So I definitely want to ensure he get's this figured out. Any thoughts from sheep folks on how to proceed, or not? Since some of the girls are still in season, there was definitely already a missed opportunity as he's been in there for some time.

The other thing here, should I quickly cut potential losses and get an experience ram on the job, milking breed or not? I doubt I could find an experienced milking ram out here quickly, but who knows...I'd be pretty sad if I got to spring with no lambs coming.

Thanks in advance.

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

2 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:03 pm

Schipperkesue

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I am sure more experienced sheep people will answer (Heda?) but I have never seen my sheep breed either so it is not impossible.  My boy was about 9 months old when he first did the deed.

3 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:39 pm

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I don't know anything about sheep so I know you'll get some much-more practical responses than this, but I think part of the problem might be his name.  

Check http://manlyboynames.blogspot.ca/ to see what I'm talking about.

You might consider Jasper, Percival, Torrence, Ross....or even Otis - at least he will listen if you resort to reading aloud from a manual.

For Gordon sake don't go with Durwin, Frasier, Salisbury or Ira!!  You'll never get lambs!

I hope this helps. Wink 

4 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:48 pm

Schipperkesue

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Razz 

5 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:06 pm

islandgal99

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farmchiq wrote:I don't know anything about sheep so I know you'll get some much-more practical responses than this, but I think part of the problem might be his name.  

Check [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see what I'm talking about.

You might consider Jasper, Percival, Torrence, Ross....or even Otis - at least he will listen if you resort to reading aloud from a manual.

For Gordon sake don't go with Durwin, Frasier, Salisbury or Ira!!  You'll never get lambs!

I hope this helps.  Wink 
Bwah ha ha.  Laughing Dilbert is the ram, Wilburt is the boar...and Derek is the man...I thought they were all quite manly names. Names confuse me.. I always thought Jean-Claude Van-Damme was a manly guy, but I suspect Jean-Claude isn't considered a manly name. Oh boy, I guess I blew it. New name for the ram. It's all my fault.  Very Happy Who knew?

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

6 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:50 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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What about getting one of those marking harnesses so you can tell if he's mounted them? I know the lady we got our lambs from said with young maiden sheep it might take a few cycles for them to catch. Maybe it might be the same for a young ram? He will figure it out Smile

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

7 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:10 pm

islandgal99

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I'm feeling better, I guess I'm the one who's impatient - and I was surprised to see a ewe in heat yesterday as I thought they all would have been bred. I did look at my calendar and it's only been a month and a half, so a good chance of newbies not getting it right the first heats. Whew. Feeling better now. Smile

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

8 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:23 am

Fowler

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I saw ur guy try but never actually saw them breed. The lambs came anyway so I'm thinking the breeding isn't necessary.

9 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:25 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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Very Happy  Good stuff. I am jealous. I want to breed mine but hubby said no.....The kids asked the other night when are they going to have their babies? I guess they figure every creature on the property is having babies so they should too...keep asking dad I said!

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

10 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:20 am

Fowler

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fuzzylittlefriend wrote:Very Happy  Good stuff.  I am jealous.  I want to breed mine but hubby said no.....The kids asked the other night when are they going to have their babies?  I guess they figure every creature on the property is having babies so they should too...keep asking dad I said!
Haven't actually bred for a couple of years and may never again. They add up quickly.

11 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:42 am

islandgal99

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I never thought that seeing a ram mount a ewe would be so exciting, but we saw him today - in the far corner away from where we were working on the pig side of the fence - mounting one of the girls.  Yeah.  He does more than chest butt.  So exciting.  I have faith now that he will follow through.  Smile  

I guess that only leaves two words...

patience grasshopper

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

12 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:55 am

Schipperkesue

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Fowler wrote:
Haven't actually bred for a couple of years and may never again.  They add up quickly.
Um...Fowler...I am a tad uncomfortable with this new information. Perhaps this is best kept between you and your significant other?

13 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:26 am

Fowler

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Schipperkesue wrote:
Fowler wrote:
Haven't actually bred for a couple of years and may never again.  They add up quickly.
Um...Fowler...I am a tad uncomfortable with this new information.  Perhaps this is best kept between you and your significant other?
I just knew someone was going to say that.

14 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:42 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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Oh dear!!

I keep saying I would send these babies to the freezer as their mamas I bottle fed and they are more like big dogs then sheep..can't send them in......cutest faces in the morning!

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

15 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:52 am

islandgal99

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fuzzylittlefriend wrote:Oh dear!!

I keep saying I would send these babies to the freezer as their mamas I bottle fed and they are more like big dogs then sheep..can't send them in......cutest faces in the morning!

What's up with the dog-like antics of sheep?  I remember my Grandpa having sheep, and even the bottle feeders would only come for the bottle and then run away - they didn't want to be touched or near a human.  These ones are insane - they stand so close they are usually standing on my feet, just like my dogs.  They LOVE a good chin scratch.  I never have white socks or black shoes - there is always a paw or hoof print on them. 

Even Dilbert, it was seeming he was more interested in people there for a while than in his girls.  I guess yesterday he had seen so much of us, as we had been fencing for two days, that he decided his girls were more interesting than me - thank goodness.  Yeah, maybe i will have lambs after all.

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

16 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:03 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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I think mine are species confused. They dont know if they are sheep, dogs or birds! I thought mine were so friendly because they dont know any better. Maybe if they were in a large herd they would not be so interested. They also mostly just like me. They like the kids but ignore my husband which make for lots of trouble on the nights I work and he does night chores!

How could you not love this face. Mitzy does this every morning before I let them out. SHe gets her hug then gets off the door!


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http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

17 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:18 pm

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Last edited by HigginsRAT on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total

http://www.wolven.ca/higgins/ratranch/

18 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:26 pm

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Last edited by HigginsRAT on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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19 Re: Should I wait or intervene on Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:23 am

bigrock

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islandgal99 wrote: I did look at my calendar and it's only been a month and a half, so a good chance of newbies not getting it right the first heats.   Smile
sheep cycle every 17 days. If they are really young they may not take their first year.

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