Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Was it the drought?

Last night I had another set of twins born to one of my ewes: two more RAM lambs! What's up with that?!?
At first I just thought it was dear old Tex getting heavy on the ram lambs and my luck would change. However this ewe was bred to an entirely different ram---one that has generally thrown mostly ewes for me and never have I gotten ram twins from him so....Was it the drought?
Nutrition supposedly can and will affect conception rate of sheep. In the fall most shepherds "flush" their ewes and rams. Flushing is when you raise the quality and quantity of food right before, during and slightly after breeding to encourage more eggs to drop. Though I did that---and have received all twins for my trouble so far---I do wonder if something about the drought changed something about the matings and so that is why I am so heavy on ram lambs. On the other hand---it could just be "luck of the draw" this year and it was just what I was meant to have.
Regarding droughts affecting the number of lambs though: quite a few people have commented this year that they are getting many more singles from ewes that have always had twins or even triplets. So it just goes to show, yet again, how important good nutrition is for something even so simple as fertility. Obviously drought is a lot harder to control than minerals are, but something to consider when raising animals and getting them ready for breeding. Nutrition is key to everything.

I will post some pictures of the cuties later this morning. It is still to dark to take pictures in the barn since I never got electricity down there. Also the state vet is coming early this afternoon for our annual scrapie check which we missed in October. So it is going to be a busy morning. At least the weather is suppose to be nice :-) Maybe some rain tomorrow which will be good for my patch of oats I planted but look like nothing more than a "patchy" stand of garden I forgot to pull grass from right now.
Have a good one.

No comments: