There’s a first time for everything.

Ayla_noemi

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Hello,

Just wanted to share my experience with my ewe today.

This is Onyx we bought her back in August. According to seller she is 75% Kathadin what the other 25% is we already forgot. We got her for $50 because we were purchasing the remainder of his flock wich was 100% Kathadin and he didn’t want her to be alone. Well she birthed this beautiful beast who I named Cupid because he was born on Valentine’s Day.

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Well this past Friday we sold Cupid to the same center for special needs children we previously sold our orphaned twin Kathadin males Ying and Yang. This morning I noticed her looking exceptionally miserable so I decided she could use some TLC. Although we do not have sheep shearers we do have a dog trimmer and some scissors. Now I have no experience shearing livestock and as far as my dog was concerened he looked diseased when I trimmed his hair. Yes, it was that bad. Well we figured it’s hot out so what the heck. This is what we got.

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This is my brother in the picture and he’s even more lost than me. So after we were done we decided to wash her down with mane and tail. There’s no picture of this because my brother had to calm her while I washed her. Then we decided she could use a milking. We did not intend to milk our ewes and honestly I did not think of the discomfort she must have been feeling since we sold Cupid until this morning. This is what we got.

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Afterwards we trimmed her hooves. Which was the biggest adventure hence no pictures. I wish I did have one though because they looked rough to me. It looked like they had cracked in places that would hurt even though there was not that much overgrown. She is a stomper though. I wonder if that affects her. Well although it’s not the best shearing job I think she looks gorgeous and I need to figure out how to help her hooves.
 

Beekissed

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Great shear job!!! You should continue to milk her and make some cheese, as well as freeze some in case you have a bum lamb. She's beautiful!

Just curious...why did you take her lamb from her so early? She may get mastitis if you don't continue to milk her and keep her stripped out...got any extra lambs you can graft onto her?
 

baymule

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What an adventure! She looks positively gorgeous and I bet she feels better too. Your brother did an outstanding job! And that milk! You should keep her milked out for awhile. Sheep milk can be frozen. When you get enough, make cheese.
 

Ayla_noemi

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Great shear job!!! You should continue to milk her and make some cheese, as well as freeze some in case you have a bum lamb. She's beautiful!

Just curious...why did you take her lamb from her so early? She may get mastitis if you don't continue to milk her and keep her stripped out...got any extra lambs you can graft onto her?

We have a customer that we have developed I guess a friendship with. She raises bottle babies and takes them to her school for special needs children to use as therapy animals. She fell in love with him when she came over to bring us turkeys to smoke and was anxious to get him as soon as possible to avoid him rejecting the bottle. We honestly haven’t taken a baby away from momma who wasn’t already weaning before but with them I am confident that if there are any issues she will bring him back for a while. My husband had wanted to milk our goats but we never separated the babies from mom so our results were mediocre. I dont know why I didn’t see the opportunity before though. I can’t imagine how miserable she must have been. I was thinking about continuing to milk her just enough to keep her healthy and comfortable in order to allow her body to slow down production naturally. This is not because I have experience with this my only experience is with lactating mothers as a nurse. I am very curious though about this grafting you mentioned. Currently I have a set of twins just a few days younger than her lamb is. They are so much smaller than him though he was a beast. I have another ewe due within the week who has at least two in there. I assume that by grafting you mean getting them to pair up as mother and daughter. What is the best way to go about this? Would it be easier to do this with a newborn or a week old lamb? Would they need to be separated from the group until they strengthen their bond? How long should I observe them for before I can walk away for a while before returning and how often should I return to check on them?
 

Beekissed

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What is the best way to go about this? Would it be easier to do this with a newborn or a week old lamb? Would they need to be separated from the group until they strengthen their bond? How long should I observe them for before I can walk away for a while before returning and how often should I return to check on them?
I've never personally did it with sheep, only cattle,but was successful with putting bum calves from the stockyard onto my milk cow. Just took putting a scent into her nose and on them as well...some use Vicks, I used essential oils...can't remember the one I used at the time, could have been lemongrass. Needs to be a strong scent.

I used Vicks when we did this with meat rabbits.

She seems very docile if you are able to milk her so easily and she may welcome the relief of a swollen udder if you give her a lamb. I'd let her udder get a little distended again and then try it, masking the scent of the ringer lamb and just monitor how it goes. It would help if you isolate her from the others, especially the original mama, until the pairing has taken.

I'd check often enough that you feel secure about leaving them alone together. You've got nothing to lose by trying.

Or, you could just milk her like you planned to do your goats. She has GREAT teats for a sheep and a very roomy udder, being that docile she's an excellent candidate for a milking ewe. Some of the world's most expensive cheese is made from sheep's milk.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/04/essential-sheep-milk-cheese.html
 

sumi

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Great job on the sheering and the milk! :thumbsup Beekissed and the others have given you great advice here. I would continue milking her, unless you have a lamb she can adopt, but milking her would be great too.

I had sheep's milk cheese once, a few years ago. It was delicious!!
 

NH Homesteader

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That's a decent amount of milk for a sheep! I would milk her but I'm kinda into the milking thing, lol. If you want to dry her off just milk a little less every day and she'll gradually start making less. I don't know anything about grafting a baby on, let us know how it goes if you decide to try!
 

Ayla_noemi

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I've never personally did it with sheep, only cattle,but was successful with putting bum calves from the stockyard onto my milk cow. Just took putting a scent into her nose and on them as well...some use Vicks, I used essential oils...can't remember the one I used at the time, could have been lemongrass. Needs to be a strong scent.

I used Vicks when we did this with meat rabbits.

She seems very docile if you are able to milk her so easily and she may welcome the relief of a swollen udder if you give her a lamb. I'd let her udder get a little distended again and then try it, masking the scent of the ringer lamb and just monitor how it goes. It would help if you isolate her from the others, especially the original mama, until the pairing has taken.

I'd check often enough that you feel secure about leaving them alone together. You've got nothing to lose by trying.

Or, you could just milk her like you planned to do your goats. She has GREAT teats for a sheep and a very roomy udder, being that docile she's an excellent candidate for a milking ewe. Some of the world's most expensive cheese is made from sheep's milk.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/04/essential-sheep-milk-cheese.html
I think I’ll try the grafting just to have some experience should I really need to do it in the future. It if takes good and it it doesn’t I’ll just give baby back to momma and continue milking. Thank you all for the advice. I’ll let you all know how it goes. How long should I try the grafting before I know if it’s a success or not?
 

Beekissed

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I think I’ll try the grafting just to have some experience should I really need to do it in the future. It if takes good and it it doesn’t I’ll just give baby back to momma and continue milking. Thank you all for the advice. I’ll let you all know how it goes. How long should I try the grafting before I know if it’s a success or not?
I think that would likely vary. I always left them to it when I saw them eating consistently and after the nursing, the mother wanting to lick on and nurture the baby. You'll likely be able to tell pretty quickly if she's going to accept the baby by her behavior...if she rejects him she'll butt him and won't let him nurse at all.

I'd hold her head the first time he nurses but after he's had a good feed for a bit, I'd let her go and see what she does. Place the scent in her nostrils, his bottom, along his back, his head so that when she reaches back to sniff who's nursing, she gets a whiff of the same scent she's got in her own nose. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

I've had good success with cattle and rabbits, but sheep may be much more sensitive..especially the hair breeds. They seem more akin to wild deer to me than the woolly breeds. Much more wily.

I hope it goes well for you! Please let us know? LOVE to hear about your homesteading efforts.
 

frustratedearthmother

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Great job! She looks gorgeous and what an udder! She should be able to supply a good amount of milk - either for your family or a new sheep baby!
 
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