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False Labor

 
Dwight Hardy
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I have a 10 month old Katahdin ewe that I have been unsure if she was bred or not. My other 4 ewes have all come in and bred in the last month but she has shown no signs of coming in.

She has been sort of staying away from the others lately and yesterday she started acting like she was in labor. She started pawing ant the ground and would then lay down and stick here nose in the air as high as she could. She would lay there for maybe a half minute or so and then get up and either start pawing again or stand real still holding her head erect sometimes taking little steps backwards. Then go back to pawing the ground in little circles then laying down again. After about five hours she started acting most normal and started grazing some.

This morning she is back to her normal self grazing and drinking.

She has not bagged up so its got me scratching my head.

Any ideals?

Thanks
 
R Ranson
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Could you tell us more about your setup?  Is your ram(s) in with the girls all year 'round, or just part of the year?

Also, about what part of the world are you in?  We have people from all over the world visiting here, some of which are just finishing up lambing season whereas my girls are just going into heat for the first time this fall (well, the first time they tell me about it that is).
 
Dwight Hardy
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I bought this ewe about two months ago and the previous owner was unsure if she was bred or not.

im from east Texas.

thanks
Dwight
 
R Ranson
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If she was older, it could be she's ready to pop out a lamb, but only 10 months?  It's a puzzle. 
It's beyond my skills and knowledge so I sent out a call in the Daily-ish email.  With over 30 thousand readers, there's bound to be someone out there who can help.


 
Dwight Hardy
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R Ranson wrote:If she was older, it could be she's ready to pop out a lamb, but only 10 months?  It's a puzzle. 
It's beyond my skills and knowledge so I sent out a call in the Daily-ish email.  With over 30 thousand readers, there's bound to be someone out there who can help.

Thank you sir.

Also she is not up and around as much as the rest but she is still eating and drinking.
I suspect that she was bred when I got her but not sure.
I also quoted her age wrong. She is right at a year old. Sorry for the misinformation.
 
kerri leach
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Location: SE IA Zone 5B, Clay highly eroded hillsides
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what does her vulva look like?

have you checked her temp (even though she doesn't appear ill)?

is an ultrasound in the budget or just going to wait it out? she can certainly lamb with the ram in with her if she needs to stay with the group.

she's a Katahdin, she can do anything   like have no bag and still pop out twins!

keep us posted!

Kerri Leach

 
Adrian Hepworth
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Don't read this if squeemish but it does have a happy ending!

We once had a ewe that behaved exactly like that and, being amateurs, we invited a local sheep farmer around to see if he thought she was pregnant. He took a look and said she definitely wasn't in lamb, possibly because she also hadn't bagged up. The following day she was again behaving as though she had gone into labour and allowed me to go and examine her without taking fright. She lay on her side and was hitting her side with a front leg. I still wonder if she had been trying to tell me something. I then examined her rear end and tentatively did a little exploring with fingers and found a foot. What followed was the most strange experience of my life as I was able to find two legs and slowly eased them out. To my horror they came out with only the front half of a dead and partially decayed feotus. I couldn't believe what was happening! I had to return and remove the rest of the carcass. Not a nice job but the ewe just lay there and let me get on with it. We were breeding Portlands so it was a very small ewe. Fearing the trauma and possible infection would kill her we watched carefully over the next few days. She made a very quick and full recovery and lived on to have several lambs. That's the wonder of nature for a ewe to go through that and completely recovery without medical intervention.
 
R Ranson
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How's she doing today?


A year old, it could be labour.  If I remember right, most ewes don't bag up the first time they lamb, at least not noticeably.  So it's not a good sign to go by.

It's your gals first time, so she could simply be confused.  Let's hope that is what's going on as it has the best outcome.  It could be something worse, so it might be time to examine her.  Not sure your level of shepherding skills, so I'll describe this for a first timer (also, some of the readers probably haven't been shoulder deep in a ewe before, so I'll keep it really simple).  Cut your fingernails really short and if you like, wear gloves (but don't loose the glove inside the sheep!).  Without stressing her too much, get her on her side and stick your finger up her lamb hole.  How many fingers can you get?  If she's only a few days away from popping out a lamb, you might get one or two fingers in there.  If she's further away, then you'll be hard pressed to get one finger.  If she's very close, then you might get your whole hand in there.  If you can get two fingers in, feel around for anything hard like hooves or a head. 

These are general ideas on what you could do.  Every situation is different and please keep in mind, I'm only a few years into this.  It really helps to have at least one sheep guru (who really knows their stuff) that you can call on.  It's also time to start thinking about vet bills and how much money you would be willing to spend on this ewe if things go wrong. 

Hoping for the best outcome.  Please let us know how things go.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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