Today is day 144 since the Ram was introduced to the Ewes. Unfortunately, this year we don't know exactly the date when each ewe was bred. The average sheep gestation period is 147 days, with a range of 138 - 152. First timers may go a little earlier than experienced ewes. Their normal heat cycle is 17 days.
So, given that information, we expect to see lambs any time between now and April 7.
When the ewe starts showing signs of labor, she will usually deliver in the next 2 - 15 hours. Signs include, separating herself from the herd, not eating, acting more territorial than usual, pawing the ground, acting restless and uncomfortable, udders filling out, sides of her hips caving in when she 'drops', signs of mucus plug coming out, water breaking, and straining to push.
The first 2 pics are of 1118. Her udder is definitely engorged. I didnt see any other signs today that might indicate she's ready. She ate well and hung with the herd, and no signs of mucus plug, water or uterus dropping. I am very nervous about her. I want to take out the strings in the next day or two, but with that her uterus may prolapse again. I really hope it happens this weekend while I have plenty of time to watch her.
Old Nag is nearing the end of her reproductive life. She is 8 years old, so her chances of complications are getting higher. She and her 2 lambs from last year are my only registered ewes. Her lambs do not appear to be bred, which is fine because they are still pretty small.
Julia, in the last pic is my black face dorper ewe. She is 2 years old and in her first pregnancy. Her udder size is still smaller than the other two, but has increased pretty significantly in the last week.
Wish us luck. I may not be getting much sleep this weekend.
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My name is Christy Franklin.