This year we are having more ewe lambs then ever! This is excellent as we always had more requests for replacements then ewe lambs available. We are seeing more singles then we like and are currently averaging a 180% lambing rate. Usually we are right around 200%. Our flock is largely made up of 2 yr olds but regardless I'd like to see more twins out of them.
When we were flushing them, (increasing the nutritional level of feed for one cycle prior to putting the rams in and this causes an increase in the # of eggs released and therefore fertilized) we had placed them on whole barley and an alfalfa/grass mix hay that feed-tested well. The first few bales were fine but the rest was quite moldy and the ewes refused to eat it so essentially their nutritional value decreased; Essentially the opposite of what we were trying to achieve. We purchase most of our hay and have always had excellent hay from our supplier and thankfully he replaced the bales but not before the "damage" was done. Yet another lesson learned!
This past winter has been one of trial and error in the feeding department. With our new vertical mixer we are able to create an exact balanced diet for the ewes but it is taking some figuring to fine-tune it to meet our ewe's needs. We are very thankful to have a nutritionist who is helping us out. This whole adventure is one big learning curve and next year we'll be even better equipped (information-wise) to feed our flock!
The amniotic fluid was quite dark on these two and I've read that it means it was a long, difficult labour/delivery. Regardless, there was no indication of that with this girl and the lambs are doing well. This ewe, "Callie", was one of the first sheep we bought back in 2008.