Ewe Mortality

farmer_Nick

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hi there, its been an interesting year so far lambing and wondering what others lambing and survival rates are if you don't mind me asking. Its the first time we lost a ewe at lambing so want to understand if this is common enough or if I'm just unlucky? And what rams do people use, have you found a difference between ease of lambing and lamb survival rates? And lastly do people prefer indoor or outdoor lambing?
thanks for any thoughts
 

Mc115reed

Member
Hi there, its been an interesting year so far lambing and wondering what others lambing and survival rates are if you don't mind me asking. Its the first time we lost a ewe at lambing so want to understand if this is common enough or if I'm just unlucky? And what rams do people use, have you found a difference between ease of lambing and lamb survival rates? And lastly do people prefer indoor or outdoor lambing?
thanks for any thoughts

270 indoor, texel and suffolk tups... 23 lambs born dead.. 18 died in first 7 days 5 have died between first 7 days and now...
7 ewes died from pre lambing until now
15 sent too market for bad bags or born dead lambs and wouldn’t foster a lamb
 

hill shepherd

Member
Livestock Farmer
We lamb around 900 ewes each year, lost 1 at lambing time last year, lost about 10 this year one way or another, haven't lost too many lambs though, probably going to be 5% down on number at scanning which I don't think is too bad. I've done both indoor and outdoor lambing, both have good and bad points. More management and control indoors, such as adopting spare lambs on finding ewes that need culling, and definitely better in bad weather but it is alot more work. I would lamb 900 outside myself but inside takes at least 3 of us
 

Dkb

Member
One died on her back and one got listeriosis. Pre lambing. Between abortion and a couple of big dead singles I have 4 ewes rearing no lambs and everything else is rearing at least 1. I’ve lost 22 lambs (2 fox took, 2 hurt and died, 4 mothers hadn’t enough milk, 4 born dead , 2 premature and weak, 2 just never got going really, can’t remember the rest)since beginning to lamb and had lost 10 side the couple of ewes dieing and couple of abortions before starting to lamb.

That’s out of 192 in total scanned at 2.05% lambing outdoors. Weather has been very favourable though and I’ve still got the last 24 to go.

I’m happy with how things went
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
1.5% for the whole year average last 3 years then 3.3% in the last 6 weeks, randomly dieing from no apparent reason what so ever 🤷🏻‍♂️ Lamb losses between 15-17% across the whole lot which is the sad part, 90% of the lambs losses were born dead or died before we got to them (big fat lazy ewes, bird attacks etc) 5% died between 0-48hrs and 5% 48hrs-6 weeks old.
 

Farmer_Joe

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
The North
ive had 2 push guts out pre lambing, then sadly a hog that even vet could not lamb and put down last night, and one stupid pansy who had lambs and when moving into next fielt ran into a fence and broke her neck? could not make it up...

i class that as a bad year.... lambing around 260 ish
 
AS I said on another thread about this, long term losses on outdoor lambing systems of ewes dying annually from all causes would always be around 3%. If they don't die in the winter then they seem to die at lambing time or with bad udders soon after!
Ewes not rearing lambs though would be very low and much less than 1% post scanning.

Lamb losses entirely down to weather conditions and numbers scanned.
Under normal weather conditions (some wet and some dry) then between scanning and weaning also around 3%. Dry years like this one much less, wet and cold can easily go to 5%.
 

exmoor dave

Member
Location
exmoor, uk
1.5% for the whole year average last 3 years then 3.3% in the last 6 weeks, randomly dieing from no apparent reason what so ever 🤷🏻‍♂️ Lamb losses between 15-17% across the whole lot which is the sad part, 90% of the lambs losses were born dead or died before we got to them (big fat lazy ewes, bird attacks etc) 5% died between 0-48hrs and 5% 48hrs-6 weeks old.


Same here with the ewes,
We had a really good winter, even the last 4wks pre lambing were good, but from about 5days pre lambing onwards there's been a steady stream of losses, no one particular reason, although more& worse prolapses than usual.
I haven't see ewes with dropped belly (ruptured abdomen muscles) for years..... then two in two days, one was a shearling even 🤔, we were able to lamb both, but the ewes were too far gone, one died, one was euthanized.


Sheep 🙄🤬🤨
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Same here with the ewes,
We had a really good winter, even the last 4wks pre lambing were good, but from about 5days pre lambing onwards there's been a steady stream of losses, no one particular reason, although more& worse prolapses than usual.
I haven't see ewes with dropped belly (ruptured abdomen muscles) for years..... then two in two days, one was a shearling even 🤔, we were able to lamb both, but the ewes were too far gone, one died, one was euthanized.


Sheep 🙄🤬🤨

No prolapses with my own ewes but 4 with some brokers but 3 are still here 👍🏻
Most losses have been ewes 2-7 days post lambing when ewes have lambed themselves although lambs massive so assume ruptured?
One bonus, dead stock lorry goes from £17-£10/head when more than 7 at a time 😬
 

exmoor dave

Member
Location
exmoor, uk
No prolapses with my own ewes but 4 with some brokers but 3 are still here 👍🏻
Most losses have been ewes 2-7 days post lambing when ewes have lambed themselves although lambs massive so assume ruptured?
One bonus, dead stock lorry goes from £17-£10/head when more than 7 at a time 😬


Hardly any prolapses last year

Also hardly bought a ewe in, bar maybe 10 rejections..... this year we seem to be constantly bringing ewes in for various things.
Singles had been a dream but bang on the 3wk mark the lambs suddenly started get big and getting ewes struggling to getvthem out
 

Six Dogs

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Our ewe mortality would sit at 2-3 % annually.Cast ewes or prolapse being main cause of losses.
Lamb Mortality I always think the devil is in the detail,we lamb 900 ewes outdoors scanning at 180%,twinning is close to 70% so Lamb losses in twins and singles is very low.
Triplets on the other hand only 8% ewes cause us the biggest headache in these we would be 18% mortality in lambs but overall from scanning predictions to weaned just over 10%.
Goes against the grain but next year I’m considering lambing triplets indoors
 

Boydvalley

Member
Location
Bath
7 out of 410.
none over winter
1 pushed guts out
2 rotten lambs + 2 TLD blood tested low calcium so all related to that
2 grass staggers but think there was other underlying problem stopping them eating

but the most disappointing is 12 gone or going as culls with bad bags. This is after culling 10% of the flock for udders last summer. Texel cross mule a good ewe but udders costing a lot.
 

primmiemoo

Member
Location
Devon

205018-b49769603f45c1998df1e8895ebf6ae6.jpg
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I never lost a ewe from last shearing, then lost a load of welsh broken mouth ewes because they had scab and had to treat it just as they where about to lamb and they died of twin lamb/ calcium (didn't like being in the pens)
Lost a lot of indoor lambing ewes due to various reasons, and had a lot with bad bags and still getting loads with mastitis now they are out.
But lamb mortality inside was bugger all really (I think its was less than 3%) but am losing quite a lot of triplet lambs and big singles on outside lambing ewes but don't seem to be having the ewe problems (yet).
250 still to lamb so still a bit to go for it to f**k up yet!
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ewe losses in a typical year are 3-4% here, regardless of what I try to reduce it. I tend to loss nothing from after shearing til February.
If I lose a lot through lambing I don't lose much rest of year, if I keep them going at lambing I'll lose them after, through the summer.

This year has been bad, I've lost 5% since January and almost all were in the fortnight upto them lambing. Lots of prolapses this year but an awful lot of ewes I'd find dead and when I check them over - rotten lambs, but they'd show no signs when alive, and made no attempt to pass them... you'd just get a fresh dead ewe absolutely stinking back end

Scanning was about where it was the year before, and I've almost as many lambs running now - despite the ewe losses... so in a backwards way, it has evened itself out.


I've got another 1% ewes still to cull (no milk or bad bags, bad mother, no lambs etc)
 

will6910

Member
Location
N.i
Here is my list off loses for my lambing this year, started with 86 ewes to lamb
1 ewes died with rotten lambs in her
6 lambs were aborted
2 lambs with water mouth
1 with bad joint ill
3 were stood on or killed by the ewe
1 big lamb from a bad birth with a ewe lamb
And 3 that were generally weakly from birth that never came round.
I have sold 6 ewes that had lost lambs and weren’t able to take another lamb. Off top of my head I have about 7 or 8 ewes that’s taken mastitis in field and udders wrecked now. 86 ewes total before lambing that scanned at 158%
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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