Lambing ease gestation length

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm aware easy calving bulls have shorter gestation. Does the same hold true for easy lambing rams?

My ewes are due from today (150 days since rams went in). But a large proportion of the easy care sired lambs have been born in the last 4 days.

Any thoughts?
 

tepapa

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Wales
I'm aware easy calving bulls have shorter gestation. Does the same hold true for easy lambing rams?

My ewes are due from today (150 days since rams went in). But a large proportion of the easy care sired lambs have been born in the last 4 days.

Any thoughts?
Ewe gestation is 147 days so your ewes lambing in the last 4 days would be spot on. Maybe the easycare rams are just better at their job than the other breed you've used?
 

Sheepfog

Member
Location
Southern England
I'm aware easy calving bulls have shorter gestation. Does the same hold true for easy lambing rams?

My ewes are due from today (150 days since rams went in). But a large proportion of the easy care sired lambs have been born in the last 4 days.

Any thoughts?

I think it does. Having run pure Suffolk and Charollais flocks side by side, as well as using the same on crossbred ewes, the Charollais is clearly losing/has lost its easy lambing attributes. Due to breeders trying to turn the breed into a Texel.

The Charollais sired lambs always go over term and as a result have averaged 0.5Kg more at birth compared to the Suffolks.

And as the (UK) Suffolks are fine boned and selected for vigour, they are up and sucking in no time.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
I think it does. Having run pure Suffolk and Charollais flocks side by side, as well as using the same on crossbred ewes, the Charollais is clearly losing/has lost its easy lambing attributes. Due to breeders trying to turn the breed into a Texel.

The Charollais sired lambs always go over term and as a result have averaged 0.5Kg more at birth compared to the Suffolks.

And as the (UK) Suffolks are fine boned and selected for vigour, they are up and sucking in no time.
Interesting!

I lambed 300 draft Welsh ewes to Charollais last year. Hung lambs was the leading cause of lamb mortality.

Recommendations for those kind of Suffolk breeders please? I'd like a terminal sweeper with colour differential like that.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ewe gestation is 147 days so your ewes lambing in the last 4 days would be spot on. Maybe the easycare rams are just better at their job than the other breed you've used?

Easycare was single sire mated to F1 ewe lambs.
Over 50% lambed in the last 4 days.

Easycare ewes single sire mated by inverdale 4 tooth are at 15%.

No data for the Shetland drafts mob mated by inverdale rams, but suspect it is less than the easycares.
 
I'm aware easy calving bulls have shorter gestation. Does the same hold true for easy lambing rams?

Yes. Gestation length and birth weight are highly correlated in both sheep and cattle. Same for birth weight and ease of birth, hence breeding lines selected against birth difficulties (history shows this is generally how it is done) have shorter gestation hence lighter birth weights, as well as physical differences such as wedge shape lambs/calves and dam's pelvic aperture and innate vigour.

Mean lambing dates between same breed sires joined with ewes at the same time can vary by 5 days if not previously selected on anything related to birthing difficulties if not related. Likewise sires from different breeders can vary by a similar magnitude if a breeder has put emphasis on easy birthing while the other have not, irrespective of breed name.

One older NZ Texel ram had outstanding Lamb Survival figures and was exported to the UK. The exporter claimed his progeny were born 4 days ahead of other sires as he was an AI donor sire. Lamb vigour soon makes up for the kilo of extra birth weight when much of the birth trauma is eliminated by slipping out easier.
 

tepapa

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Wales
Easycare was single sire mated to F1 ewe lambs.
Over 50% lambed in the last 4 days.

Easycare ewes single sire mated by inverdale 4 tooth are at 15%.

No data for the Shetland drafts mob mated by inverdale rams, but suspect it is less than the easycares.
Can you attribute any of the variation to pre tupping management? Better condition, better plane of nutrition or teaser affect?
 

Sheepfog

Member
Location
Southern England
Interesting!

I lambed 300 draft Welsh ewes to Charollais last year. Hung lambs was the leading cause of lamb mortality.

Recommendations for those kind of Suffolk breeders please? I'd like a terminal sweeper with colour differential like that.

You could buy some off me! But I think I may be sold out of Suffolk shearlings this year.

Alternatively, try the Bentley flock (Warwickshire) or Sandyknowe flock (Scottish Borders).
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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