Monday, November 8, 2010

To Breed or Not To Breed

Should ewes and does be bred to produce their first offspring at approximately one year of age?  Or should you wait until they are yearlings to breed them for the first time?

The answer depends.  There are many factors to consider and pros and cons to each breeding decision.

Katahdin yearling mom
Size (weight) is a more important consideration than age when deciding if/when to breed young females. Ewe lambs and doe kids should achieve approximately two-thirds of their mature weight (at the start of the breeding season) before being exposed to males for breeding.  

With good management and nutrition, producers can successfully breed ewes and does to produce offspring at approximately one year of age.

Without good management and nutrition, breeding ewe lambs and doe kids can be disastrous. 

Read full article

2 comments:

Danielle said...

I know this question doesn't meet the article info...but I need some advice! I have a Khatadin ewe, she has now had 3 lambing years with us. I bought her pregnant and she lambed with out me knowing the first go around. Then I bought a ram and last year 2010 she had twins and she wouldn't stand up...due to a leg that went asleep and she lost feeling in it...I lost one lamb (ewe) and the male lived. The third time...(Dec. 1st 2010 and wasn't due til Dec. 16th) she went into labor early and I had no idea, the lambs looked well developed and with good amounts of hair...the were smaller than any of her others,(they were ewes) but they didn't make it out of their sac. Ever since she bred to the ram she has blisters on her vaginal area. We had checked for brucillous(spelling is wrong)and it came back that no one in my flock had it. This ewe is always "Fat" no matter how I change her diet. She is well behaved and a pet now, I want to re-breed her...how soon is too soon? What can I do to help her? Also now my wool ewe looks like she might go 14 days early and had blisters on her as well for a few days (she was on a antibiotic 6 weeks ago) Her due date is Feb 1st 2011 and she looks like she is dilating...I don't understand what is going on. I have asked my vet for more ideas, but they just seemed annoyed with my questions. I thought ewes were pregnant 150 days and now I look on the internet and find that some people think its as early as 135 (I have seen both these ewes bred several times during the day , that is how I know a due date!)...whats your thoughts??? Thank you for your time!

Danielle said...

I know this question doesn't meet the article info...but I need some advice! I have a Khatadin ewe, she has now had 3 lambing years with us. I bought her pregnant and she lambed with out me knowing the first go around. Then I bought a ram and last year 2010 she had twins and she wouldn't stand up...due to a leg that went asleep and she lost feeling in it...I lost one lamb (ewe) and the male lived. The third time...(Dec. 1st 2010 and wasn't due til Dec. 16th) she went into labor early and I had no idea, the lambs looked well developed and with good amounts of hair...the were smaller than any of her others,(they were ewes) but they didn't make it out of their sac. Ever since she bred to the ram she has blisters on her vaginal area. We had checked for brucillous(spelling is wrong)and it came back that no one in my flock had it. This ewe is always "Fat" no matter how I change her diet. She is well behaved and a pet now, I want to re-breed her...how soon is too soon? What can I do to help her? Also now my wool ewe looks like she might go 14 days early and had blisters on her as well for a few days (she was on a antibiotic 6 weeks ago) Her due date is Feb 1st 2011 and she looks like she is dilating...I don't understand what is going on. I have asked my vet for more ideas, but they just seemed annoyed with my questions. I thought ewes were pregnant 150 days and now I look on the internet and find that some people think its as early as 135 (I have seen both these ewes bred several times during the day , that is how I know a due date!)...whats your thoughts??? Thank you for your time!