,The past couple weeks have been filled with pregnancy announcements for both family and friends of mine and Orchard View Farm has an announcement of our own: we will be expecting around 40 lambs starting in January 2020!
Yesterday, we had Dr. Andrew from Attica Veterinary Services come to ultrasound my ewes. Last year was the first year we did this and it was very helpful to know which ewes were confirmed pregnant and how many lambs each ewe was expecting. We were even able to save at least one lamb when we realized the ewe had only birthed one, but the ultrasound said she had two.
Ultrasounding the sheep is similar to ultrasounding humans. The probe lays against the ewe's belly and the vet then can see the images through a headpiece. They look for images of a head and spine and can often determine the age of the fetus. The vet checks both sides of the ewe to determine whether there are twins. While telling the gender of the lambs is possible, it is difficult with the lamb moving around and it must be positioned correctly. The best time for ultrasounding ewes is 45-90 days of gestation.
This year, it appears that we have a 100% conception rate! We will be expecting around 40 lambs with only a few singles and a possible set of triplets (which are more difficult to tell via the ultrasound). Most of the ewes are around 100 days of gestation. A sheep's gestation period is approximately 148 days, meaning that we will be having a very busy few weeks at the end of January.
Now that we have confirmed pregnancies that are a month from lambing, it's time to start prepping the barn, our supplies, and ourselves!
If all goes as planned, lambs will be ready to be sold and go to their new home beginning in May so contact me if you are interested in lambs for spring 2020.
Emmaline Long, main owner of Orchard View Farm, has a passion for Lincoln sheep and loves educating others about her breed and farm, She currently serves as the Vice President of the National Lincoln Breeders Association.
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