Lambing Jugs

A place to exchange ideas, stories, and to solve problems related to breeding the flock and delivering lambs.

Lambing Jugs

Postby rvos » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:56 pm

I had a question for those that lamb in indoor facilities. How many of you use lambing jugs/pens? Traditional practice of some in the Midwest is to jug them after lambing for a day per lamb. So 1 day for a single, 2 days for twins, etc. If you use lambing jugs, how long do you use them for?

Is anyone having success without jugging in a barn lambing situation? If so, what size of groups of ewes do you have?
rvos
Newcomer
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby WayneG » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:16 pm

I use lambing jugs, I have 5 for 30 ewes, just the way the barn is set up. I have left lambs in for as little as 12 hours, I have one that will be in there for 4 days. No real hard fast rule for me on how long they stay in the jug. It is more when I feel comfortable and confident in the pair as to moving them to the big pen, thats the deciding factor. Most are in the jug for the one to two day time frame, depending on what time of day they lamb. If they have lambed by morning chores, it is like a day and 1/2, if they lamb when I do the nightly routine, it is normally a day or day or two as I usually move to the big pen in the evening.
Wayne G
The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.
WayneG
Old Hand
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Dunbar, Nebraska

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Kathy Lewis » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:17 pm

rvos wrote:Is anyone having success without jugging in a barn lambing situation? If so, what size of groups of ewes do you have?


Normally we lamb outside except for A.I. ewes lambing in early Feb. If the weather gets bad and we have to bring them into the barn we lamb them without jugs except for very few that might need observation. Since lambing is tightly grouped to about five days with these ewes things can get hectic. It's important to get the parentage right so we closely observe lambing and tag at birth. It's interesting that even though there is some grannying of marked lambs and general confusion they sort it out and end up with the right lambs. At least this is in our experience. If a granny is being very persistant or disruptive I'll sucker her into a jug using the current lamb she's trying to steal and lock her up just to get her out of the mix.

If you are not accustomed to loose lambing try tagging lambs at birth for awhile and checking for full bellys twice a day and see how it goes. You will probably be pleasantly surprised and it will save a lot of jug cleaning and water bucket filling. You may want to break them into groups of 20 or so ewes but be sure that all areas are lamb-tight to prevent mix ups.
Kathy Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBVs
www.whitedorper.com
Kathy Lewis
Old Hand
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Location: South Central Oregon

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby kris » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:55 pm

I do what Wayne does, wait and see what the ewe and babe(s) need time wise to figure out the nursing and mothering relationship. Some click right away and some need a bit more time.

I understand a rule of thumb is 1 jug per 5 ewes.

Kris
kris
Old Hand
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, BC Canada

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Bill Fosher » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:51 pm

When we had 400 lambing in a shed, we never had more than 50 jugs, and those also served as hospital pens. With a 1 to 8 ratio, jug chores still took more labor than any other part of the day. But, I never would have tried to lamb out sheep indoors without them.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH
Bill Fosher
Chief Shepherd
 
Posts: 5627
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:27 pm
Location: Westmoreland, NH

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby lambchop » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:40 am

Bill,
I think the problem arises from our extension people telling sheep producers we needed to jug these lambs and their mothers. Following this advise, breeders in the US have managed to either greatly reduce or eliminate the mothering instinct of ewes, thus requiring the ewes to be jugged. This is also translated to going from that kind of lambing environment to a pasture lambing situation, most ewes will not make that kind of transition. Having pasture lambed for 15 years, we had to bring the drop band in this year when the weather dropped to -16F, we had no facilities, so took the hay barn, which was by then 2/3 empty, used 3x4x8 straw bales to make walls. We brought about 90 ewes into an area about 16x60 and went to bed. In the morning we let out every one but the ewes that had lambed. We had to do this for several days. lambed about 75 ewes this way, until the weather improved, no mis-mothering, no problems, but these sheep don't know what a jug is and still have their mothering instincts. All sheep started with natural instincts for lots of traits that we as shepards have managed to change.

Paul
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
www.whitedorper.com
lambchop
Old Hand
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:36 pm
Location: Southeast Oregon

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Brock » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:58 pm

I lamb year round in a 30X40 barn, one single pen. I lamb 40 ewes per lambing without jugs. I occasionally have to build a jug for quads or hospital type situations. I'm guessing I have to build a jug every 3rd lambing or so.....once a year in other words as I accelerate. I have a 10% loss rate over all lambings, with it being a tad higher in Dec/Jan and lower in May and September. The issues usually are with first time ewe lambs with twins (forget one) in the winter and/or the usually maladies around hypothermia. I agree with others.....it's just too much work for me to deal with jugs....getting them in there, feed and water, etc. I find that maternal sheep figure it out. I've had up to 8 ewes lamb in one day without issues. I also do not live at the barn during lambing. I do a 10 minute check before work, an hour and a half feeding at lunch, and a 10-minute check after supper......never, ever overnight. I'm not sure if this is what the rest of the group experiences with a 100 ewe flock.....I don't want sheep that require constant surveillance. I say "no" to jugs but also have a friend that jugs every suffolk for 5 days......he and I have about the same loss rate........

Brock
Brock
Old Hand
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:39 pm
Location: Pendleton, IN

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Muleflock » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:51 pm

The Mrs. jugs up her ewes when we AI mostly to make sure we know who is who when they're all dropping lambs in a short period of time. Occasionally I'll notice a ewe who isn't paying much attention to her lambs, not calling to them when they vocalize etc. while in the jug. But boy do those lambs get important when she gets put out in the nursery area with the other ewes and lambs milling about.
Muleflock
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:24 am
Location: SW Michigan

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby CMG Katahdins » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:15 pm

I don't jug either. I lamb 100 ewes in the same pen and I only check the sheep once a day. I do have a few problems every once in a while because of it. I feed round bales outside the barn and all sheep have access to go in and out as they please. If a ewe has triplets in the doorway when the wind chill is around 60 below zero and one is outside the door it will freeze to the ground. For the most part 20 below zero and warmer they can lamb inside or outside as they please. Another problem I have is 3 week old lambs stealing colostrum from a ewe just before she lambs. I have had a ewe try to feed guinne foul just before she lambed. The first few years I had sheep alot of lambs died. But because of that the ones that I have now I do not have to babysit.

Carl
CMG Katahdins
Old Hand
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:01 am
Location: North Central Iowa

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby lambchop » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:58 pm

Here are some pictures of our emergency lambing barn.
Image ewes and lambs in mixing pen
Image Feeding area with Stan's feeders
Image Clean-up crew
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
www.whitedorper.com
lambchop
Old Hand
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:36 pm
Location: Southeast Oregon

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby rvos » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:43 am

CMG Katahdins wrote:I don't jug either. I lamb 100 ewes in the same pen and I only check the sheep once a day. I do have a few problems every once in a while because of it. I feed round bales outside the barn and all sheep have access to go in and out as they please.
Carl


Thanks for the input. How big of an indoor and outdoor area are you providing to these 100 ewes?
rvos
Newcomer
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby CMG Katahdins » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:20 pm

The ewes have access to about 4000 sq ft indoors and a path in the snow to the round bales with sheep lying around three bales. They don't wander around in the snow to much.

Carl
CMG Katahdins
Old Hand
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:01 am
Location: North Central Iowa

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Mona Howard » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:57 am

Lambchop,
What a nice setup! Green with envy.
Mona Howard
New Kent, Virginia
Mona Howard
Old Hand
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:23 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby Janet McNally » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:17 pm

I agree with Lambchop about how generations of lambing with jugs has resulted in a loss of mothering instinct. Although I think that in every population of sheep, there is enough still there to reclaim. I also have found that when things seem mighty chaotic that the ewes are actually pretty good at sorting it all out. I spray paint the dam's number on the lamb (and she has her number on her back) so that I can see in a glance that everyone is paired up. It was tough walking away from chaos thinking I should really be doing something but experience has taught me that sheep are capable of more than we think they are.

That said, I think if I were to lamb indoors I would redesign the concept. ewes do like seclusion or structure, and while it may not need to have a door to shut her in, some kind of structure would satisfy the desire to separate herself from the flock.

Janet
Janet McNally
Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses
Minnesota
Janet McNally
Old Hand
 
Posts: 5795
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:26 pm
Location: East Central Minnesota

Re: Lambing Jugs

Postby WayneG » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:10 am

some kind of structure would satisfy the desire to separate herself from the flock.


I agree with Janet on this. I have always tried to place some wood gates or leave the front gate open on the jug to allow the ewes a place to seperate themselves. The other day I had 4 ewes lamb, and two of them choose to lamb in the open jugs.
Wayne G
The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.
WayneG
Old Hand
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Dunbar, Nebraska

Next

Return to Breeding and lambing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest