Hello, new here! I have just acquired 5 sheep. 3 Finn x Tunis ewes, a yearling and 2 lambs. 1 is an Icelandic yearling ewe and a yearling Icelandic ram. I have a herd of dairy goats, but these are my first sheep, though I did take a sheep production class in college. I believe all of these ewes are bred and due in Feb/March. The Finn x ewes were in a flock of mixed rams & ewes, and the previous owner of the Icelandics (his only 2) said he saw breeding activity in mid-September. The Finn x owner said she normally starts getting lambs in February, though sometimes a few will go as early as January. They are all together with the Icelandic ram, so they will be bred if they haven't already. I plan to have kidding/lambing pens in my quonset set up for everyone to have their babies in.
One question I had was, are the signs of lambing the same as the signs of kidding? Especially, do sheep lose their tail ligaments about 12 hours from lambing? I have used this as my primary sign to know when to put the goats in a kidding pen and watch closely. The other thing I have been wondering about is Bo-Se shots. I have always given this to the goats before breeding, then again before kidding, since I live in a selenium deficient area. But, the label says not to give it to pregnant sheep. What I've been reading is that it can cause abortion in sheep. So, is a loose mineral with selenium in it good enough for them? I would rather not have any lambing problems (wouldn't everyone?). I have also read that some people do still give it to their ewes when pregnant, so if you have, what has been your experience?
Also, the Finn x sheep are pretty thin. I dewormed them when they got home and trimmed their hooves. They have pasture,but it has been freezing here a lot, so not great pasture. The goats have excellent alfalfa hay, and I've been giving the sheep mostly the stuff the goats pull out then won't eat. I've also been feeding a little bit of grain to get the sheep to like me
which is a custom mix I do of whole oats, whole barley, SBM, BOSS, shredded beet pulp, and a little bit of rolled corn (spoiled goats?). I can mix it in any way I want because I mix it myself, and can add, take away, or change amounts of ingredients if I wish. They also get pumpkins, which I got for free-several truckloads. The sheep devour anything I give them, unlike the goats who are picky (do I have weird animals?). Is there any other recommendation to help them put on some weight?