Sheep udder about to explode-help!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I finally separated the twins from their mother ewe, as I hadn't thought they were nursing anymore, but her udder was still large, and she wasn't gaining her weight back. Hah! They were nursing, but very stealthfully (is that a word?)when no one was watching. They are 4 months old, and as large as the mother. After 5 days, her udder is humongous, the teats are pointing straight out, and I feel so sorry for her, she must be in misery. I have withheld grain from her, what else can I do? How long can she go like this without developing mastitis? I hesitate to try to milk her--she has never been milked, and resists a halter like it was killing her. Don't want to perpetuate the milk production by milking her, so should I just wait it out? She seems fine, except for the constant calling to the babies, and they to her. Thanks for any advice! Jan
-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), June 30, 2000
Hi! I would just leave her alone. It'll take a good week or 2 for her to start drying up. If you milk her out, that may just stimulate her to produce more milk which isn't what you want. As long as she's acting ok, she should be fine.
-- Wendy (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 30, 2000.
Thanks, Wendy! I figured there wasn't a lot I could do, but after reading about other animals on this post getting mastitis, I was worried about her. She is eating and acting fine, so I will just keep a watch on her. Thanks for the response! Jan
-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), June 30, 2000.
Jan, how's she doing? It is possible for her to get mastitis. Even at the age the lambs are, she's been producing a lot of milk for them. What you can do (probably too late for this ewe) is either limit the lambs access or hand milk her without stripping her. Leave a little more milk each day to help her gear production back. Gerbil
-- Gerbil (email@example.com), July 03, 2000.
I don't know much about sheep, but I have a broodmare that does this every year when I wean her foal. I do milk her just enough to keep the pressure from making her miserable and slowly back off until she is drying nicely on her own. Normally takes me about a week. I also do not give any grain or alfalfa hay during this time, just plain ol' grass hay. I tried just leaving her to dry out on her own once and over the next week she kept getting fuller & fuller until milk was literally squirting with every move she made, very messy & very attractive to flies.
-- Elle (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 07, 2000.