Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Situation at Schoonover Farm

So we appear to have a problem here.  On shearing day we noticed that our one CVM ewe (not so affectionately called Mutiny) had udder swelling.  We bought her when she was 6 months old, and she has never been bred.  We have had no ram escapes since last July so we were not sure what happened.  Then today I noticed that Wilma is looking wider than the other sheep and has some udder development:
So we herded the possibly pregnant hussies into a pen so we could start feeding them small amounts of grain.  Then I got to thinking- we have a cryptorchid ram lamb Barney that we had banded at 2 weeks of age.  He is too small to put in with the rams or to butcher.  I did some research on artificial cryptorchid sheep from Australia- that is they band the ram lambs after pushing the testicles into the abdominal cavity.  These sheep act like rams and have better meat production, but they are infertile and are run with the flock.  So I though it was safe to keep Barney in with the flock unless he started getting aggressive.  Now I am not so sure.
So we may have 6 ewes we did not intend to breed bred.  Some of them had birthing difficulties before and some I did not feel were as marketable.  There are also the two Gotland ewes and two skinny sheep that were briefly in with the flock as well.  So this could be a BIG disaster.  And since Barney is not registerable (for good reason) none of these lambs would be worth much.

So I need some opinions- do udders ever develop without a pregnancy?  Does anyone have any experience with banded cryptorchid rams?

On a different note, we bought back a Nigerian Dwarf doe.  It's Meadowlark out of our doe Magpie and buck CTC Mr. Mahogany.  She is a pretty (but a little chunky) doe but not friendly.  The family that bought her never bonded with her, and the child is losing interest in the goats.  So it was in everyone's best interest to have her move back.  

5 comments:

Franna said...

Oh dear. I've always been told that cryptorchids are not reliably sterile. Of all the reasons for developing udders, I think pregnancy might be the least problematic... at least I hope it is so for you.
Good luck!
Franna

HisTek said...

We had cryptorchid merino ram who was in with a columbia ewe we used to have few years ago and she never got pregnant the 2 years they were in the flock together. I researched cryptorchids and found out they aren't fertile. He eventually got dangerous and we had to put him down. that is the only experience I've had with cryptorchid rams.
Jackie Craw

Donna said...

Thanks for your comments. We will know the answer soon enough! I am really hoping he is infertile. It will make my marriage go a lot more smoothly in these upcoming months(among other reasons)!

Corinne R. said...

Oh no! I hope everything works out.

Donna said...

Thanks- me too! So far no new udders are developing but we'll see what happens in the next 2 weeks.

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"