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Attitudes Of Sheep Before And After Birth

Before Birth:

  • Standing
  • Resting
  • Walking circumferentially
  • Showing sudden actions
  • Licking lips
  • Sticking their tongue out
  • Pawing
  • Bleating in pain

Maternal behaviour, can be characterized with licking lambs, bleating and saturating the babies by standing in the first 6 hours after birth. Saturation, provides mother and baby to know, meet, recognize, love and get used to each other. Moreover, it strengthens the relationship between them.

In the prenatal period; sheep continuously walk around to feel themselves relaxed. They become more cautious and shy, depasture less, look for a quiet place to lamb separately from the sheep herd and want to be in a dusty place for birth.

Balanced nutrition at the last period of maternity, is very important for fetal development and vitality. Energy and protein must be involved in the ration sufficiently in order to provide colostrum and milk effiency, development, embryonic, fetal and mammary gland growth and improve the metobolic processes of sheep. When nutrients mix with tissues, ovary development, postnatal growth, reproduction performance and metabolism are all affected. Nutrition of sheep, directly triggers birth weight, milk amount, relationship between mother and baby, lamb growth and sheep death.

After Birth:

  • Drying the lamb by preening and cleaning membranes
  • Bleating towards the lamb while preening
  • Impregnating the lamb
  • Building a relationship between each other (It takes nearly 20- 30 minutes...)
  • Losing maternal instinct in 12 hours after birth

Newborn lambs need to be impregnated hourly. They usually know their mothers and differentiate from other sheep in the first 12- 24 hours after birth. Discernment of lambs are possible to be avoided between 24- 48 hours if they are not impregnated efficiently during the first hours after birth.

Lambs and sheep need to know each other. Consumption of roughage and concentrated feed during and after lambing, provides to build more sincere relations between mother and baby. Early development and survival of the newborn lambs, completely depends on how they are maintained by their mothers.

Building a strong emotional bond between sheep and lamb in the first 24- 36 hours after birth, is very important for minimizing lamb deaths. Sheep should stay at the same place for 6 hours after birth in order to provide healthy development for their babies.

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