Sheep are some of the most commonly looked after farm animals or livestock in the world. Coming in after chickens, cows, goats, etcetera. Their popularity is due to the fact that they are in demand. And for good reason too. Sheep provide both wool and meat (or mutton/ lamp – from younger sheep) to farmers, caretakers or just people in general. It comes as no surprise then that people would want to know just how long it would take for a sheep (ewe) to get pregnant again after it has given birth.
Let’s Talk About Lambing First
Lambing is when a ewe (or female sheep) is in the process of giving birth to a lamb or young sheep. And it takes about 144 to 150 days (or 5 months) for a pregnant ewe to give birth to a lamb. However it is not so black and white. In order for a ewe to give birth successfully and to live and healthy young there are quite a couple of environmental and health standards (for the ewe) that have to be adhered to.
- First of all being the nutritional needs of the ewe when it is pregnant. It needs to be fed with the right amount of feed which is to say not too much or too little because it has to maintain a certain weight. You will often leave the sheep (or ewe) to graze with its flock but to keep it from being affected by stress – stress can significantly lower the chances of a successful birth, which can be very likely if you have shepherd dogs to control the sheep or flock of sheep.
- The mortality of the lamb(s) can be greatly affected by the aforementioned factors which are basically a lack of nutrition and stress. A pregnant ewe can only give birth to one lamb at a time. And in most cases can only carry one lamb in the womb at a time. However there are exceptions in the case of the ewe carrying twins or triplets, etcetera.
How Soon A Ewe Can Get Pregnant After Giving Birth
To get pregnant, a ewe has to mate with a ram (or male sheep.) A ewe’s gestation or pregnancy period lasts for not more than 5 months. After which (when the ewe has given birth) might be introduced back into the flock where it can then mate with a ram again. But the ewe would have had some time to recover and nurse it’s young to increase the chances of the lamb surviving. This period of nursing and recovery can take anywhere from 30 to 63 days maximum, depending on the health conditions of the ewe as well.
- So to put things into perspective, it can take roughly a month (at least) or possibly two months at best for a ewe to get pregnant after giving birth. Which can be subject to whether or not the ewe will be in heat (which is sexual arousement of a mammal at a period when it is most fertile in order to mate and recreate.)
Why You Should Let Nature Take Its Course
It is not recommended to induce or rush a natural process like mating and gestation because it can lead to unwanted consequences. The consequences can mean death for either the ewe or the lamb or some sort of sickness because of a viral or bacterial infection that enters through the already vulnerable vulva of the ewe. It takes a few months for a ewe to fully recover from giving birth to a lamb and that is why it is important to let it fully recover so that when the next mating season comes around, the ewe is nourished and healthy enough to be able to bear another pregnancy and thus give birth to healthy young. You should let nature take its course because you certainly wouldn’t want any of your ewes dying, especially if they are pregnant which also often leads to the death of the lamb because they’d be too weak to carry it. With that being said however, it is possible for a ewe to get pregnant again even after giving birth but it is also dependent on time and patience.
Here’s More On What You Need To Know About Getting Your Sheep Pregnant After It Has Given Birth
- Some studies suggest that it takes only 5 weeks for ewes to get pregnant after they have given birth to a lamb in the case that they have been mated with a ram. This is immediately after they have been separated from their newborn lambs and they start releasing pheromones into the air for the rams to detect and thus after mate with them.
- A ewe has to have reached a weight of 99 pounds (45kgs) in order to be considered healthy enough to be pregnant because the ewe needs to have the right weight, size and structure in order to carry the lamb accordingly. Otherwise it would be too weak to walk around and this could spell trouble for the unborn lamb and the pregnant ewe itself.
- It is for certain that your ewe will only carry one or two lambs in a single year (provided the fetus doesn’t carry twins or triplets, etcetera during the pregnancy.) Because as stated above, it can be deadly for a ewe to reproduce in a fast paced manner.
It is not advised to temper with the things in nature because it can lead to unforeseen consequences. When farming sheep as a stockman or shepherd, it is important to have patience as a virtue because as soon as you start wanting more sheep than is naturally possible at the time, the consequences can be catastrophic for both you and the sheep. You would be better served if you let the sheep reproduce in their own time and at their own pace because it is not that long a period to wait as compared to much larger farm animals like cows.