Ring Womb In Sheep

Ring Womb In Sheep

Sheep production is one of the animal husbandry business ideas to consider. Sheep are primarily raised for their meat, wool, milk, and hides. There are several business models or niches to choose from. From 2020 to 2021 there was a significant decline in sheep production. This was due to the pandemic. Now sheep production is being revitalized which provides lucrative prospects. There are many important things to know about sheep farming. Today let us solely focus on ring womb in sheep.

What Is Ring Womb In Sheep?

Ring womb in sheep is when a ewe’s cervix insufficiently dilates during labor (or lambing). Dilation here refers to the successive contraction and relaxation of muscles. The result is that it becomes difficult for the young lamb to completely emerge. At times it might not even emerge at all. By the way, a ewe is a female sheep. Under normal circumstances, when a ewe gets into labour, at some point you should see the young lamb begin to emerge. If this does not happen after some substantial amount of time, ring womb could be highly likely.

When a ewe is giving birth it is the norm that at some point the water bag must become visible. This is because it would have broken. If it is not, again that is a pointer to the possibility of ring womb being underway. It is important to intimately know all that should occur during normal lambing by a ewe. The absence of such usually points to the likelihood of ring womb in sheep. That way you can then spring into action to do the needful.

True Or False Ring Womb In Sheep

Ring womb can basically present itself as either of two ways. It can be false ring womb; this is when dilation of the cervix happens partially. Then there is true ring womb which occurs when there is not dilation at all. There are interventions you can try out when it is false ring womb. For instance, you could try to delicately dilate the cervix using your hands. As for true ring womb there may be nothing you can do.

It may become expedient to have veterinary surgeons conduct caesarean surgical procedures. Let us suppose the sheep goes into labour. Typically you expect to see certain indications which are norms during lambing. If these do not present themselves for at least 60 minutes after commencement of labour, true ring womb could be happening.

What Causes Ring Womb In Sheep?

Bear in mind that there are no definitively or conclusively established causes of ring womb in sheep. It is an area that is still under scientific research. However, there are some probable causes of ring womb in sheep. Here are some of them:

Hormonal Imbalances

There are hormones that are instrumental in the lambing of sheep. There can be hormonal imbalances that then negatively affect the dilation of the ewe’s cervix.


There can be unfavourable pressure or stress caused by the environment the sheep lives in. The place could be too cramped, poorly ventilated, or surrounded by too much noise. Those elements can cause the sheep to become stressed. Then the actual lambing stage itself can drive the sheep into stress. This will even affect other important aspects e.g. achieving hormonal balances.

Nutritional Deficiencies

There are possibilities that ring womb in sheep can stem from nutritional deficiencies. It can be general and may have started off from when the sheep were young. The sheep may not have been getting feed that constitutes a balanced diet. This then leads to the sheep lacking some important nutrients essential to lambing. One of the notable nutrients whose deficiency can cause ring womb in sheep is calcium.

Scarring Of Cervix Tissue

This scarring can be from prior births. During those births the sheep may have gotten their cervix tissue scarred. The scars may have not healed well enough to sustain subsequent births. That is why when time comes again for lambing, the scarring may cause ring womb. The scarring can also occur in the present for the first time i.e. as lambing is happening in real time.

Genetic Factors

This can be in two possible, amongst several other possibilities. One, there can be genetic mutations or anomalies that can result in ring womb in sheep. Two, it can be hereditary. As in, the parent stock could have had a history of ring womb. Thus the ring womb could have been passed down.

Important To Not Prematurely Conclude It Is Ring Womb

There are subtleties here that may confuse you. For instance, early stages of labour and ring womb may seem the same. That is why it is important to be sure you are dealing with ring womb. As a rule of thumb, you should consider the number of hours since labour starts. You can be sure it is ring womb if there is no complete dilation of the cervix after at least 6 hours. It is vital though to use your discretion as well by periodically inspecting the sheep.

What To Do When You Suspect Ring Womb In Sheep?

This will depend on the type of ring womb at play. For false ring womb yes, you can consider using your hands to stimulate or aid dilation. You could also try adjusting its position or posture. All this, however is highly risky and could escalate the situation. When it is true ring womb of course you are out of do it yourself options. Either way you realize that the best course of action is to call a veterinarian or a veterinary surgeon immediately. They are knowledgeable and skilled enough to guide you on the best solution.

If you are unsure about what to do it is best to engage professional veterinary experts. If you do not handle ring womb properly you can lose the sheep and the unborn lambs. It is important to fully understand the lambing process for early detection of ring womb in sheep.