Procedure after insemination

Post insemination care:

           Immediately after insemination, the sheep must be kept in a separate area or in open space for the next 30 minutes to prevent grouping, laying one at another, strangulation and death cases while are under sedation. After 30 minutes they have to be feed and with free access to freshwater. If you have a small group of sheep, they can be feed immediately after AI is finished

Implantation (attachment) of the fetus to the uterus lining take place around the 21st day after fertilization. For this reason, it is necessary to avoid any additional stress in the first 21 days after insemination, as there is a high probability that the conceptus will die and resorbed. It is not necessary to have special care conditions in the indicated period after insemination, but it is necessary to avoid sudden movements and forced work with sheep as catching, scaring, dog sheep keeping, noisy repairs to the sheep barns, long walking, haircutting, bathing, blood collection, unnecessary treatment, etc. If the sheep have to be transported to closer destinations, it may be possible to do it after a few days, but truckloads should be avoided and should not be transported in heat. Long haul travel is not recommended at least until 3 weeks after insemination. Our recommendation is to avoid all possible manipulation for two months.

Ram introduction after insemination

The average sheep estrus cycle length is 17 days (15 - 20 days) and in goats about 21 days. This means that if the sheep has not remained pregnant from the first mating, a new cycle will emerge, on average, after day 17 (in the breeding season, though another cycle even in out of season period can be expected). Therefore it is recommended that rams have to be introduced to a group of AI sheep at least on the 14th day after insemination. Rams should be left with sheep for at least 2 next consecutive cycles (34 - 42 days after insemination), but ideally for the next 3-4 cycles. In natural (non-induced) cycles, the success from the first jump (mating) is on averages about 64%, from the second jump a total of 76% of sheep remain pregnant, and with the third jump (cycle), 93% of the sheep remain pregnant. Usually, about 5% of sheep can be sold annually due to infertility, thus some of these sheep can get pregnant in the next year. 

             During the natural mating season (August - November), unpregnant sheep after AI enter in new heat in the next cycle(s). Sheep in the anoestrus period (between February and July), mostly had one to two additional cycles after synchronization (and insemination). Repeat breeding is not a good indicator of AI success during the anesthetic period.

 Procedure at the time of lambing
     Literary, the average pregnancy time in sheep is 150 days. After synchronization, the sheep are lambed for 7-10 days, with a peak of lambing around the three days (peak is about 145 days). This generally means that only a few sheep will lamb at 150 days. The first lambs can be expected as early as the 138th day after insemination and can end the 155th day (extreme cases).
     In this period, sheep must be monitored regularly (ideally 24 hours in large lambing groups). The advantages of short lambing time are obvious. Lamb mortality in the first three days correlates with the number of sheep per box and the number of lambs born in one day. It is therefore advisable to use larger boxes or to divide the sheep into smaller groups.
      It is necessary to provide sufficient water, food and strows as bedding. Boxes with a lot of straw or individual boxes for sheep mothers are the best solution. Keep in mind that newborn lambs tend to keep track of everything that moves.
    Assist if any sheep has lambing problems (if they have labor strains longer than half an hour) and ensure that newborn lambs receive colostrum within 2 - 3 hours after lambing. This is especially important for first lambing sheep. 
     It is a good practice to freeze cow or sheep colostrum before the lambing season (especially if cows or sheep have been vaccinated against anaerobic infectious agents) and use such colostrum to feed the lambs. This measure would be necessary for the event that a large number of twins are expected.

     Weak lambs should be fed colostrum using a stomach probe. A urine catheter for dogs can serve as an alternative for original stomach probes.

     Daily colostrum requirements are up to 200 ml / kg / day. However, the dosage should not exceed 50 ml / kg. Please note that sheep milk replacement should not be used during the first day to provide the necessary antibodies from the mother's colostrum.

    An ultrasound examination can be performed from the 6th 
week after insemination (fetal fluids can be seen from day 23-25 ​​by pregnancy scanning by an experienced clinician, but early examinations can lead to additional embryo losses). If a pregnancy check is done after a ram introduction, then it is optimal that the examination is carried at 45-70 days after insemination to cover and distinct booth pregnancies (from AI and two rams' breeding cycles). The use of ultrasound pregnancy diagnostics can be very helpful in guiding and planning lambing and new cycle of insemination. An ultrasound examination allows both the counting of the conceptuses and sheep classification according to the number of expected lambs.