Panting Ewe

500 in stock

SKU: C0016 Category:


Panting Ewe

This sheep was heavily pregnant, panting in measured breaths, waiting for labour to begin.

She was one of perhaps 50 ewes in a barn, all standing there patiently, looking as though they were coping with a rising tide of emotional upheaval.

The fact that all the ewes were ready to give birth at the same time was not an accident. In part it is down to sheep hormones.


The average gestation period for a ewe is 147 days but, unlike humans, sheep only have an average of 17 days in the year when they are in estrus, as the breeding cycle is called.

And within that 17 days they are only receptive to being mated for approximately 36 hours!

So getting the timing of the lambing right that far in advance of spring is a challenge for the farmers. And the farmer helps this along by bringing the ewes and the rams together at the right time.

Now fast forward to spring. All the ewes are pregnant and will give birth around about the same time.

The farmer steps in again and puts all the ewes together, knowing that once one ewe goes into labour the others in the flock are affected by the heady brew of hormones.

The result is that all the flock gives birth over a very intensive one-or-two-day period. That gives the lambs the best chance for survival rather than giving birth in a far-off corner of a field in the middle of the night.

SKU: C0016

Panting ewe
Panting Ewe