Ranchers should be prepared to assist a difficult birth beginning one hour after seeing the feet or fetal membranes. Be prepared to help immediately in cases of incorrect fetal presentation, such as the fetus emerging backwards or with a leg tucked. If unable to deliver the offspring, Dr. Fernandez advises calling a veterinarian rather than resorting to extreme measures like using a come-along.
Sheep and goats are seasonal breeders which can be a disadvantage when trying to produce lambs or kids for specific holiday markets. The breeding season for both sheep and goats is when days are short, fall and winter. As the days grow longer and throughout the summer, reproductive activity slows or halts.
However, seasonality is not absolute, says Dr. Fernandez. Some breeds, such as Savanna and Myotonic goats, and Dorset, Rambouillet and hair breeds of sheep are less responsive to seasonal patterns. They will often breed throughout the year. There can also be quite a bit of variability in response to season among individuals within a breed.