For flocks across the UK, we will be shortly entering one of the farming calendars busiest periods; lambing!
1. Prepare: Not just sheds, but the sheep too! With the majority of lamb growth occurring in the final 6 weeks of gestation, now is the time to looking at body condition and ideally feeding a ewe for her expected number of lambs in order to reduce lamb mortality.
2. Assess: If the sheep aren’t looking just right, whilst you might not be able to fix them, you can certainly minimise the chances of issues. Blood testing ewes for mineral deficiencies and feeding high quality protein feed/blocks may help ewes maintain condition although be careful to avoid overfeeding which may lead to heavier birth weights. Vets can certainly advise you on specific issues and how to avoid them within your flock for example: enzootic abortion, swayback, etc.
3. Stock up: Standard lambing kit is:
- Lambing ropes
- Iodine/navel spray
- Marker spray
- Castration rings
- Colostrum – artificial or frozen
- Lamb colostrum tube and lamb bottle
- Prolapse harness/spoon
- You may also need to stock up on injectables such as pen+ strep, calcium etc.
- Other handy bits usually include things like a head torch, gloves, twin lamb drench etc
4. Staff: Hopefully at this stage day/night staff is long since sorted, however if you do need last minute cover or a helping hand, agricultural colleges, universities, vet schools etc all may have students who would be glad for the work experience.
5. Pet lambs: Love them or loathe them they are a lambing stalwart. You will probably end up with at least two, who best case scenario spend the next few years of their lives following you round the farm (getting in the way!), sheep race and lambing shed, usually whilst bawling for food.
6. Changes: Lambing time is the perfect opportunity to make changes in your flock. For example integrating ewes onto the EID reader, or closely monitoring specific things such as birthing difficulties in order to make informed breeding decisions in the future.
Finally, from everyone at SellMyLivestock we wish you good luck in your lambing season!
See all of our in-lamb ewes for sale on the site!
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