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What You Need To Do Before Lambing Day

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

The ram and ewe have done their job and the long waiting period is almost over. Now what should you do to prepare for that exciting day?

One Month Before Lambing

The ewes should be sheared or skirted prior to lambing. This will not only keep the ewe's wool cleaner during lambing but eliminate the possibility of passing harmful bacteria to the lamb.

The ewe should be given a CDT shot approximately one month prior to lambing day. She should also be wormed at this time. This will boost her resistance and allow her to pass some of this protection on to her lamb(s) for the first 8 weeks of life.

Selecting a Location for the Lambing

As the time comes closer, you should start preparation about 2 to 3 weeks before the big day. Depending on the area of the country you are located in - whether the weather is warm or you are still in the grip of winter - you need to plan on where the ewes should be housed. Either inside of a barn or other protected structure or left out in the pasture to fend for themselves.

My choice is to keep the ewes in a closed in corral with access to a barn that can be closed at night or when weather is not the best. During the day the ewes can have the free run of the barn and/or corral. This allows them some exercise and they can choose whether to go inside on blustery days or to enjoy the sun on sunny days. It also allows me to keep an eye on the ewes in case they deliver earlier than expected and I can assist the ewe if necessary and move her and her lamb(s) into a jug.

Using Jugs

What is a jug you ask? It is a small area to keep the ewe and her lamb(s) contained for approximately 3 days so they bond together. It also helps to protect the lamb from the other ewes who are sometimes jealous or do not want to accept a new member to the flock.

Our jugs are approximately 4' x 4' in size. This allows the ewe and her lambs enough room to move around. It also keeps the lambs close to their mother so they can easily nurse.

We have constructed our jugs from wire panels that we purchased from Premier Sheep ( These panels are precut and have small 3" squares. The small squares prevent the lambs, even the very small ones, from escaping from the jug and getting into trouble. Premier also has a very neat Wire connector Hinges that are 48" tall. You just twist them and they connect the side panel to the panel you are using as a door. They also offer a Snap Clip that can be used to snap the door to the other side panel (these can also be purchased at the local Home Depot or other hardware store). Ask them for their catalog and you will no doubt find many other items that will fit your needs.

Other Necessities

You will also need a water bucket. We use an 8 quart bucket that we purchased from your local feed store. It's not too heavy and is easy to connect to the side of the jug with a Snap Clip.

The ewe will need her daily meal of grain. We use 3 or 4 way purchased at our local feed store. It seems best to get a feeder that can be hung on the wire of the jug. This way you don't have to worry about the lamb deciding to make it his bed and using it for his bathroom.

Mid-States Wool Growers, located in Kansas ( ) has some nice fence hanging feeders and buckets.

Source: EzineArticles
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Location For Lambing




Bonding Between Ewe And Lamb


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