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Preparing for Lambing

As lambing season approaches quickly it is important to ensure that both your ewes and facilities are prepared for the start of lambing.
In the last four to six weeks of gestation around 70% of lamb growth occurs, and the ewe’s udder should start to develop. As the lamb increases in size the ewe’s rumen capacity decreases, meaning that the ewe needs a nutrient dense feed source, especially those carrying multiple lambs. The need for supplementary feed and its composition will depend on the quality of the forage available. Ewes should begin being fed 6-8 weeks pre lambing with the maximum quantity of concentrate being 0.5kg/head.
It is also advisable to give sheep a booster vaccine such as Heptavac P 6-8 weeks before lambing to protect against clostridial diseases. Ewes should be monitored closely for illness such as Listeriosis and Toxaemia and conditions such as prolapsed.
Preparation of the lambing shed is also vital at this time. The lambing shed should be cleaned out, power washed and disinfected to reduce the risk of disease occurring, and bedding should be kept clean at all times.
Items which should be on readily on hand are as follows;
• Gloves
• Lambing ropes
• Lubricant
• Iodine
• Stomach tube and milk bottle
• Syringes and needles
• Thermometer
• Twin lamb disease drench
• Coloured marker
• Calcium 20% injection
• Magnesium 40% injection
• Antibiotic injection
• Rubber rings