The lambing season may be underway on some farms but, for the majority of farmers, their ewes won't lamb down until January or February.
This means the focus for the next few weeks is to ensure that ewes are fed adequately to ensure they have sufficient energy to meet the needs of their growing lambs and also to maintain their own body condition.
Therefore, now is a good time for mid-season lambing farmers to start picking up a few essential items for the lambing period - not when it has started.
Listed below are some items that will come in handy during the lambing season.
- Towels and disposable gloves;
- Iodine solution;
- Stomach tube and syringe;
- Lamb milk replacer;
- Straps - for prolapsing ewes;
- Sheep marking sprays.
To reduce stress levels and to avoid constantly going back and forth to the vet for supplies, it is important to stock up on these essentials.
As well as stocking up on supplies, it is also important to make sure everything is in order in the lambing shed to ensure the lambing period is a success.
The shed should be washed down and bedded with straw. When the ewes are housed, the pens should be topped up with fresh straw every two to three days or when it starts to get wet and dirty.
Now is a good time to set up individual pens; in order to make sure there are enough buckets available for each pen so that a ewe has access to clean water at all times.
Every farmer will want to avoid this, but setting up an area for pet lambs now will save time come lambing.
Furthermore, it is important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation and that the infra-red lamps are working properly in order to give a lamb the best possible chance of survival.