Video: How to carry out good hygiene practices in the lambing shed

At this time of the year, farmers up and down the country will either be in the middle or coming to the end of the lambing season.

Regardless of what stage it is, there can be no room for complacency when it comes to good hygiene practices in the lambing shed.

In terms of assisting ewes when they are lambing, a clean pair of disposable gloves should be used. This means they should only be used on one ewe that you are treating and not be re-used again, as this can be an easy way of spreading infections from one ewe to the next.

It is important to keep group pens topped up with fresh straw. Dirty and wet straw can lead to problems such as lameness in the flock, which needs to be avoided at all costs.

The same can be said when it comes to individual pens. When a ewe lambs, she will generally be moved into a small pen along with her lambs, to bond with them, and to make sure she takes to them, and to ensure that there are no health issues – with either the mother or her offspring.

Therefore, it is important that this area is clean and dry for a start. Then a layer of lime and a straw should be applied, after each use, to ensure that lambs don’t pick up any infections and have access to a clean and warm bed.

Problems such as joint ill are associated with lambs being housed on damp and dirty straw, so this needs to be avoided.

Therefore, to avoid problems such as joint ill, the navel of the lambs should either be dipped or sprayed with iodine, to prevent against any infections.

In the case of lambing equipment, it is important that it is sterilised and washed thoroughly after each use.

By carrying out simple management practices, it can help reduce the amount of losses incurred and maximise the number of lambs that are let out to pasture.