How to Stack the Deck to Ensure a Successful Lambing Season

Jan 09, 2024

Ceara Smothers, Lifestyle Feeds Specialist
Brooke Gifford, Lifestyle Feeds Specialist 

THE PROFITABILITY OF YOUR SHEEP FLOCK starts at the very beginning—lambing season. As this season draws near, we’d like to share some key tips for success!

Sorting Your Ewes

First, it’s important to sort out the ewes that are closest to lambing using their breeding date and physical appearance. These ewes will need more attention. Go ahead and pen this group of ewes up at night for easy access, so you can monitor and assist them if required. Once they’re completely done lambing, you can turn them out into lambing pens.

Lambing Supplies Checklist

Let’s ensure you have the right equipment and supplies for a smooth lambing season. You will want to have the following on hand:
  • Iodine
  • Towels
  • Plastic sleeves and disposable gloves
  • OB lube
  • Scissors
  • Ewe restrainer
  • Baby bottle
  • Stomach tube and two-ounce syringe
  • Uterine boluses
  • Halters
  • Lamb milk replacer

What to Watch For

A telltale sign that a ewe is near lambing is the udder becoming engorged, swollen and slightly red. You may also notice the vulva becoming red and swollen. The ewe may separate herself from the flock and even miss a feeding.

Be a Helping Hand

If you notice a ewe is having a prolonged birth, you may nee to assist her to get the lamb out:
  1. Restrain the ewe before attempting to pull the lamb.
  2. Put on OB sleeves with OB lube.
  3. Ensure the ewe is fully dilated, then check that the head and all the legs are to one lamb. Once you have one lamb positioned to come out, you will alternate pulling one leg and then the other at a slightly downward angle.
  4. Put the lamb in front of the ewe right away and remove the restraint. Observe her to ensure she accepts the lamb.

Liquid Gold? It’s Close!

Don’t stress—Key Cooperative has Land O’Lakes® Ultra Fresh® Lamb Milk Replacer to help you this lambing season! This milk replacer is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your lambs. It supports lamb growth, optimizes digestibility and nutrient absorption and supports palatability for optimal intake. It also supports immune responses and overall gut health. Research has shown that lambs fed Land O’Lakes Ultra Fresh Lamb Milk Replacer have optimal average daily gain compared to lambs that are naturally reared.

If quality maternal colostrum is not available, feed Land O’Lakes Bovine IgG Colostrum Replacer for Kid Goats and Lambs to help build immunity.

Ceara Smothers | Lifestyle Feeds Sales Specialist | 641-260-6179
Kelcie Carpenter | Key Cooperative, Gilbert Feed Sales | 515-232-6515
Brooke Gifford | Lifestyle Feeds Sales Specialist | 641-888-0818

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