We know the weeks leading up to lambing are important. As promised, here is part two in our infographic series, looking at 32 key points to consider to help you prepare for a successful lambing season.
First thing’s first! Prepare your action plan. Make sure you have enough skilled workers—a minimum of 1 person per 250 ewes—and that each team member understands their role and responsibilities.
All procedures should be followed, recorded as routine, and record logs must be easily accessible to all staff.
Next, you need to get your housing facilities ready. All lambing sheds should be clean, drained and ventilated thoroughly—all the while remaining draught-free. Each lambing pen should be at least 2m x 1m in size and have new bedding for a 1.3² laying area per ewe. You must carefully disinfect the pens, and there must be easy access to food and water with each animal having its own bucket.
The health of the ewes and lambs is incredibly important, so create a separate hospital area away from your lambing area as well as a designated intensive care unit for the weaker lambs – this is the best way to make sure they receive the help and care they need.
Access to hot water and a power supply is equally important. Check that they’re in fully working order and accessible before lambing starts.
To feed your ewes and lambs throughout the season, stock up on everything you might need, including extra colostrum, good-quality milk replacer, scales, a milk thermometer and a whisk. Make sure you keep all feeding equipment clean—wash everything daily and disinfect it twice a week.
Lastly, it’s important to keep your records up-to-date during lambing, so work out beforehand how you will keep them and what information you will log. Once the season is over, this data can be analysed to create in-depth insights that may be useful for the following season.
Download our lambing toolkit checklist to help you prepare for the season.
For our third and final infographic in our series, we will look at 7 Top Tips to give your new-born lambs the best start in life.