Do We Have Everything We Need?!
We are almost to lambing!
The calendar says we are to start lambing February 20th but like human babies, they come when they want to so this week’s accompanying video is all about getting organized and showing you what we’ll need for lambing.
This is the first time we’ll be lambing a group this big on our farm. There are approximately 67 ewes due to lamb within the next month and a half and we want to keep as many records as possible. In the future when we’re ready to grow and begin keeping our own ewe lamb replacements we will look back through all our records to help us with the decision.
We spent a good bit of time in the last two weeks going through all the supplies we had leftover from previous lambings and what we needed to restock and buy for the first time. A lot of our supplies we get from Premier1 Supplies. They have a wide range of sheep and goat specific products. Other things we have gotten from Amazon, Rural King or our local feed store. We restocked on milk replacer and colostrum for lambs that need a little extra help or those that can’t stay with mom. We also restocked on marking paint, gloves and ear tags. One of our new purchases was a fish scale and sling to weigh lambs with; the fish scale came from Amazon and the sling came from Premier1 Supplies. Our good hay, straw for bedding and creep feed are all ready and stacked in the barn waiting for their time.
Side Note: Ewes have two teats, so they can only feed a maximum of two lambs well and effectively. Any ewes that have more than two lambs will probably be “pulled off” or taken from mom so we can bottle feed it and make sure it is getting enough milk to thrive.
Because this is the first time we are lambing such a large group we are going to focus heavily on keeping consistent detailed records on every ewe and her lambs. With a quick Google Search for “ewe record keeping” we found a nice detailed sheet from the Ontario Sheep Farmers we’re going to use. The form includes information on the ewe (birth date, breed, breeding dates, treatments, and other comments) on the top of the form and the bottom is dedicated to her lambing performance. We’ll record the lambing date, number of lambs born and how many were raised, their weights, sex, weaning dates and weights and any extra comments. We’ve created the Ewe Records binder with a form for every ewe and as this is our first time with the majority of these ewes we’ll complete their forms as they have their lambs.
We’re so excited but also getting more nervous as the time nears. We always try to remind ourselves that we are new and still learning so much from our peers in the industry and our extension professionals.
You can find this weeks YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/bzRLuZn2G8g
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