Perhaps the most exciting and taxing time of year for sheep farmers, lambing season begins in January and lasts well into April, or depending on where you are, even May! Now is the time to make sure that you have full stocks of all the essential lambing equipment for sheep farming, and to help you we've put together this handy little lambing essential checklist.
A simple little tool, but one you cannot afford to be without, lambing rope is specially designed as a means of providing gentle assistance to you and the prospective mother. They tend to be made from materials that are durable and easy-to-wash, so that they can be quickly disinfected and re-used should the need arise.
Giving birth puts a lot of strain on the mother's body and can result in a number of complications, including uterine prolapse. A Uteri support, such as those offered by Ritchey on Tanner Trading, can be inserted as a means of reducing strain and alleviating some of the pain; making the whole lambing process that little bit easier.
Both a preventative measure and a potential short-term fix, a ewe truss can be applied to a birthing ewe as a means of preventing a uterine prolapse or to offer support to a uterus that has already prolapsed. This harness encourages the sheep to adopt a natural birthing posture.
A piece of essential lambing equipment if ever there was one, a good lubricant can make the lives of sheep farmers immeasurably easier. Lubricant helps to make the birthing process that little bit more smooth and can be applied to other tools, such as the lambing rope and uteri support, to ease insertion.
Maintaining good hygiene is important for both sheep farmer and the ewe, which is why wearing gloves is more than a lambing essential, it's a lambing fundamental. Lambing season will see assisting a large number of ewes, which is why to maintain hygiene you should use strong, disposable gloves.
It is important that any birthing ewe has access to water and you will need something to keep and carry all your lambing accessories around in. Buckets can help to fulfil both of these functions and they will also come in handy throughout the rest of lambing season, as there is a strong chance that you will need to do a lot of cleaning up.
A powerful disinfectant, iodine should be applied to the newborn lamb's navel and skin as soon after birth as possible and allowed to dry. This will help to prevent disease and generally clean the newborn of any residue left over after birth
When lambs are first born they may find it difficult to suckle from their mothers, and if they are orphaned it is unlikely that they will be able to feed from another ewe. Colostrum must be given to newborn lambs within the first 6 hours of life if they are expected to survive, but the earlier the better so make sure you have plenty on hand.
Twin Lamb Solution
An essential lambing supply for a sheep farmer whose ewe is expecting twins, these solutions have been formulated to re-energise mothers and provide them with the nutrients that their bodies are not getting enough of. Without a twin lamb solution, mothers of twins may suffer from Pregnancy Toxaemia, also known as 'twin lamb disease', which can result in malnourishment and under developed lambs.
Lamb Covers & Jackets
Hypothermia is the leading cause of lamb death in the direct aftermath of lambing season, which is why it is imperative to keep your lambs dry and as warm as possible. Waterproof lamb coats are designed to keep young lambs dry whilst also providing them a degree of protection against the wind.
Lambing Heat Lamps & Infrared Bulbs
Young lambs do not have the same thick woolly coats as adult sheep do, nor are their rumens developed enough to generate ample body heat, so your job as sheep farmer is clear: keep them warm. Heat lamps and infrared bulbs are fantastic tools that can help to raise the ambient temperature so that a lamb's still-developing body does not have to overwork itself to stay warm.
Feeding Buckets, Bottles & Teats
If a lamb has been orphaned or for whatever reason it cannot feed directly from its mother you will need to bottle feed it by hand. For newborn lambs a white teat would be best suited, but if you are going to hand-rear your lambs until they reach adulthood, you will need a supply of red teats; which are slightly more hard-wearing. Our wide range of lamb feeding equipment has all the essential products hand-picked by our in-house experts.