Lambing Season Kit
Another lambing season is a wrap! We are delighted to have four new Southdown Babydoll Lambs on the farm, and always relieved when another birthing season passes without any drama. In fact, Libby's delivery of her twins was about the easiest lambing or kidding I've ever witnessed.
We do a few things to ensure a good lambing season.
The first step is always the health of our ewes, starting with regular health checks, only breeding with an excellent body score, access to good pasture and good hay, and the addition of grain to their diet approximately a month before kidding. Our ewes also have free access to salt and sheep minerals, good genetics, and are generally spoiled rotten. When it comes to breeding, your odds of a trouble-free season increase exponentially if you start with a healthy ewe.
However, things can still go wrong, so we keep a lambing kit on hand in case of problems. Some of the items in our lambing kit include:
Nutri-Drench, Vitamin B, Selenium gel, Probiotic paste -- all for health boosts to be administered in different situations. These are mostly used if either mother or lamb seem not be not thriving, struggling to gain/regain energy, etc. They are often a quick fix we can offer while we wait for a vet to come and determine the exact issue.
Snare - for pulling lambs if necessary.
Lube - for aiding in delivery.
Nipples/Bottles & Formula - in case the lamb has trouble latching on or the mother rejects him. We keep both a colostrum formula for the first 24 hours and a regular formula. If possible, it is always best to milk the mother instead of using formula.
Scissors - for clipping the umbilical cord.
Iodine & small cups - for sterilizing the umbilical cord. You need a cup or container small enough to fit under the lamb and fully dip the cord.
Gloves - in case you need to help in the delivery,
Towels - for helping clean up lambs after they are delivered. I avoid aiding in clean up unless the mother has several lambs/kids, or is not interested in cleaning her lambs. It's always best to let the mother do it so she can fully bond.
In addition the most important thing is to have your vet's number on speed dial - they can come out in an emergency, or talk you through a situation on the phone. Always have a good vet that you trust lined up before kidding or lambing season arrives!
Now it's time to watch these little darlings grow. They will be headed to new homes around 10 weeks of age, and we will start getting ready for lambing season 2024!