Spring sheep tips

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

• Check the Body Con­di­tion Score of ewes be­fore lamb­ing (don’t rely on a vis­ual check), and feed con­cen­trates to any not at the op­ti­mal lamb­ing score. They should be at least Grade 3 on the 0-5 scale.

• Give ex­tra feed and care to ewes car­ry­ing mul­ti­ples (if scanned) or vis­ually heav­ily preg­nant. Avoid stress­ing them.

• Pre­pare lamb­ing gear in good time, and be pre­pared for sur­prise early lambs.

• Re­move or fence off pad­dock haz­ards like holes and un­pro­tected troughs, and re­move af­ter­births from the pad­dock so you don’t at­tract preda­tors like dogs.

• Have colostrum (sheep, cow, pow­dered) on hand as it’s the key to lamb sur­vival, and learn how to tube feed starved lambs and warm them up. Put cov­ers on all mul­ti­ple lambs.

• Check newly-lambed ewes have clear teats and good milk flow.

• At dusk, check to see all lambs have full bel­lies.

• Ewes and lambs need plenty of fresh, clean wa­ter, but cover troughs to pre­vent lambs drown­ing.

• Dock and cas­trate lambs with rub­ber rings be­fore they are six weeks old. Learn how to do this cor­rectly - don’t dock tails too short.

• Dag all dirty sheep and keep lambs free of sticky fae­ces.

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