Comments from smallholders
DAVE CHURCH, PEMBROKESHIRE
Even when our does are in their ‘maternity barn’, if the weather/conditions are good, we let them out daily as exercise is still good for pregnant stock.
VICKI WOODWARD, DEVON
If a newborn’s mouth is cold, don’t try to feed it as it won’t be able to digest the food and it will give it belly ache. Gently bring the animal’s core temperature up to normal range then, once the mouth is warm, tube it, ideally with mum’s colostrum.
YVONNE N VINCE LAY, OXFORDSHIRE
If you need to warm a baby lamb all over and you’re on your own and have another lamb coming, place the first lamb in a tub of warm water as it mimics being inside the womb... keep the head above water with a ring float around it.
LORRAINE TURNBULL, FRANCE
Tube feeding is an art, not to be attempted by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing as you could drown the lamb.
ISLA ANDERSON, ABERDEENSHIRE
Tickling the nose with a piece of straw will make a newborn sneeze out any liquid from its lungs.
JENI PARSONS, CARMARTHENSHIRE
We lamb outside and the three most important things are vigilance, even at 3am, a head torch, and an experienced neighbour.
KATY MCDERMOTT, LEICESTERSHIRE
We’re very careful to give lambs and ewes 48 hours to bond before they go out, and we put bales out for lambs to escape the wind / rain.
DAWN MCHUGH, CARMARTHENSHIRE
Once our girls had kidded we gave them a bucket of warm water with molasses in; they gulped it down. The vet suggested this as a good energy replacement.
NICK FLUX, SOMERSET
Don’t worry. Don’t panic. Less is more. If you worry, you will worry about things that aren’t wrong. Sometimes your ewes know best. Don’t get yourself tired - that’s when you miss things. Lambing should be a joy not a chore.