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Author Topic: Lambing - what time of day?  (Read 4886 times)

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Lambing - what time of day?
« on: January 13, 2012, 10:09:38 pm »
Just wondering how many of you folks check your ewes in the wee small hours during lambing.
I mostly rely on spotting unusual behaviour during daylight checks, only checking after dark if someone is looking close. In my experience, my ewes like to lamb either at first light or about 4-6 pm. Very few lamb outside these times. Is it just my lot or do others follow a similar pattern?  :sheep:
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  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 10:27:43 pm »
I've had lambs at most times, but far more around 5am than any other. I used to check all through the night but now, if nothing is happening at midnight, I leave them til 5am.


  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 11:26:05 pm »
Yes same here I find the most but not all are early morning lambers. I don't bother to much with night checks unless somethink looks imminent.  I have Shetlands good easy lambers with very little intervention needed. I tend to be more concerned if the weather is bad as l lamb outside. Its just a matter of keeping an eye out for any signs and trying to judge, has got easier the longer Ive been at it. But I still get surprises
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.


  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 11:53:20 pm »
I always found they lambed when you weren't looking  ;D  The amount of times I have struggled out to barn in dark freezing weather, only to find them all lying down with their arms folded, chewing the cud and looking at me as if to say "are you mad running about outside in this sort of weather - and in the middle of the night" 

Then next time I checked there would be new lambs cuddled up and "Mum" with a smug look in her eyes - as if to say "I knew I had plenty of time before you would be back".    ::)

Mind you my Black Welsh Mountain were nice easy lambers in general so there weren't too many disasters  :)
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  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 11:58:31 pm »
I used to check throughout the night when we kept Jacobs - one of the reasons we stopped keeping them.  For the Hebs, Soays, Shetlands we checked last and first thing.....until last spring when our very first ewe to lamb was a first-timer in the  night, in a big storm, and we lost one of the lambs to hypothermia.  For the rest of that lambing I checked every two hours every single night but not one lambed during the night, and every time I went out into the field in my jimjams (with a coat over) and a giant torch plus dog who won't be left behind, it disturbed the whole flock. So this coming spring I will be back to checking at midnight and 5, and will only go back out if someone is looking likely.

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Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
  • Trusty Traca
    • Pasture Poultry
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Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 07:38:33 am »
Last year we had them at all hours, but i do have cctv installed in the barns these are linked to my laptop and TV so it does make life sooooo much easier we call it Sheep cam LOL and so checking through the night without disturbing them is no probs.
 :sheep: :sheep:  <---- spoilt sheeps


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 07:43:42 am »
All my Shetlands have lambed between 5 and 8 am, only once had one afternoon lambing. Never had to intervene, never had any mismothering problems or lamb rejections. About 50% have twins.  :thumbsup:


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 07:49:01 am »
Dan checks at 10pm, I check at 2am, then back at 6am unless anything looks imminent, of course. Certainly most lamb during the night, very few in broad daylight. Can't wait  ;D


  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 08:45:56 am »
Richard checks them at 10pm then again at 2am and then again at 6am.  He doesnt get a lot of sleep especially if a few are lambing at the same time.  Its worth it though just in case a ewe is in trouble and needs help.  He also likes to make sure the umbilical tube is dipped asap after birth.  We have about 100 sheep and should start lambing beginning of February(ish).  He is in the process of setting up a camera system.

robert waddell

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Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 10:20:42 am »
in our very limited experience with sheep (only 2 ewes and 2lambing)    the first year they lambed at betwean 9 o'clock and midnight   this year  one lambed at just after midday and the other at almost 3 in the morning :farmer:


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 11:44:17 am »
It is true that the busiest time seems to be 6 - 11pm and then around dawn to early morning. However we do get lambs at any time of the day of night.

When lambing is busy the sheep are attended virtually 24/7 - either by TIm or I.  If absolutely NOTHING is happening, we might nip off for 30 - 40 minutes for a snooze, but that's about it. It only takes a minute or two to lose a lamb. In fact, we have in the past, lost lambs when we have been in the shed but busy doing something else!

We are lambing iro 170 ewes in not much more than 10 days, so we can justify the intense workload for a short period. If we only had half a dozen and they were due to drop over 6 weeks. we would do it differently.
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  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire border
    • Glyn Elwyn - Faithmead Herd
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Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 12:10:04 pm »
I do a final check around 10.30pm, then one of us will check at 2am and then the other will check at around 5.30am.....which is generally the busy time  ;D....and if anything happening and we need the other one to help, we have two walkie-talkies that we use  :thumbsup:

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  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 01:55:15 pm »
so far ,this year we have had 3pm, midnight,11 am and 5pm.we are doing 2 hourly checks through the night ::)


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 05:38:43 pm »
I lamb outside, with access to an open shed but most don't use it. Most lambs appear at first light and then again early evening. I normally leave them after a last check just as it gets properly dark and if nothing is due/looking uncomfortable I sleep through. However if any ewe hasn't settled down (and so far my night time lambings have mainly been gimmers that started sometime during the day) I will stay until the lamb comes.
So far I managed to be there for most of the births (even at 4 am...)

Any ewes that have shown problems lambing in the past are brought into the shed at night when it gets close to their due date. (I take a note of the day they are tupped and then know roughly when individuals are coming near to lambing).


  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Lambing - what time of day?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 02:33:15 pm »
About an hour before dawn seems to be the prime time. I lamb out of doors and tend to do my last check at about 11-12ish and then again just before dawn 3:30-4am ish.


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