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Author Topic: When to leave lambs out  (Read 5569 times)


  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Worcestershire
When to leave lambs out
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:35:06 pm »
Hi all,

have 6 lambs - 3 which are bottle fed (mothers no milk and skittish). Oldest twins which are bottle fed are 6 weeks old and yongest lamb which is bottle fed is 3 1/2 weeks old. Other lambs with their mums are 4 1/2weeks old. All are thriving.

Due to weather, feeding and worring about fox attacks (don't seem to have seen many over the past 2 years) we have been bringing the lambs and 3 ewe mothers into a 12' x 8' shed at night.

I just think now it is time to let them out at night as the ewes are becoming restless confined at night, (bottle fed ones want out as well) and it also can get a bit muggy in there (worrying now about respiritory problems).

I am going to build a lean to at the side of the shed which will privide shelter if needed.

Are we just being over protective over our little lambs - should they be big enough now to fend off foxes at night - and should the bottle fed lambs be ok out at night - they tend to keep together in the day and mix with some of the younger ewes.

We have 11 ewes, a ram and the six babies

Any comments/advice from you experienced lambers would be welcome.





  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 10:54:10 am »
only way to know is let them out  if  you lose any then you know you done your best. if there restless being in then they shoudnt be in. i think about a week max staying in at night then out for rest of time would be good


  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 11:35:04 am »
I think they are always better off out and now the weather is improving it will harden them off. You don't say what breed they, are but my larger orphan hampshires are put out at about 4-6 weeks old with access to shelter


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 12:37:31 pm »
Sheep are designed to live out doors! They are much healthier left out and are really only vulnerable to fox attack in the first 24 hours! attack is a different matter ::)
Too many people mollycoddle their sheep imho and can cause problems that otherwise wouldn't happen. Sheep are very tough animals you know :)

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 02:45:33 pm »
we did shut out bottle lambs in every night for a few weeks last year as there were no adults at all and the fox used to sit outside their shed and be chased off each morning by the neighbour at 5am! perhaps we were over cautious, I don't know.
they certainly are spoilt the 2 we have now though and maybe we'll  treat this years orphans differently.
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 07:53:01 pm »
Orphan lambs are a totally different big woolly radiator to sit next to and to look out for them, also grass and lots of milk do not mix well and can cause problems! I would not generally leave orphans out at night until 8 weeks or so and nearly weaned. They need to eat creep and hay rather than stuffing themselves on lots of grass and getting the squits!

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: When to leave lambs out
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 05:36:19 am »
I understand your concerns. Haven't had any orphans myself (just one rejected boy) but rather think that the motherless ones will snuggle up close to the ewes and their babies at night anyhow (I presume you've got an area that they can't escape from?). You should be providing creep for all the little ones now. Their little bellies will bloat if they only have access to grass and hay on it's own is not good either. They'll have a go at eating anything but most of all creep is needed ad lib if you can provide it without the older ones getting at it and eating it all. It's easy enough to build a small feeder for your amount of lambs. Access to shelter is great in case of inclement weather, though sheep are hardy animals.
Hope that helps.


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