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Author Topic: Outdoor lambing shelter  (Read 4254 times)

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Outdoor lambing shelter
« on: April 05, 2013, 06:21:40 pm »
Our first lambs of this year arrived today, twins. They are Hebs. I think I'm worrying unnecessarily but they are not interested in using the shelters at all. They prefer to sleep by the tree trunks.
They sheep did this last year, but we lambed a little later and it's still quite cold, especially at night
They have lamb macs on too.
Should I just leave them alone or bring them in?
Thanks
Joanne xxx



Voss Electric Fence

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 06:27:47 pm »
If they are dry, drinking well and Mum appears to have plenty of milk and feed and hay then I would leave them be, Hebs really shouldn't need mollycoddling!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 06:30:08 pm »
You could put a couple of straw bales alongside the tree trunks to give extra protection from the NE.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 06:37:34 pm »
We penned our Soay, last year, for the first 24 hrs ... on advice of our neighbouring sheep farmer. This he said would mean more chance of successful mothering up and help in the case of twins as they were more likely to be taken by foxes or badgers in the first few days than singles(as predators knew that mum couldn't defend both so easily). He did say that in terms of hardiness our primitives would be fine though.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 06:38:52 pm »
You don't mention their mums (or ages) so I'm assuming it just the lambs that have arrived, but either way:
When you say cold, how cold? Is it pelting down with rain (or snow)? Are the fields muddy, is there any grass, are the trees sheltered, for example by windbreaks such as banks? Are the tree trunks of a good element protecting width, or saplings?
PS: It won't hurt to bring them in if it makes you worry less about them overnight, and see how it goes for a few nights.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 06:41:29 pm by OhLaLa »

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 07:34:20 pm »
Thanks for your replies. Their Mum seems to be attentive and protective so I've just put out some straw bales.
The trees are quite established so they should be ok. And it's fine and dry, just cold at night.
Our girls have never been inside and hate it so I'm always loathed to pen them up.
It's just that the lambs look so little ......
Course, I'll be distraught tomorrow if they're not ok.
Joanne xxxxxx

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 01:17:09 am »
Our first lambs of this year arrived today, twins. They are Hebs. I think I'm worrying unnecessarily but they are not interested in using the shelters at all. They prefer to sleep by the tree trunks.
They sheep did this last year, but we lambed a little later and it's still quite cold, especially at night
They have lamb macs on too.
Should I just leave them alone or bring them in?
Thanks
Joanne xxx

Hi Joanne
 
You are worrying unnecessarily  :)   I do understand though, especially as this is your first lambing, but as I wrote in your other post, Hebs are very hardy and the lambs have really thick birth coats, so don't need extra protection from the cold.  They will snuggle into the upwind side of the ewe and get all the protection they need from her.   Hebs much prefer to be outside in a familiar paddock, to being shut up indoors, which stresses them.   They will use the shelters, or lie behind them, when it rains or sleets - and you won't be able to hear yourself think for the sound of hooves with the first rain, as they dash in for cover  ;D .
 
Your ewe will prefer to stay near where she lambed for the first couple of days (another reason that moving her indoors would stress her), or she might move them back with the rest of the ewes for protection at night.  We find that as more ewes lamb, they will sit in a circle at night with ewes towards the outside and all lambs safely in the middle.  This means that predators will be seen off by several ewes.   
The only time I would really worry would be if you have a lot of foxes, badgers or wandering dogs which come onto your land at night - then I would protect the lambs.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 08:04:53 am »
I let some of mine out yesterday from a pole barn I and a friend put up a week ago during the blizzard. Most of the ground has cleared of snow, but no grass whatsoever. Minus 3 here last night but the lambs seem ok. I had to clear the barn as I have more to lamb and haven't let all the new ones out yet. Bit of a dilema really.....Leave them under cover and risk scours going through them or let them out and risk hypothermia. The Ewes are well fleashed and are bagged up and eating well.

The cost of feeding cake is almost double what I normally have fed by now.Still about 2-3 weeks before I will see any grass up here.

I'd recommend Llyens to anyone looking to get into sheep. Top mothers and so easy to lamb.

(Except for number 13. Mixed up triplets with one dead inside. managed to lamb her ok in the end. Both lambs are well and the ewe is up and around with the others).
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 01:35:06 pm »
Thanks again for your advice.
My two lambs were fine and one had decided he didn't like his lamb Mac anyway.
Two more this morning.
Hebs really are fantastic mums, I'm so proud of them!
J xxxxx

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 01:45:20 pm »
Hurrah for the hardy Hebs!! Macs are for soft southerners!!

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 06:03:31 pm »
Hurrah for the hardy Hebs!! Macs are for soft southerners!!


I've never used one in my life.  :P

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Outdoor lambing shelter
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 06:16:23 pm »
Hurrah for the hardy Hebs!! Macs are for soft southerners!!


I've never used one in my life.  :P

Yes, but you're not a SOFT southerner and nor are your sheep  ;D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

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