Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: shed size?  (Read 2028 times)


  • Joined Jul 2012
shed size?
« on: January 29, 2013, 03:34:09 pm »
This will be my first year of lambing and will be bringing my 3 ryelands in soon.  What size shed do they need to be comfortable?  Also presumably if the weather stays very wet can I let out mums with their lambs or will it be best to keep all in until this awful weather turns?


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: shed size?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 03:56:59 pm »
I can only quote the Soil Association standards used in our guides

"If you are going to house your sheep, you will need adequate space not less than 1.5 square metres per ewe. You will also need to provide adequate trough or hayrack space (not less than 50cm per ewe) and access to clean water. "

A ewe with one lamb needs 2m sq and with two lambs, 2.35m sq.

If the lambs are healthy and suckling well, and there is shelter in the field, they will be fine to go out after a day or two. But if you have the space and the weather's rubbish, keep them in. Since they won't be lambing over a long period (I assume) and there's only a small number, risks of infections aren't that high.

Good ventilation is essential though and keep them well bedded so that they are dry.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: shed size?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 06:04:41 pm »
I was sort of picturing a large horse stable size maybe 16x12 feet, which could probably match the guidelines quoted.

I think as important as the size is the quality and level of ventilation, unless a sheep shelter is well ventilated it can have a high risk of pneumonia, as with cattle.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: shed size?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 08:05:13 pm »
Beats me what some folk build. There are stables at the rented grazing we have - the boxes are new and there are five or six in a row but three walls are brize block, floor to ceiling and the only opening in wall four is the stable door. God, they are so dark  ::) Must have cost a bit to build too.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: shed size?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 05:03:44 pm »
The more room the better I think.  Ryelands are very docile but they'll be in full fleece now.  You could use old rubber gloves and a skip bucket and muck-pick twice a day to keep the shed clean if they're a bit cramped.  Once ours come inside (usually 3 days before lambing's due to start) I generally spread a light layer of new straw on top of the old every other day - urine filters through the "mattress" and they still have a dry lie.  If the weather's mild they'll suffer heat stress if ventilation's poor - winter housed ewes are often shorn because of this. 


  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: shed size?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 07:23:02 pm »
I relented and brought my in-lamb ewes in this week. 

The 12 Shetlands are in stables.
I have pinned back the doors to adjacent 12' x12' stables and made a pen with 6 hurdles on the concrete 'apron' in front of the stables.  Hay bags and water in each stable and also on the hurdles.  Ivy and willow branches tied on hurdles.  They spend most of their time mooching from one stable to the other in the hope that that the grass is greener in the other one! ::) .  And a row of rubber trugs for a little bit of feed - they get investigated in turn too ;) .

It seems to be working well :fc: .  So far no lameness or coughs, all dry bums and it is far easier for me :relief: .


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: shed size?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 10:05:25 pm »
You dont really need to bring them in until the lambs are born, or just before i would have thought. Saves on bedding, and trying to keep the pen straw fresh. Keep them in for a day or two, and then let them out. Clean out, disinfect, and fresh straw, ready for the next ewe.


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