The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Muttley94 on February 29, 2012, 07:31:17 pm

Title: First timer lambing
Post by: Muttley94 on February 29, 2012, 07:31:17 pm
I have 5 ewes to lamb around April time, but after reading numerous books, i am confused at what I will all need  ??? Luckily I came across this forum and thought I would ask experienced people for advice :) anything at all will be greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: bazzais on February 29, 2012, 07:49:53 pm
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/books/the-sheep-book-for-smallholders/ (http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/books/the-sheep-book-for-smallholders/)

Its such a brilliant book - it answers so many questions :)

Good luck, sure it will all be fine!!

Baz
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: in the hills on February 29, 2012, 07:53:00 pm
Hi Muttley and welcome. I am new to the forum too but it is a good place to be.

I wont try to give any advice because i am a very inexperienced sheep keeper but I am sure someone will be along soon who can help you. We will be lambing for the first time in March so will read your replies with interest! :wave:
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: lee.arron on February 29, 2012, 07:58:28 pm
If you can get on a day lambing course it got me ready for it this year , and spend as much time with the sheep as you get i learned alot more from spending hours down the barns just watching their behaviour and noticing the signs ill definatly be ready for next year
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: squeasy on February 29, 2012, 08:06:21 pm
Hello, :wave:

I have two different books, that I have read from cover to cover, I had studied all the lists of what to have in preparation and went on a fantastic lambing course run by my vets. 

Unfortunately when presented with my first ever lambing and it was not straight forward (and didn't fit any of what I had read/been shown) ... I completely froze and felt very vulnerable.

However with the help of my very calm OH, a great friend (on speed dial) and a very competent vet we now have a healthy (very bouncy) lamb.

So my best advice is read all the fantastic posts on here, read your book, attend a course if you can, but most importantly have some people that have done it all before on speed dial - and then you can ring them from the lambing if there was a problem and they can help or just reassure you. 

I am sure you will be great though- and as people keep telling me most births are straight forward. 
Hope it goes well - good luck
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: Muttley94 on February 29, 2012, 08:13:30 pm
Thanks Baz, think I will get myself one now :)
 :wave: I agree it seems a great place to be, everyone seems so helpful!
That's a great idea Lee, I will look into that :)
Squeasy I have now got my vet on speed dial and will read some more books :) I also have this forum in my favourites and will be here often! Thanks and I hope everyone else has a successful lambing season too  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: lee.arron on February 29, 2012, 08:16:32 pm
the site has been well helpful to me especially on those nights when u stay up expecting an arrival, 4 weeks ago i was as stressed as hell thinking it was all going to go wrong, not knowing what im doing  but now i want more pregnant ewes only got 1 left to lamb and i know im going to miss it till next year
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: Muttley94 on February 29, 2012, 08:36:04 pm
Yeah, I know exactly what to do when waiting up all night - read these brilliant posts! I am beginning to get stressed now but reckon I will miss all the excitement when I'm done :) you had a good year the Lee?
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: in the hills on February 29, 2012, 08:39:30 pm
Hi again Muttley,

If it is a list of basic lambing equipment that you were interested in then have a look at one of the recent posts in this sheep forum entitled.... First aid kit for sheep .......I think Fleecewife included a basic lambing kit list.

Hope this helps. I know what its like, I have read so much that I start to confuse myself ! Have you got a friendly local sheep keeper who you can chat to.
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: lee.arron on February 29, 2012, 08:39:59 pm
yea for first time  i think ive had it easy last girl to lamb is triplets so im worried about her she hasnt been comfortable for ages. one aborted about 6 weeks ago which was unfortunate but the others have been healthy lambs
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: bazzais on March 01, 2012, 06:32:48 am
One of the best things that has been since I started with sheep - is having a great nieghbour.  I love my neighbour, she has even come out once with her little boy in the car at 4am to come and help cos she is at home on her own.  I never like asking, but having at least another person on speedial is comforting :)
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: Muttley94 on March 01, 2012, 07:39:09 am
Hi again :) I didn't notice that post so I will look now thanks. I don't actually have anyone just the local vets  :-\
I have one that is triplets so I'm hoping it all goes well with her, think its only her second lot of lambs. I had one aborted middle of January but so far so good with the rest of them.
I live on the edge of a town and my only neighbours are in a new street of posh houses, not sure they would appreciate a call at anytime of the day never mind 4am! You are really lucky to have a friendly neighbour for support :)
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: in the hills on March 01, 2012, 08:56:24 am
Ahh ....... that must be difficult. I am lucky in that I have a farming neighbour that does love his sheep and although he is retired he still keeps a flock but doesnt lamb anymore. He answers all my questions and is there if I need him to run an eye over my girls. He is also someone whos opinion I trust and I believe he is always compassionate towards his stock.

I wonder if there is a smallholding group near to you where you could meet people with experience in sheep?

My vet and the nurses at the surgery are very understanding when I ask for advice but then we are in very rural, sheep country!!!!!
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: OhLaLa on March 01, 2012, 10:42:27 am
The best thing about lambing is when it's all over.

Last year ended badly and this year started badly.

Happy times, sad times.

 :)  :sheep:  :(

Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: Remy on March 01, 2012, 11:22:16 am
If it's any comfort to you I knew nothing about sheep whatsoever when I was given six cade lambs; and nothing about breeding when I got a ram!  ::) ;D

I had four ewes, two of whom gave birth on their own (took me by surprise as I didn't think any of them were pregnant - I had used a crayon raddle which hadn't worked!).  One was found dead in the field and the other was a healthy boy.

The next year I had collected a few things at lambing time but very basic stuff - all four ewes lambed perfectly on their own without my help!  Over the years I've just added to my lambing kit as and when I use things, but this year have more 'emergency' things such as twin lamb drench, antibiotic injection, long nosed syringe and catheter.  I've only had to intervene with one ewe whose lamb seemed to be stuck for ages and I had to pull it out, poor ewe did get a bit swollen in her 'parts' but after an anti-inflammatory from the vet she was fine over the next few days.

I'm lucky in that I have quite a few people I can call on if I'm unsure about anything, but my own vet is very good for emergencies.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 01, 2012, 01:34:35 pm
The best thing about lambing is when it's all over.

Ahhh, that's sad, OhLaLa  :bouquet:

For me, I love it, it can last all year if it likes.  By the end of the main cycle of the main flock, I am desperate for sleep, desperate to smell less like ovine birthing fluids (and worse  :o), desperate to be out and about and see what's changed in the countryside beyond our own boundaries... then, after two nights I'm caught up on my sleep again and I want to do it all over again, right NOW!   :D
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: feldar on March 01, 2012, 04:04:37 pm
I love it too, it's just by the end and all you've got is a few to go you want to tip them over and shake out the lambs! but i love watching the lambs grow, then the show schedules come in and i get all excited picking the show team and changing my mind a hundred times and driving my hubby mad :sheep:
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: bazzais on March 01, 2012, 06:57:11 pm
I do love lambing time and the smells too :) - but we've had a bad start as well - or rather a bad few.  Its so sad to see them lurching around the kitchen, wobbling everywhere after being out side and seeing all the 'normal' jumping and running around lambies.  The problem with mollies is that you get so attached as you are with them all the time.  They also require so much of your time meaning you have to hurry yourself around the rest.

I am hoping to have a holiday with 'the boys' towards the end of lambing as they could only get holidays then (not ideal for me) - I am praying that they are all done as I cant find anyone mad enough to work for me ;)

Baz
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: OhLaLa on March 01, 2012, 07:50:35 pm
The best thing about lambing is when it's all over.

Ahhh,sad, OhLaLa  :bouquet:


i know. i love my sheep but since the very first week they arrived they've got themselves into one pickle after another. it's only the beginning of my second year but I've already had sheep stuck on scratching posts (week 1), on their backs (week 2), and since then I have had stillborn, aborted and a 'didn't make it' lamb. Yesterday one ewe jumped the fence and got her back legs caught up - luckily I saw it happen (greedy madam was after next doors food). i've had purple bruises from the ram, and tended to them in all weathers no matter how poorly i might be feeling (that's just part of the job). And i won't even mention the blood tests, ever changing ear tag regulations and paperwork that has to be kept up to date.

i didn't go into this blindly and have spent a lot on proper stock fencing, sturdy field shelters, and I rotate the (good) grazing. They aren't overstocked - it's Sheep Hilton here.

They get their mineral licks, hard feed as necessary, and the guy that sheared them last year commented on how well they looked - not too fat (a lot are he said), just right.

..............And then it's lambing time and my inexperience really shows up. I'm learning. The hard way.

No rose tinted glasses for me (but i guess that's good really).

So, despite the heartache, I have just bought another field auto water trough for them, and i WILL get the sheep barn ready in time for next years lambing so i can have the darned heat lamps at the ready.

Lambing isn't over yet. i have one VERY VERY large ewe who is due anytime...............

 :sheep:
Title: Re: First timer lambing
Post by: Muttley94 on March 02, 2012, 08:17:58 am
OhLaLa that's sad but hopefully you will enjoy it next year with no problems :) despite being really new to this and quite nervous incase things go wrong, I am really excited to see what my little ladies will decide to throw at me! I have 2 vets on speed dial now and will be going down to the surgery to ask for advice often. One thing that is worrying me is if one of my sheep get a prolapse, what would be the best thing to do in that situation? (other than phone the vet!)