Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: lambing shed set up  (Read 5657 times)


  • Joined Nov 2013
lambing shed set up
« on: February 18, 2015, 05:50:55 pm »
Id be interested to see pictures or hear descriptions of what peoples set ups are like. I'll be using a pikyrunnel and have ywt to organise the inside,


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 06:30:54 pm »
We want to see the pics of your pikyrunnel first! :-p
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 07:42:56 pm »
*edited* to attempt to add a picture of my poly tunnel. Not finished yet and landlord has a bit to clear up yet!

« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 07:57:50 pm by Jamie12 »

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 09:22:36 pm »
We have mothering up pens along the edge of two areas - one for twins, one for singles.  As soon as we spot a ewe is beginning to lamb down she goes in one, freshly strawed down.  Once we're happy the ewe and lambs are doing well they go into a larger area for a day or so, depending on the weather, where the lambs learn to stick with Mama and not try to suckle from another ewe, then they're turned out.


  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 09:26:08 pm »
Friend has 4 pens set up with a center aisle in an + shape. Bottom of the + (facing down) leads through to another part of the barn which is set up with bonding pens in a U shape - normally 10-12 (lambing up to 100 sheep) and then opposite that is a large pen they move on into when bonded - from there they go out in groups every few days.

Her girls lamb over a 2 week period. I could do a pic if that makes more sense?


  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 07:40:41 am »
Pictures would be great


  • Joined Oct 2014
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 11:33:16 am »
we have one big pen then 60 small pens ,then 3 days later out to the field they go, the put them i the small pens as they lamb ...our lambing shed is our cow house tho


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 01:01:00 pm »
Factors to consider when setting it up :

. it's really helpful to have a route to get ewes-and-lambs in and out of the shed without opening the main area (where those yet to lamb are.)  So some sort of 'airlock' pen in the entrance, which opens to the outside and to the inside, will be useful.

. Your wee ewe lambs maybe won't be such a problem, but with adult ewes it's very helpful if you can put feed in troughs before letting the sheep to them.  So either two main pens, with troughs sufficient for all in each, so you can shoo the sheep into one before putting the feed out in the troughs in the other, or walk-thru troughs, or troughs along one side with a passage you can walk along behind it.

. with hoggs especially, having the lambing pens not far from / in sight of them main area will help when trying to get lambed ewes to follow their lambs to the pen ;) 

. again, with hoggs especially, you will want some larger pens where two or three mums and their 24-48 hour old lambs can go, and can learn about mothering up in company, before being put out.  Your sheep look docile enough, but anyone with hill / primitive sheep be aware that ewes can be very aggressive with other lambs, so this tactic has to be used with caution, especially with horned sheep.

. lambing pens may need a lot of mucking out, so think about forking and barrowing when you plan your layout!  And also carrying water to ewes in the lambing pens.

. again, especially with hoggs (but less with the type you have than with first-timer hill sheep and primitives), you may need a few lambing pens where the lamb can get to safety if the mother is having a hard time accepting this little bleater tugging on her teats. 

As a rule of thumb, I'd divide a space into 1/3 mothering spaces, 2/3 main areas and lambing pens.  Lambing pens around two sides of the main area, perhaps?  Main pen divided into two to help with feeding and general management.  'Airlock' arrangement at main entrance.

Let us know what you do and how you get on with it!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 01:10:29 pm »
Thanks, all very helpful, will go have a wee play around with hurdles and pallets to see how I can work things


  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 01:25:28 pm »
We only have 5 acres at home and the way the rentals have worked out this year little winter grazing, the land needs a rest shall we say! Lleynish ewes are currently hammering some land we own a few miles away and munching round bales until we have moved the Pedigree Charmoise off here (lambing now, MV acc. so can't mix with the Lleyn/Lleynish)

Then we have to find somewhere to lamb 100 synchro'd ewes... hmmmm. We have two little tin sheds in an L shape around a small yard in front of the house, max capacity 70 without lambing pen space so will be relying on the survival ability of the Charmoise cross "Welcome to the world now ooot the door you little beggars" and creative yard construction on hard standing. The plan is to increase capacity by feeding round bales on the hard standing with run back to the sheds. Every spring there are sheep and lambs literally everywhere here, in the sheds, the kennels, the house, the wood shed, the trailers and even the fields (!), this year I have my eye on our as yet unfinished kitchen extension (don't tell Mrs Me) :tired:

When smallholding and farming collide you have to get creative! I've got drawings for a 60x40 shed but they don't keep the rain off for long.  :raining: 


  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 04:54:13 pm »
Hopefully have been able to draw a rough diagram :D I don't have measurements and its not at all to scale - if it helps, across the way we normally can get 8 bonding pens + the gap for the aisle and then 2 down. The big pens normally have around 20 girls in :)

If anything needs explaining, just shout :) I really like that layout but its the only one I've used so there may be better ones.


  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: lambing shed set up
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 08:23:20 pm »
Lots of good advice and different systems :thinking: .
I would like to echo SITN warning re multiples in pens.  At the local college, on lambing weekend, I and other members of the public watched several aggressive ewes attacking another as she was lambing and they trampled her lambs to death.  Despite protests and pleas from us, the students/stewards did nothing to help >:( .
My own ewes are normally quite placid and good mums but can be really vicious to other ewe's lambs.  I now only use single 6' pens for bonding, then out to the paddock where the lambs have space to avoid grumpy ewes. :fc: :fc:
Your ewes look a lovely flock and I wish you all the best with your lambing :thumbsup:


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