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Author Topic: Separating lambs help ?  (Read 4870 times)


  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Dumfries, Scotland
Separating lambs help ?
« on: August 11, 2013, 12:30:13 pm »
I have just had my first 7 lambs 4 female 3 male , I docked and vaccinated them but I didn't castrate them which I will defiantly do next year , someone told me the lambs will need sepperated when the tup lambs become sexually active I was just wondering when this should be done and around how many months that is , I was also wondering what is the best age to separate lambs off the ewes , thankyou S.Knox


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 12:36:44 pm »
It depends on breed a little, and location / climate. 

We have some Charollais in our breeding and find we need to be taking the entire lambs off this month - and we're in north Cumbria, so not far from you.  When we just had Texels we could leave the entires on till mid-September - although having said that, we did have an unexpected and certainly unplanned New Year (Jan 4th) pair of lambs one year, which would have been an August tupping.

Separating male and female lambs from each other can often be left until a month or two later, if it helps, as the ewe lambs don't start cycling as early as the older ewes.  But the male lambs will tup from 4 months old if they can find a receptive female!
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 Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 01:56:05 pm »
I've just separated the only one of our male lambs where the ringing wasn't entirely successful, and have put him in a field with an older wether for company.

He wailed day 1 but Day2 just looked a bit sad and now he's bonded up with the wether and is happy as anything.

He was born early May so is fairly young but I didn't want to take any risks and we had them gathered up for the animal health people this week as they came to do random brucellosis testing on the herd.

BTW the ringing I got the vet to show me and then watch me doing and then I was confident enough to do myself, and tbh none of our lambs have ever shown signs of being bothered once it's done, altho they understandably don't enjoy the actual doing, which is fair enough ! It enables me to keep the boys on into a second year and so have a much longer life so I think it's a good trade for them :-))


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 02:42:43 pm »
We wean the lambs at about 16 weeks - next week, in fact. The tup lambs go with the tup and wether; after a week - 10days the ewe lambs go back with the ewes, which have dried up by then. Gives us fewer groups to manage.


  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Dumfries, Scotland
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 02:43:16 pm »
The lambs are one male Shetland and two male scotchmule lambs , so would you recommend separating the lambs from the ewes at about 3-4 months ? I have also never injected against brucellosis would you recommend it , thankyou


  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Dumfries, Scotland
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 02:45:19 pm »
Since I don't have my own tup to put the tup lambs with while they are getting weaned would they be okay being in a field on there own ?


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 03:15:24 pm »
This is my first year lambing so I am far from an expert. I have 2 ewes and 2 ram lambs. Apart from the lambs I don't have any other rams either.
I started weaning the Wed before last. The lambs are in a field next to their mums but they can't get to them. There was a bit of noise for the first day or so but everyone has settled down well.
I intend to put the ewes back with the mums in about a week and leave the two ram lambs on their own until I either sell them for breeding stock or failing that they go to the abattoir.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 03:40:29 pm »
I wean hen the youngest lamb is 16 weeks old (oldest will be 19 weeks).  I leave the lambs in the field they're familiar with and move the ewes onto poor grazing out of sight and sound of the lambs - bit of bawling for the first day but the lambs are already eating mostly grass and the ewes dry up after about 3 days and their udders start to contract so they no longer yell for the lamb to suckle and make them comfortable again.  I put an older ewe that we won't use for breeding again in with the lambs as she's trained to call and to the bucket and will automatically become head of the new lamb flock and lead the lambs to us when we call.  I sell the ram lambs unsuitable for breeding as stores at 17 weeks, as we don't have the grazing to keep them for longer.  This year we have 6 good breeding standard lambs and these will be separated from the females at 20 weeks.  Never had an unscheduled lambing on this timetable.


  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2013, 05:52:59 pm »
I tend to leave it till about 16 weeks - but will be weaning on monday, so this year only the oldest will be that age, but the biggest ram lambs are pushing 50Kg from late Apr lambing so need to go. This also means my ewes will have a bit longer to recover after 2012/13 horribleness.

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 06:20:03 pm »
Over the years I have weaned from when the lambs are 10 weeks to 20 weeks old and whilst it really depends on the grass growth/ewe condition/lamb DLWG, however I think that 12 weeks is the best age in most years---
1) Peak milk is at about 8 weeks so the lambs are starting to wean anyway
2) The stomach has begun to deal with grass better than it can milk by 12 weeks
3) Weaning at this time means that the best grass can be given to the lambs
4) The ewes can have the second best grass and have plenty of time to slowly recover which in turn means that they will be in better condition at tupping and therefore conceive more lambs

If you have lambed ewe lambs then it will pay to wean them at 10 weeks to give them a bit longer to recover


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Separating lambs help ?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2013, 09:58:27 pm »
I'll be taking mine out (Shetlands, high up in Cumbria) in the next week or so.


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