Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: sheep housing  (Read 3580 times)


  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
sheep housing
« on: March 10, 2015, 07:35:54 am »
Sorry for another question, one day we will have enough experience etc to answer a question on here, not post one, but that's a way off yet! The lambing is (fingers crossed) getting to the end.  Each ewe is on her own in a pen with her lambs. As we have a large shelter and few sheep each ewe has been in her own pen for a week now, but no other sheep have been in that pen. The lambs have been given Spectam and iodine on their navels. The question is how long to leave them in the shelter after lambing before sending them out into the field. Once in the field they have free access to the shelter, so can come in at night / rain etc. The sentimental side says lambs will get cold or wet given the next few days are going to be very wet and windy, so wait till say Friday when the weather gets better. But books etc say get the lambs out the shelter asap for their health. Also to make way for new ewes lambing. But given they have been in the same pen and never shared a pen, and are in a very well ventilated shelter, I was wondering. Any thoughts gratefully received!

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • hampshire
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 08:15:52 am »
If mine lamb indoors, or I bring them in after lambing, they only stay inside mothering up for 24 hours.  They then get booted out!!  If they lamb outside in the morning and have all day to dry off and me to observe they have mothered up, they stay out and don't come in!!  Yours should be fine to go out after 24 hours!!  Get them out asap I reckon!!


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 08:25:47 am »
Lambs that have full bellies and shelter from the worst of the weather, even just behind their wooly mammy, are remarkably resistant to bad weather.

In your circumstances, single pens etc, you're probably not doing them any harm but lambs do like to play in a gang - learning to be sheep.

Personally, I'd let them out. They'll use the shelter if they need to.

We put the livestock trailer in the field with the back down and  a straw bed; the lambs go in and the ewes lie round the bottom of the ramp. Makes it easy to load them when they're older too  ;)


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • North Devon
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 08:43:34 am »
Don't worry about about asking questions- many more people will find them and the replies interesting  than  actually post a reply. Keep 'em coming!
There are good reasons why the advice is often to put them out after 24 hours if the mothering up process is complete - largely around infection control. However, if the lambs  go out into  wet cold weather and they succumb to hypothermia, you haven't gained much. In your situation, with single use pens, then I would say your peace of mind is everything. Presumably you are still feeding the ewes, so if you do that twice a day, you can still check on the lambs too. The ewes will appreciate the exercise and a nibble at some grass if you have any after a week confined to a pen as well.
So I think up to a week is fine, but if one more day brings sunshine, then that's also fine. But once they are outside, be prepared to waste lots of time just watching the lambs larking about.

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • hampshire
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 09:16:43 am »
Nothing better than watching a group of lambs playing in the field!!  :love: :sheep:


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 09:34:14 am »
Questions are good - and you'll still be asking them in many years, there is always something new to learn!

I agree with above advice, get them outside.  Ours get between 12 and 24 hours in, depending on when they've lambed, unless there is a problem.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 11:06:01 am »

Spectam?    I can't answer your other questions as my ewes all lamb outdoors and only come in briefly if there is a major problem, but what is the Spectam for?
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 11:28:28 am »
Pre-emptive srike against Watery Mouth. 

I'd get 'em out asap, clean out the shed and let it dry.  If the weather should turn very bad you can straw down and get them back into a small part of it and the chances of the lambs picking up coccidiosis will be far less than keeping them in for any longer.  Cocci is everywhere and if they've been in the same pen for a while it will be damp underneath the bedding.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 11:51:07 am »
24 hours.  Get them out asap unless the weather is really bad (like snow or driving rain).


  • Joined Jan 2015
  • Northern Ireland
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 11:15:59 pm »
I am a newbie also but my neighbours usually wait 2 to 3 days if they are strong enough and getting milk. This is what I do also and if I have weaker lambs I put them into a larger pen with other ewes and lambs for another day or two, the lambs can run about more and this seems to strengthen them up , also frees up lambing pens!


  • Joined Mar 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: sheep housing
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 09:58:54 pm »
Keep asking question! I've learnt so much from reading posts on here ... My girls are dew to start next week so brought them into the pen next to the house yesterday ... Very excited but more nervous from reading all these posts! X


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