Since we are on the count down to lambing I thought that I would post some information and tips to help you get ready for the big event !
Lambing is the most important time of the shepherd’s year. The sheep’s, too. So, it’s important to be prepared. Preparations include managing and feeding the sheep properly, getting the lambing facilities ready, and gathering necessary supplies.
Feeding and management during late gestation can determine success of the lambing season and sheep enterprise. While random problems occur, most problems can be prevented and result from improper feeding and management, especially during the last third of pregnancy.
What’s Happening During Late Gestation?
Approximately 70 percent of fetal growth occurs during the last 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Most of the ewe’s mammary (udder) growth is occurring during this period. In addition, her rumen capacity is decreasing. The primary result is the need for increased feed, primarily a more nutrient-dense diet.
Extra nutrition is needed to support fetal growth, especially if there are multiple fetuses involved. Extra feed is needed to support mammary development and ensure a plentiful milk supply. Extra nutrition will prevent the occurrence of pregnancy toxemia (ketosis). It will ensure the birth of strong, healthy lambs that aren’t too big and aren’t too small. Birth weight is highly correlated to lamb survival