Lambing season is almost upon us. Like most of us, there is the odd ewe that got her jiggy on with the ram before than everyone else just so she can have the freshly made barn stall and premium feed to herself. I have one ewe that starts bagging up 2 months....yes, 2 months....before everyone else just so she gets put into the barn with the early lambers.
And she always lambs close to the end of the season.
The plus side to Badger preparing ahead of time is that it reminds me to go through my lambing kit. January is my time to get get ready for the little ones coming in March and April. As I'm part of a bigger farming community of cattle and sheep farmers, I try to have everything in my barn prior to calving season. Then I share with my neighbors as they need it and vice-versa
Two months prior to lambing
Vitamin B-complex (injectable)
Vitamin E/Selenium (injectable)
Pepto-Bismo (4-5 bottles. Great for scours
Three Vitalix molasses protein tubs
Tasvax 8 vaccines
One month prior to lambing
Baby bottles and nipples
Baby bottle sanitizer (this can be as simple as a big pot of boiling water or fancy baby bottle sanitizer/sterilizer/warm that you can get from the human baby section of Walmart)
Vitamin AD (injectable)
Lamb jackets (I found the best ones are from Dollarama in the dog section)
Molasses (use as a dextrose drench)
Two weeks prior to lambing
Grain with molasses (helps prevent hypoglycemia)
20 bags of shavings (I prefer the square cubes as they are easier to toss around)
Laundry rags and lamb jackets (Skip the fabric softener. After they are dry, I hang the lamb jackets in the barn so they smell like the barn and not the house)
A variety of ropes and halters
Clean and sterilize buckets (I wash the buckets and then run them though the dishwasher)
Warming lamp or mat
Cardboard box to put lamb in when you bring to the house if you have to warm it in front of the fire
Modified 60ml syringe to milk ewe to supplement lamb with colostrum
The one thing you may have noticed that I don't have on my list is an ear tagger and ear tags. I do have them in the barn, but I don't tag my lambs until they get their first vaccine at 2 months. I want to make sure the little darlings are going to live before I waste money on a CCID tag that costs $3.50 a piece.
This is a personal choice as I have only 25 sheep and I don't mind chasing down 40-50 head of lambs with a fishing net to tag and vaccinate. :)
Below is a downloadable Lambing 1st Aid List to get you started on thinking about what you need and don't need. This is in no way the "Be all to end all" lists. Every shepherd is different and every flock has different needs. What I need in -40'C weather with a windchill of -50'C is going to be completely different from someone that has +40'C weather.
Happy Lambing everyone :)