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Pre and Post Lambing Care


Clip: Clip the lamb's navel, either separating it from the ewe, or shortening an ... Dip: Dip the navel in an iodine and rubbing alcohol mixture to kill any germs ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pre and Post Lambing Care

Pre- and Post Lambing Care
  • Karen Hutchinson
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • This presentation is from Virginia Tech and has
    not been edited by the Georgia Curriculum Office.

Seminar Goals
  • Identify steps to take prior to parturition
  • List some signs of an impending birth
  • Discuss techniques for post-parturition lamb care
  • Discuss techniques for post-parturition ewe care

Pre-Parturition Ewe Care
  • Steps to take for healthy ewes and lambs
  • Feeding
  • Increase feed levels gradually, to allow ewe to
    accustom herself to higher levels.
  • Higher feed levels necessary to promote and carry
    out good milk production
  • Minerals/Salt
  • Provide free choice salt and minerals for the
  • Provide ample supplies of water, also free choice
  • Avoid copper, as it leads to toxicity

Pre-Parturition Ewe Care, contd.
  • Steps to take for healthy ewes and lambs
  • Location
  • If possible, move ewes to a more accessible spot,
    close to facilities for lambing and care
  • In a close location, ewes can be watched
    carefully, without the hassle of getting out and
    hiking a ways into the fields to do a simple
    check on them
  • Preparing the jug
  • Clean, dry bedding
  • Close to water, feed, etc..

Pre-Parturition Ewe Care, contd.
  • Steps to take for healthy ewes and lambs
  • Crotching the ewes
  • Closely trim the area around the ewes hind end,
    allowing the vulva to be seen easily
  • Decreases messiness at lambing
  • Secure Supplies
  • Maintain a lambing kit in the barn or lambing
    facilities, so all supplies will be on hand in an

Lambing Kit Supplies
  • Dental floss or thin cotton twine for tying off
    umbilical cord
  • Navel dip (mixture of iodine and rubbing alcohol)
  • Towels
  • Sharp scissors
  • Soap
  • Clean bucket for hot water
  • Stomach feeding tube and syringe

Signs of the Impending Birth
  • Restlessness
  • Ewe off feed
  • Ewe strays from flock
  • Ewe hesitant to come near people, even when food
    is involved
  • Ewe kicks or noses at side or belly
  • Belly drops
  • Vulva loosens
  • Mucous from vulva
  • Ewe lays down and gets up repeatedly and

Post-Parturition Lamb Care
  • After birth (if youre there), clear lambs nose
    and mouth of mucous and liquid
  • Tickle nostrils with piece of straw or hay to
    encourage snorting and breathing
  • If ewe is unable, towel off lamb and set lamb by
    her head

Post-Parturition Lamb Care, contd.
  • Clip, Dip, and Strip
  • Clip Clip the lambs navel, either separating
    it from the ewe, or shortening an excessively
    long cord that was already broken naturally
  • Dip Dip the navel in an iodine and rubbing
    alcohol mixture to kill any germs and protect the
    lamb against infection
  • Strip Strip the first bit of waxy substance
    from the ewes teats, enabling the lamb free
    access to colostrum

Post-Parturition Lamb Care, contd.
  • Watch for birth of additional lambs
  • Repeat process for them
  • Be sure lamb eats within an hour.
  • If lamb cant eat, the ewe wont let him, etc..,
    may have to stomach tube feed some colostrum.

Post-Parturition Ewe Care
  • Feeds/Feeding
  • Watch the ewe closely the first day or so after
    lambing to monitor her feed intake.
  • May have to adjust feeds appropriately, depending
    on how many lambs she has and how her milk
    production is.
  • Provide plenty of roughage.

Post-Parturition Ewe Care, contd.
  • Water Supply
  • Provide ample amounts of water, but again, be
    sure that the lambs are keeping up with her milk
  • Immediately after birth, can add a cup of
    molasses to a bucket of warm water for the ewe to
  • Adds some sugars, helps the ewe bounce back
    from the birth.

Post-Parturition Ewe Care, contd.
  • Udder Checks
  • Check udder at least once a week the first week
    after lambing to be sure the lambs are nursing
    evenly on both sides
  • Check for hot, swollen, or red udders, which may
    be indications of mastitis
  • Check to monitor how much milk the ewe is

Post-Parturition Ewe Care, contd.
  • Watch carefully both in the jug and outside to be
    sure ewe is caring for lambs.
  • Be sure she takes them and feeds them.
  • Watch for signs of hostility
  • Monitor ewe body condition score
  • Keep an eye on the ewes general body condition
  • Use body condition scores to appropriately adjust
    feed levels
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