Know How / Lambing

Compare different systems such as indoor and outdoor lambing and get advice on ewe management, including nutrition, body condition scoring and winter housing. See how to avoid problems such as ewe vaginal prolapse and abortion, how to increase lamb survival rate and prevent lambing diseases.

Advice and tips

SHEEP

9 tips for minimising lamb production costs

As margins get squeezed, keeping a lid of lamb production costs is key to allow for profits to be made. Below, AHDB knowledge transfer senior manager Katie Thorley and Farming…

LAMBING

How to record lamb losses and why it's vital

Aly Balsam speaks to some sheep specialists to find out what information should be recorded, how it can be done in a practical way to avoid overloading staff at lambing…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: How to control spring rise in sheep

The spring rise is a relaxation in the immunity of the ewe around the period of lambing. This results from changes in the immune status of the ewe, leading to…

LAMBING

7 key lambing diseases: How to prevent and treat them

Lamb and ewe losses are greatest around lambing time. By reducing these more lambs will be reared which can improve the bottom line for sheep farmers. There are many different…

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Case studies

SHEEP

How Glos farm reduced lamb losses to half the UK average

Gloucestershire sheep farmers Martin and Pauhla Whitaker have been placing a big emphasis on flock health, in the belief that if animals are healthy it will help them be more…

LAMBING

How late lambing system helps farmer supply Co-op contract

Last May, the Co-op switched to selling 100% fresh British lamb and bacon year round. The move made it the first national retailer to sell 100% fresh British meat. Lamb is…

LAMBING

4 ways a Worcs farmer has made indoor lambing easier

A decade ago, Sam Jones from Brookhouse Farm, Redditch, Worcestershire, used to run 2,000 North of England Mules alongside his arable enterprise before he made the decision to cut his…

LIVESTOCK

How a farmer tackled watery mouth without antibiotics

Shropshire sheep and beef farmer James Evans was concerned about the effect the routine use of antibiotics, used to tackle disease at lambing, was having on the health of his…

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Community

FARMLIFE

11 things you don’t miss when lambing season is over

With most people now finishing up lambing for the year, and with the ewes and lambs turned out, there are some things sheep farmers and lambing assistants will not miss. 1.…

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Insights

LIVESTOCK

4 sheep recording methods compared: which one is best?

Carmarthenshire sheep farmer and Aberystwyth University graduate Huw Williams completed a HCC scholarship in 2015 looking at how extensive systems in New Zealand and Australia were recording parentage. Talking about…

SHEEP

Research shows value of monitoring ewe body condition

New research has shown just how valuable it is to record and monitor body condition in commercial ewe flocks and keep it consistent year-round.   Independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings…

LAMBING

How sheep colostrum trials are helping to reduce antibiotics

Trials are comparing two lamb blood tests in a bid to reduce antibiotics use on farms through optimising ewe nutrition and health.  A series of farm studies has compared refractometer tests…

LAMBING

Sheep industry and farmers rally to tackle black loss

Concern is mounting in the Scottish sheep sector around a phenomenon severely limiting the economic performance and genetic progress of many upland flocks.  The perennial and unaccountable disappearance of lambs…

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News

SHEEP

Sheep producers need to consider changing system post Brexit

British sheep producers need to address their changing market and consider adopting a system that increases output in order to survive the challenges of Brexit, according to an international consultant.…

LAMBING

NSA supports wider cull of ravens to counter high lamb losses

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has called for a wider cull of ravens in Scotland, after Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) came under fire for sanctioning a limited cull. The latest…

LIVESTOCK

Firefighting farmer issues lambing heat lamp warning

A firefighting farmer has called for caution over the potentially devastating use of heat lamps ahead of the spring lambing season. Stewart Macpherson has farmed for more than 25 years…

LIVESTOCK

8 of our favourite lambing photos so far

Lambing has sure kicked off across the British Isles and we’re enjoying seeing all the photos on social media and in our inboxes. Fingers crossed the forecast improves, so it’s…

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Test and reviews

LIVESTOCK

Buyers guide to lamb adopters

Lambing time is fast approaching, and anything that makes life a bit easier is welcome on sheep farms. Emily Padfield looks at five different lamb adopters. It’s usually about now…

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Video

LIVESTOCK

Plastic bags act as womb for premature lambs

Scientists have successfully grown premature lamb foetuses in plastic “biobags”, using a technique that might one day assist humans. The breakthrough supported the development of a group of eight lambs, with…

LIVESTOCK

Video: How to select lambs for slaughter

To ensure lambs meet most of his market's needs, Richard Whittington handles lambs weekly to assess whether they are ready for slaughter and ensure they are finished as quickly and…

LIVESTOCK

Video: Schmallenberg disease - sheep farmer's story

Some early lambing sheep flocks have reported up to 50% lamb losses, with costs mounting in to the thousands. Farmers Weekly livestock editor Sarah Trickett visited one Oxfordshire farm where…

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