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

LAMBING

16 ways to reduce lamb mortality

Adequate, high-quality colostrum for lambs, provided in the first few hours of life, is essential to cutting losses. Emily Gascoigne, a specialist sheep vet with the Synergy Farm Health practice,…

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…

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Case studies

SHEEP

How a Cumbrian farm saved £18 a ewe

A complete change of mindset has seen a Cumbrian farm halve variable costs a ewe tupped from £34 to £16.53 in just five years.   Paul and Nicola Renison moved…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a farmer reduced prolapses with a self-feed silage system

A Welsh upland farm has slashed the number of prolapses at lambing by 75% since introducing a self-feed silage system for pregnant ewes.   John Parry put the system in…

SHEEP

How a new entrant built up flock on short-term land tenures

Sheep farming can be a tough enterprise anyway, but if you’re starting with no farm, no assets and limited experience, sheer determination is worth more than anything else. Young farmer…

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…

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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

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Early lambers see disappointing results after 2018 drought

Scanning results have been hugely variable this winter following a tough spring, a dry summer and tight grazing on many farms, with some scanning results back 20-40%. Many early lambers…

LAMBING

Pet lambs receiving insufficient colostrum, survey reveals

As many as 80% of UK farmers rearing surplus lambs artificially, fail to provide enough colostrum in the first 24 hours, a survey of 443 sheep producers has revealed. Figures…

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…

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Test and reviews

FEED AND NUTRITION

Video: Buyers guide to ad-lib lamb feeders

As lambing approaches and labour is harder to find than ever before, it could be time to invest in an artificial lamb feeder to lighten the workload. With a variety…

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

FEED AND NUTRITION

Video: Buyers guide to ad-lib lamb feeders

As lambing approaches and labour is harder to find than ever before, it could be time to invest in an artificial lamb feeder to lighten the workload. With a variety…

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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