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

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to recognise and manage ringwomb in livestock in labour

Ringwomb is also known as incomplete dilation of the cervix more than six hours after foetal membranes appear at the vulva. If the onset of first-stage labour was missed (in…

LAMBING

7 ways to help hit lamb growth targets

Lamb producers can hit lamb weights by putting strategies in place which can be measured at eight weeks. Lamb weights at eight weeks are a good indication of maternal milk…

SHEEP

3 ways to capitalise on high sheep scanning percentage

Favourable grazing conditions have lifted scanning rates on many UK farms, with one vet practice reporting an average increase of 10-15%. At Carmarthen Veterinary Centre, scanning percentages are up 10-15%…

HUSBANDRY

Tail docking lambs: Advice, legislation and methods compared

Tail docking is routinely carried out to avoid soiling of the fleece around a lamb’s rear and thus prevent fly strike - a painful condition where flies lay their eggs…

See all

Case studies

MEDICINES

How oral dosing was cut by 70% in high-input flock

A County Durham shepherd is heading into the 2020 lambing period hoping to continue using fewer antibiotics in neonatal lambs after a major reduction last year. Graeme Wood, who has…

LAMBING

How one farmer is delivering 1.8 lambs sold per ewe

Challenging grazing conditions posed by Cotswold brash stony soils that climb up to steep inclines of 750ft make running a low-input, grass-based system untenable at Church Farm in North Stoke.…

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…

See all

Community

YOUNG FARMERS

Video: A day's lambing with FW's Young Farmer of the Year

Lambing 2019 has been a relatively straightforward affair for Farmers Weekly's reigning Young Farmer of the Year, Jacob Anthony – a welcome relief after tough and bitterly cold season last year. The…

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.…

See all

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…

See all

News

SHEEP

Have your say on Enzootic Abortion of Ewes

Farmers are being asked to share their views on Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE) to shed light on how they manage the disease. The disease, caused by Chlamydia abortus, is…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Link discovered between ewe protein levels and lamb survival

Ewes with low body protein levels are more likely to lose lambs between scanning and birth, according to a new study. While ewe body condition and energy balance in late…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Castrating and tail docking lambs should be 'last resort'

Lambs should only be castrated or tail docked as a last resort in a bid to improve animal welfare, leading vets have told farmers. In a new position statement, the British…

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…

See all

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…

See all

Video

YOUNG FARMERS

Video: A day's lambing with FW's Young Farmer of the Year

Lambing 2019 has been a relatively straightforward affair for Farmers Weekly's reigning Young Farmer of the Year, Jacob Anthony – a welcome relief after tough and bitterly cold season last year. The…

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…

See all