Tag Archives: katahdin lamb

Preparing for Lambing

Lambing at the Ten Mile Farm

Katahdin sheep are excellent at lambing and normally need very little direct assistance. There are still a few things that we can do that will make the experience more pleasant for them and lead to healthier lambs.

The main thing we want to do is ensure they have a protected space to care for their new offspring. We want the Ewes and their lambs to be comfortable and have unfettered access to fresh water and a variety of feeds.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing for Lambing

To accomplish this, we have modified our old chicken coup into a three stall “barn” for the girls. We will introduce the girls to their space a few days before lambing begins and keep them confined to this space until the lambs are about six weeks old.

One of our Ewes developed a hardened udder. This will prevent her from feeding her lambs. We will put her newborns in one of the three stalls and suspend a bucket with feeding nipples for them to use.

Lamb BucketWe bought ours here

This set up provides protection from wind and rain. It will contain feed and water and the floor will be covered with straw.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing or Lambing

The sheep should be quite content in this space. It will keep them warm, well fed, and provide them with a sense of security.

 

Another benefit of restricting their movement the first few weeks is that it will help conserve their energy. In the past, we have allowed Ewes and their lambs to roam the farm. This has resulted in two tragedies. This first tragedy was when a newborn lamb wandered into the pond at night and drowned. We were awoken by the mother’s desperate bleating as she searched for her lamb. It took us a full day of searching before we saw the lamb floating in the pond.

The second tragedy came when a young lamb found it’s way through the fence, but could not find it’s way back in. Young lambs need to feed every three to four hours and this one was separated from its mother for nearly 10 hours before we found it. As hard as we tried, we were not able to nurse it back to health.

The confined area will prevent these types of accidents and as long as we keep it clean, will provide the best environment for the Ewes and their lambs.

Calling the Lambs

Calling the Lambs

It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable though. This video is what it looks like once you have your sheep trained to come when they see you.

Last week, these same lambs completely ignored me – or worse – ran away when I approached them. That would make giving them their annual boosters nearly impossible, let alone try loading them on the trailer.

Calling the lambs
Andy, the Ram

After a few more days of this, the lambs will be waiting for me at the trough just like Andy does. Sheep love routines and by feeding them at the same time each day, I have established a routine for them. At the same time, I have trained them to associate me with food and they will come whenever they see me.

Here’s anoher lamb video – although this one isn’t one of mine.

Here are some other posts about the sheep at Ten Mile Farm

Anything About Katahdin Sheep 

This is the category to use if you have questions that have Anything about Katahdin Sheep. What to buy one? Sell one? Cook one? This is the place. Recipes, where to buy, how to raise, whatever. If it is anything about Katahdin Sheep, post it here.

Fun on the Farm 

Fun on the Farm There are so many things to do that are fun on the farm. The kids love to play on the giant hay rolls. Sometimes they climb on them to play king of the hill, other times to get a different view of the world. I asked my daughter …

Katahdin Sheep 

Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdin’s do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two.

Lamb Update 

Lamb Update I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what …

Meat Quality of a Pasture Raised Sheep 

Meat Quality The meat quality of pasture-raised animals is far superior to that of confined animals. The decision to eat meat is personal. Although in an era where public reaction to animal cruelty is one of the main highlights, many decide not to go the carnivore way and are good with …

Lamb Update

Lamb Update

I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what I got.

Katahdin LambHe really doesn’t seem to mind having all the company of the lambs in his pasture. These lambs will spend the next three weeks with Andy (that’s the Ram’s name) and then I’ll separate the boys from the girls and move the girls to another pasture.

Katahdin Lamb
Andy – the Ram

The lambs are a lot of fun to watch. They are very playful, not unlike children. Yesterday they were playing king of the hill on one of the old hay bales.

Before they started climbing on the hay bale, the lambs were happily grazing the pasture. The 13 lambs will keep this field nice and short and they will fertilize it at the same time.

These lambs are growing like crazy. That is the result of good genetics and plenty of fresh green grass. In fact, these lambs have so much green grass I have not been able to get them to come to me for cracked corn yet. The Ram runs to me when he sees me because he’s already been conditioned to at least get rubbed behind his ears – something he really enjoys. I need to get these lambs hooked on the cracked corn so they will be easier to manage.

Sheep don’t need a lot of immunizations, but they do require one. Covexin 8 protects sheep from eight clostridial diseases. It is administered twice initially and then annually. No big deal to give if the sheep come to you, not so easy if you have to round them up. So, I have a week to get the little ones more comfortable around me. Guess I need to spend some time in the fields.

I’ll sit out in a lawn chair with my  kindle and get caught up on some reading 🙂

Other posts about Lamb and Sheep

Katahdin Sheep 

Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdins do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two…

Meat Quality of a Pasture Raised Sheep 

Meat Quality The meat quality of pasture-raised animals is far superior to that of confined animals. The decision to eat meat is personal. Although in an era where public reaction to animal cruelty is one of the main highlights, many decide not to go the carnivore way and are good with …

Pasture Raised Lamb 

Pasture Raised Lamb Imagine being confined in a small, malodorous and dank space with room just enough to stretch your legs. You feel hungry, but there is no sign of food. Then suddenly the door opens and in comes a person carrying buckets of something. He comes forward and tips over …

Pictures of Katahdin Sheep 

Pictures of Katahdin Sheep   We’ve been raising sheep at the Ten Mile Farm and Market since 2007. We started out flock with one Ram and Nine Ewes. The Ram was quite the stud and it took only one year to triple the number from ten to thirty with every girl delivering …