Raising Lambs Part I: Preparing Your Flock

A shepherd with many years of experience raising lambs tells how to best survive the most critical time of the year.

072 raising lambs - color
Raising lambs is a joy when the newborns are healthy, like these specimens.
072 raising lambs 1 tagging
When tagging a lamb, hang the label so that the ear has room to grow.
072 raising lambs 3 nursing2
A halter will restrain a ewe when a young lamb is learning to nurse.
072 raising lambs 2 lamb raincoat
A plastic LamDry raincoat may look silly, but it can help a baby sheep survive harsh weather.
072 raising lambs - diagram
Lambing records such as this one provide a wealth of information, though some of the headings on the form may not be self-explanatory. "Color" identifies whiteface or blackface offspring. "Graft" refers to the technique of transferring an orphaned lamb to a surrogate mother. In this case, one newborn was grafted to green-tagged No. 130. "Oxy" is our shorthand label for a drug, oxytocin, sometimes administered to initiate milk flow. "Asst." denotes that the mother needed birthing assistance. And "turned out" marks the date the lamb and ewe were moved out to open pasture.
072 raising lambs 4 feeding syringe
A 60cc syringe and rubber catheter are handy for feeding starving newborns

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