Lambing Basics for the New Shepherd


ewe nuzzling lamb 

Ewe nuzzling lamb. Photos by Sheryl Campbell

Spring is my favorite time of year. It’s when our lambs are born. We originally starting raising Katahdin hair sheep as a more entertaining way of keeping our pasture areas mowed. We also chose this breed because they lamb easily and are good mothers. Being newly-minted shepherds we figured we should have sheep that knew what they were doing since we didn’t have a clue.

Our sheep typically lamb in the early morning hours and we find them nursing happily when we get out to the barn in the morning. That’s how most of our lambs are born.  Quickly, no fuss, and without human interference.

Lambing can be a scary time though if you’re not experienced. Lots of stories circulate of having to stay up all night in the barn with the sheep throughout the birthing season. True if you buy more difficult breeds than we did, but not so with Katahdins. Fears about still born lambs, breach births, and skittish ewes can make people shy away from raising their own sheep. But buy a hardy, self-sufficient breed, and prepare ahead for unlikely emergencies to be ready to handle anything gracefully.

Important Lambing Supplies

Lambing Kit for all Births

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