A Successful Lambing Season
Published: 14/02/24

The sleepless nights, the interrupted dinners, and the watchful eye always on the flock. Lambing season is the single most important time of year for Irish sheep farmers. A successful season will bring new lambs for the flock and a good financial return for hard-working farmers. It is a busy, challenging and often stressful time. Being prepared for the arrival of this years’ lambs by having the right equipment to hand, will go a long way towards making lambing time easier and more profitable. Here at McCabes Feeds, we have a wide range of high-quality essential equipment from lamb bottles to colostrum to ease the pressures of lambing time. In fact, we have put together lambing essential kit bundles, which have all you need for the birthing of the new lambs. There is a deluxe version and a standard option, both are great value and include everything from iodine to castration rings. It is a complete kit for the lambing season and great value for money too.

A healthy ewe

All sheep farmers appreciate that the health of the ewe in the final weeks of pregnancy is vital in producing a healthy strong lamb or lambs. Optimum pre-lambing nutrition is essential for growing the foetus and for producing good quality colostrum after the birth. If you have any concerns about your ewe’s condition prior to lambing, it might be wise to feed a high concentrated energy protein sources that will promote that milk production and boost the colostrum quality. This will in turn improve lamb survival rates. At McCabe Feeds, we have a number of supplements for late pregnancy in ewes which you can continue to give in early lactation when the demands on the mother are highest.

Indoor or Outdoor Lambing

Whether you have early lambs birthing indoors or late lambs and weak ones that might need to take shelter from the winter weather, you will need to pay special attention to the cleanliness of the sheds and lambing pens. Lime and or other disinfectant products will do the job easily enough. Hygiene of the sheep sheds reduces the risk of infection in the newborn lambs and as you will be cleaning out lambing pens between each use, make sure you get enough lime to see you through this busy time. In non-slatted sheds, clean dry straw bedding will keep the lying in area clean and dry. A lot of the farming community around here find that putting ground or hydrated lime down before the straw, just where sheep stand for feeding is especially useful in warding off infection and lameness in the flock. Indoor lambing can be stressful for sheep as they seek space to give birth. A half a meter space each is needed for pregnant ewes and birthing pens are ideal. Keep a special space free for the weak lambs that might need more TLC. Outdoor lambing might be easier on ewes, but it takes its toll on farmers as they somehow choose to birth in the farthest corner and in driving rain. Check out our rainwear, workwear, and head torches before you must face the dusky fields on a foggy evening.


Healthy lambs

Those first few moments after birth, when unsteady legs totter towards their mother to snuggle in for a feed are the most rewarding for any sheep farmer. There is, of course, still a lot to monitor and manage with new lambs, but when born without difficulty and at the good birthweight, a lamb will be licked, standing and suckling colostrum within 15 minutes of birth. This is not always the case. Intervention is often needed, both at the birth and after. Here at McCabe Feeds, we stock all you will need for the healthy lamb and for those needing extra care. A lamb that has had a tough birth, low weight, or is rejected by the ewe, can be minded, and nurtured into a fully healthy strong lamb, with the right care and equipment. Supplementary colostrum is a life safer here and can be supplied by a bottle with a teat or by using a stomach tube. All equipment used for providing colostrum must be cleaned and disinfected after every use. Survivor brand is an easy to mix colostrum for both calves and lambs and it will provide the energy and stimulus for the newborn animal to suckle naturally on the mother. It is essential that Survivor is fed to the newborn animal within 4 hours of birth and if necessary, repeat 4 hours later. So, ensure that you have a good supply of colostrum.

The success or failure of lambing time is a huge factor for farming profitability for the entire farming year. Our years of experience in providing the farming community with all they need to survive and thrive lambing season means that we can offer the very best lambing equipment, high quality and at good prices, Your success at lambing season is important to us and while we cannot hold the torch for you in the middle of the night, we can offer the best torches, wellies, warm hats and the most comprehensive lambing season supplies you will need.

Call into us, or shop online at McCabe Feeds for a great lambing season!

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