- Check rams 10 weeks pre tupping making sure they are fit and healthy. Particular attention should be paid to their feet, and testicles which should be firm, also check his brisket for sores that could irritate during working.
- Ewe abortion vaccines are highly recommended (enzovax and toxovax) all need to be administered at least four weeks pre tupping.
- Worm rams six weeks pre tupping and if necessary thin or young ewes.
- Give mineral supplementation if required on your land.
- Try to get ewes on a rising plane of nutrition in the three to four weeks pre tupping.
- If you have teaser rams put in with the ewes 12 to 14 days before the real ram.
- Make sure ewes and rams have adequate fly cover during tupping.
- Make sure you have enough rams for the ewes especially if using sponges.
- Decide on a method of recording service dates, for example raddle or harnesses.
- If you use a harness ensure it fits correctly and doesn’t cause any irritation.
- Do not disturb the sheep more than necessary.
- If you are using sponges or AI make sure you have got the timings planned correctly with your vet’s advice.
- Consider getting your forage analysed to make planning feeding easier.
- Condition Score ewes at least six weeks pre lambing and feed according to condition and litter size (if scanned).
- Give ewes a clostridial booster four to six weeks pre-lambing (i.e. Heptavac P or Covexin).
- Ensure you have enough trough space for both forage and concentrate feeding.
- Monitor ewes carefully for twin lamb disease.
- Make sure ropes, lubricant, navel sprays are clean and to hand.
- Keep pens clean and well bedded.
- Have a supply of antibiotics and painkiller available for ill ewes or those that have had a hard lambing.
- Be sure that lambs receive colostrum soon after birth either hold the ewe and let them suck or tube them if necessary.
- Tail lambs early (before seven days of age recommended).
- Worm ewes at lambing time: discuss products with your vet.
- Provide adequate nutrition for ewes to milk well in the first 4-6 weeks post lambing.
- Watch ewes for mastitis, especially shearlings with twins
- Introduce lamb creep from 2 weeks (late Spring lambing flocks may not need)
- Scabivax lambs to prevent orf if your flock has been affected
- Treat lambs for coccidiosis at around 4-6 weeks
- Vaccinate lambs against clostridial disease and complete course by 12 weeks
- Monitor lambs for worms and treat accordingly use feacal egg counts to gain more information and consult vet
- From 12 weeks introduce a larger pellet or coarse mix (if grass is supplemented)
- Wean from 12 weeks at your own discretion
- When weaning shut the ewes up in a bare field or indoors to reduce milk production and dry their milk up.
- Try to leave lambs on familiar territory post weaning to reduce stress.
- Be aware of fly-strike from mid-May onwards in both ewes and lambs
- Remember annual heptavac P booster for shearling ewes and Rams to coincide with lambs’ second dose. Don’t forget stock Rams.
- Ensure best pastures are put in front of lambs. Ewes and stock Rams graze on seconds!
- Split the ram lambs from the ewe lambs from 16 weeks