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I am new to sheep and lambing, but my question is - is it better to have the girls lamb in jugs? It is very cold where I am located and I am afraid to have the lambs born in their open enclosure.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Also, do you all weigh the lambs - keep track of them? Tag them immediately?

THANKS!
 

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I let mine lamb in the field and only get involved if I need to. Its cold where I am at also (Ohio). We just had a lamb yesterday and it was 6 here this morning....everyone is just fine but they do have a barn they can go into to get out of the wind. I only put them in a jug if there is an issue (health problem, or mother rejects them).
 

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They feel more secure in the herd. I let them lamb when they are ready, then bring Mom and lamb into the nursery pen (the septic field, which is higher then the surrounding area and doesn't get puddles). They were adjacent to the rest of the herd, but safe from a moody ram or a ewe trying to steal a lamb. Soon, all but the ram would be in the nursery and I could let the moms with older lambs in the main pasture.

Lambs are born with a good wool coat and my girls often lambed in the snow. If you want to put the mom in the barn to drop her lambs, put three ewes in the barn. Make sure they are in an area large enough for the new mother to have some room to herself.
 

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Cutting a ewe out of the flock is usually more stressful than it's worth. Provide shelter, the smart ones with good maternal traits will use it when it's warranted. I select for open faced/headed ewes as much as possible. Some people even used to shear the head while crutching. This helps them decide to be inside when it's bad out. Sheep gauge weather by how their head feels, if you don't believe that, watch them put their head in the shade with the rest of them sticking out in the sun when it's hot out. Driving rain is worse than cold for chilling a lamb. Let them lamb where they feel comfortable lambing and you'll have less rejection and other issues. If you need to get them in, tie a milk crate to a long rope and throw the lambs in it, and drag them back to the barn. Slowly. You'll have to tie the legs on the more lively ones. If ewe doesn't follow the crate, consider culling:) (Use kid's toboggan sled for calves.)
If you are determined to do it, a good way to jug sheep prior to lambing, is to have the whole flock in a barn, with the jugs forming an isle in the middle of the floor space. Then pull the ones as they have water bags, or have just lambed into the jugs, after a few days they go out the other side,. So you've got expectant ewes on one side, jugged lambs and mothers in the middle, and then few day old lambs and mothers that are doing OK on the other side. Set up the jugs with stock panels, pallets or whatever, then pull them out after lambing and clean barn with front end loader. Works good for a big operation, not practical for a small one.
 

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I've got only a few ewes, so losses really hit much harder than if I had a large flock. I like to keep an eye on the girls when I think they're due to lamb soon, so I built large jugs (6x6) in my barn and set up a camera so I can monitor them while at work, especially since it's cold. If it were warm out, I'd lamb out on pasture. I wouldn't have them lamb in any smaller of a jug, though.
 

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I make jugs in the stalls of my barn- one stall will make 2 jugs. I use bales of hay to divide the stall in half. If they aren't ready to lamb, they will go over the bales of hay to get to the other sheep. If they are ready to lamb, they will stay by themselves for the few hours it generally is until they lamb. They can still see the other sheep. I leave them with their lambs for a day- sometimes 2 depending on the weather and then let them out.
 

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My rams get too excited during the birthing processes. I jugs the girls so they don't have a horny ram trying to hump them during an already stressful process.


yes, my ram is a little "special"
 

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I just have a few ewes lambing and I let them lamb with the flock and then pick up baby and they will follow me inside the barn and I put them in a stall and the twin is usually born there. I give them 24 hrs to learn each other. I've had ewes have trouble keeping up with twins (new moms) when they are in the whole flock. The babies don't know mom well yet. It's easier for me. Some of my moms want to be with the flock and baby better keep up. Others stick with their baby.
 

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............Also, do you all weigh the lambs - keep track of them? Tag them immediately?
THANKS!
No. But I raise fleece not meat sheep. I tag them when I think their ears are big enough to handle it. Sometimes that means when they are ready to leave the farm. I don't have many sheep so it's easy to keep track of who belongs to what momma. As for weighing, if you are raising club lambs, I think it's pretty important to be able to show their growth rate or if you are just a curious person and like to know and keep track of things.
 

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I only put ewe's in lambing jugs if they have a past of not bonding well with their lambs or if they are a first time mother. It helps keep them from distractions and from deserting their lamb. I like to weigh the lambs that I am planning on butchering when they are born to keep track of rate of gain, but don't really bother with the others. I usually tag at around 2 weeks old when their ears are big enough to handle it easily.
 

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Put off lambing until warmer weather. At least that’s what my grandfathers friend was told by the government rationing board during ww2.
 
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