Lambs and frigid weather

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by jacobs, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    My sheep have been lambing since November with the most recent 2 days ago. I have 5 more ewes that are close. I have covered birthing stalls in the sheep barn with heat lamps over the water buckets to keep them from freezing and to provide heat for the lambs. During the day I lock the other sheep out of the barn and mingle the ewes and older lambs. When I feel they are old enough to get out of way of the feeding stampede, I introduce them to the flock.

    That said, My question is: How old does a lamb have to be before he can be subjected to sub-zero weather, where their bodies can regulate their body temps sufficiently?

    I've been raising Jacobs sheep for 8yrs and still don't know! I used to plan for spring lambing but wanted to try the fall/winter lambing a couple of years ago and the lambs have been heathier and hardier with the cold weather lambing.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I like my new lambs to be two weeks old before they get an outside yard, and even then they will have protection from the wind and a sheltered roof in the barns. I don't use heat lamps often, but small lambs can get a coat pretty quick. Sometimes they keep it. I will feed a newborn 3-10 cc's of 50% injectable (which its not at 50%) dextrose as a boost if its very cold in the barn too. Hot boxes help although I usually just bring them in the house to dry off if needed. For winter lambs you might want to creep feed them an 18% protein feed for lambs.
     

  3. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    I am glad to have found a Jacob sheep lover. I am looking into buying some Jacobs this spring and was wondering about fall lambing as well. Has it worked for you? Sounds like the lambs are hardier and healthier as you mentioned. Will you go this way from now on or go back to spring lambing?

    As for the lambs going out in the cold, a shepherd friend doesn't let her babies out for a month just to be on the safe side. She lets them romp in the large barn
    where she keeps the ewes & lambs, then gradually they all mingle.

    I hope to learn more from this wonderful site...

    Andrea in frigid white Alberta
     
  4. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    Hello ! I too am a Jacob sheep owner. This was timely since Sat. am we discovered a new lamb, that wasn't expected. It was very cold her too (TN), and I took a blow dryer to it. I read that somewhere. It was so wet. I have a heat lamp as well, but they wouldn't stand near it until I moved the feed over there.
    That is something that "jacobs"s sheep were lambing in Nov. Where are you located ?
    I always am hoping for spring births, since it's warmer, but we must have had a cold spell in Aug. or something ! I should plan better. This is all new to me, and I'm learning as I go.
     
  5. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I was gone for the weekend.
    I live in Wisconsin, though it probably doesn't get as cold as Ontario, it was below zero for the last 3 days with windchills to -40 F. The lamb born wednesday is doing great even though it got cold enough in the stall for the water bucket to freeze. The heat lamps are mainly used to keep their water from freezing, but a chicken landed on the lamp and turned it so it wasn't shining at the water. During this last cold spell I shut all the sheep in the barn to help keep the temp up in the barn.
    I have a special grain mix fortified with minerals and vitamins that I feed all my sheep once a day and the ewes and lambs 2X a day. I got the grain recipe from an old sheep lady and modernized it. I'm getting some great horn sets (2, 4, & 6 horns) from my yearlings and my 1 yr old rams are bringing a good price from breeders. I haven't sold an animal for meat in 2 years. Jacobs don't taste very good anyway. They taste more like goat than sheep.
     
  6. Snomama

    Snomama Well-Known Member

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  7. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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  8. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    The grain mix for a 200lb batch of feed:

    100lb whole oats
    100lb cracked corn
    2lb di-cal mineral
    2lb calcium
    2lb selenium salt
    25lb liquid molasses
    15lb bran
    21lb linseed

    Your local feed mill should beable to mix this. You could probably substitute rolled oats for the whole oats or just add some to the mix. I hope this works for you.