Lambing- Jugging

When it comes to lambing, there are a number of things that are important, starting with flushing the ewes, boosters, feet trimming, weight checks and so forth, and then there is lamb birthing kits, milking the mother for the important first milk and if needed raising a lamb on the bottle

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But there is another thing that is huge, the jug! its just a pen, really it is that simple, but if you want your jug to do its job to its fullest, there is a few things to learn and do about it, ideally at a min you want 16 square feet per ewe but it can be bigger, but keep to the smaller size for first time ewes

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it need great ventilation but it also must be draft free if at all possible at sleep height  , they can be extra clean, done daily, or they can be deep packed (and turned after with the pigs-chickens) but when in use as a sheep jug, they need to be well bedded, dry on top, straw is the best, no sawdust as it can have issues for the mother.

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lots of folks buy and make the movable pens that are sold for this, I use what I have in the big barn, I have two small jugs, a big jug, even bigger pen and then I have the big stalls and the huge pen, each has their own place.

its better to jug up a day or three early then have a opps, she lambed its fine to put the couple closest to lambing out into a bigger pen together for the night, as when your last feed is will effect the average lamb out time.  For us, 90 present of our lambs are born between 5 to 9 am

Only give help, some moms are fast and others are not.. if the mother is not in distress, then watch, support and leave her alone, everyone is in a huge rush to pull..  stop it, you are just breeding in poor lambing ability into your flock, and you are doing it because it makes you feel better, she might want a nap between them, so be it..

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Let them bond, again be there, watch, cheer, help if needed and otherwise, sit own and sit on your hands.. a good mother does not need you in there right away, the info you can learn sitting quietly is massive, watch, listen, smell, see the change in the baby, the sounds the mother makes, her breathing, the color of the after birth blood and so much more.. the more you learn the fine details, the more you know when to help and when to sit back an stay out of it.

I like to give them a warm fresh drink with a vit-mineral boost to it, a bit of grain, but increase the grain or fodder if feeding it slowly over a few days so that she increases her milk flow at a steady rate. they need 24 to 72 hours in their own jug, and then can be moved to the baby pen, where they can meet, interact and play together. I like to keep them at least a week in it, allow me to watch weight gain, mothers an so much more.

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Farmgal Tip of the day.. Jug me and my momma up!

 

 

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