What do I need to have on hand before lambing starts?
sheep don't need a lot of chemicals or a lot of intervention, but
having the following few items on hand when lambing is a good idea.
A bag of lamb milk replacer; you can buy this at most feed
stores (Tractor Supply; Big R) year-round so it is available in an
emergency. Once opened, keep it in sealed gallon jars, preferably in the
freezer. If left too long on the shelf, it becomes rancid. A couple of
bay leaves lain on top before you seal will help prevent weevils. BE
ALERT: do NOT buy calf milk replacer. http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=57&criteria=milk Alternatively, you can make your own.
Also get a bag of colostrum replacer (Colostrx or Kolostral) while you're there. http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=59&criteria=colostrum
Colostrum contains immunoglobulins that prevent infections; nutrients
that fuel heat production and help prevent hypothermia (chilling); and
growth factors. By the time you have a bottle baby on your hands, it
often is too late to milk the mother for colostrum. If you can milk her,
get all you can during the first 24 hours after lambing and freeze it
in an ice cube tray for up to a year. Trust me, you will need it later
140 cc syringe. Used for tubing a lamb and also for collecting
colostrum when you need to milk a ewe. Get a syringe that has both cc
and oz units of measure so that you don't have to do so much math.
Premier (http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=136&criteria=syringe) sells these for $5.00. They are much more convenient than a 60 cc syringe.
The absolute best book I've read on lambing is Laura Lawson's "Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/096339231X/critterhavenesta)
Every lambing season I end up hauling it off the shelf and out to the
barn. Even if I don't actually need it at the time, it is comforting
having it handy when I'm worrying about a problematic ewe who has just
begun her labor.
Heat lamps in the winter to prevent "lamb-cicles."
Wind break for the ewe to give birth in.
KY Jelly and long poly gloves in case you have to pull one.
Clip board and pencil (keep them hanging in the barn)
Bottle of "waterless soap" gel that eliminates germs. This is handy to wash your hands when there's no water nearby.