Sheep Movement Systems
Here are items that you should have in your flock's first-aid kit:
The following are not always in the kit, some of them needing refrigeration:
- CD/T vaccine
- Thiamine, injectible
- Epinephrine (for treating shock when something else causes an adverse reaction)
- Penicillin G
- Glucose or dextrose solutions
- Sterile water, saline solution, or other suitable sterile solution
- Probios (for treating stomach problems; to maintain a healthy digestive tract)
Here are the items you should assemble well before your lambing is scheduled. If you need these items, you will need them quickly and won't have time to go to the feed store at 3AM. You can get all of these things from Premier1
- A bag of lamb milk replacer; you can buy this at Tractor Supply or 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.
- Also get a bag of colostrum replacer (Colostrx or Kolostral) while you're there. 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 on.
- Two Pritchard Teats (nipples). They fit nicely on a glass or plastic pop bottle. Lambs seem to nurse more willingly on these nipples.
- I personally like giving each newborn lamb a couple squirts of Baby Strength Oral or Nutridrench. It contains Vitamin E and is a rapid energy source for weak or starving lambs.
- 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 sells these for $5.00. They are much more convenient than a 60 cc syringe.
- Stomach tube. Connect to the 140-cc syringe to feed lambs that are too weak to nurse or suckle a bottle.
- Digital thermometer
- The absolute best book I've read on lambing is Laura Lawson's "Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs" 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.
- A couple of big towels.
- Betadine surgical scrub
- Baby scale to record newborn weight