Since lambing is about 2 weeks away, I thought I’d share some of the supplies we keep on hand. This is not a comprehensive list, and there’s still more I may add:
I’m not picturing it, but old hand or bath towels are great to keep on hand, especially with newborn, gooey critters. They save your clothes from becoming disgusting while working with your new babies and their mamas.
We use LA200, a broad spectrum antibiotic. Be warned it is an intramuscular hot-shot and will cause pain. Don’t be surprised if your sheep favors the leg you just gave the shot in. Needle and Syringe info is further down the page.
There are times when you need to give the moms a hand with birthing. This means you need to lube up and go inside to find legs, turn a lamb, etc. We prefer Dawn dish soap as a lube. Any time you need to enter the sheep with your hands, it’s a good idea to give them an injection of antibiotics to prevent infection.
We used to use Iodine, but with it being so hard to buy now (thanks illegal drug makers), we use Povidone or Betadine for the lambs navels. We pour it into a plastic lotion bottle, stick the navels through the top, and press it against their stomach while tipping it up. We count to 30 then take it off so the navel is well coated against the nasties from the ground.
This is our kit for tubing weak lambs. The baby food jar is for milking colostrum from the ewe into, the tube goes into the lamb’s stomach and the 30cc syringe attaches to the end of the tube. You pour the colostrum into the syringe and use the plunger to gently get it in the stomach (just make sure you don’t pump air in). You can search YouTube for videos on tubing a lamb. If we need to do it this year, I will try to get a video made of my own.
This is what we use if we have bottle lambs. Those black nipples have been thoroughly washed and we used scissors to cut an “X” on the tip to make a slightly bigger hole. This is dependent on the age of the lamb. Younger babies need a smaller hole so they don’t drown. Older lambs suck it down so fast, it’s easier to get air back in if the hole is a little bigger. This is a really old Pepsi bottle (we had the smaller 7up bottles for newborns as well). They work great with those nipples!
Most of the medications use the 20ga needles at the largest but I have found that the thicker fluids (such as BoSe or LA200) work better with 18ga. 1/2″ work great for Subcutaneous injections, but we like 1″ for Intramuscular ones.
I prefer the 5cc Luer Lock Syringes, though most feed stores have what is called Luer Slip. The luer is where the needle attaches to the syringe. The luer lock allow the needle to be screwed onto the syringe whereas the luer slip the needle just slips over the tip of the syringe and can be pulled off. I was lucky to work in a Dr office and ordered the luer lock. You can find them online as well.
We vaccinate with CD/T and the supplement BoSe (not pictured). BoSe is obtained from the vet and is only for those areas deficient in Selenium.
Lambs get both shots shortly after birth, and then a booster of CD/T at weaning. Adults get boosters of both CD/T and BoSe once a year as well (easiest to do at lambing time as the moms and babies are jugged and you have a captive audience).
This isn’t an exact picture of our elastrator, but it’s very similar. We use this to castrate our ram lambs and in the old days we used to band our wool lamb tails with it too. Pretty self explanatory!
Here are the small brass Tambra ear tags we use on baby lambs. We get them from Ketchum Manufacturing. They just have a number on them and are small enough to not weigh down their ears.
After weaning (and deciding who is breeding stock and who isn’t), we start placing the white Scrapie tags and the colored Registration/Recordation tags. Commercial, unregistered breeding stock typically just get the Scrapie tag and keep just the brass tag. We order these from Premier 1. Q-flex 3 are perfect for the registration tags and not huge either. We get yellow for the Registered St Croix and Orange for the Registered or Recorded Katahdins. Scrapie tags (not pictured) are usually white and Q-flex 5 size.
To see what our barn setup is for lambing season, click HERE.