Our experienced team has been very busy preparing for the new arrivals and looking after our expectant ewes.
A few weeks before they give birth, the ewes are given extra food to help them produce lots of milk for when their lambs are born. The ewes will also be vaccinated 6 weeks before they are due to give birth.
Soon before the arrival of the lambs, the ewes will leave the paddocks and come into the Animal Barn where they can be closely monitored by the farmers. We trim the wool on their bottoms and their bellies (called ‘dagging’) to help keep the ewe clean and the lambs find the teats.
Want to keep up to date with all our new arrivals and their progress before you visit? – check out our live feed showing how our little lambs are settling into life in the Animal Barn.
Ewes can show certain signs that let the farmers know they are ready to give birth. This can include pawing at the ground, staring up at the sky (called ‘star gazing’) and acting very restless. They also gently bleat (call) so when the lamb is born this is the first noise he or she will hear
Ewes can commonly have one (single), two (twins), or sometimes even three (triplets) lambs. Once born, we put iodine (yellow in colour) on each lamb’s navel (tummy button) to prevent infection. We also sometimes give them some medicine if they have had a stressful time arriving.
After the lamb is born, the ewe will begin to lick her lamb to clean and bond with it. A healthy lamb will stand and begin to feed from its mother within half an hour. It is important for each lamb to drink colostrum (the first milk), which the ewe produces to make sure they grow big and strong.
The ewes and lambs will stay in an individual pen for at least the first 24 hours so they can bond. Before we move them into a big group, we give each ewe a number
which we mark on its side and do the same on each lamb so we can keep track of which lambs belong to which ewe.
Can you spot a family with the same numbers in the livestream?
Once the weather warms up and spring begins, the ewes and lambs will move outside to the paddocks to enjoy the grass. Once our lambs are six weeks old, they have a vaccination that helps to keep them healthy and strong. This is repeated at 12 weeks.
Discover our Animals Section and learn about all our breeds, how to recognise them on the Farm and more about our work as a Rare Breeds Approved Farm Park.