If farming has taught me anything, it’s to be well prepared, well in advance. Preparing for lambing is certainly no different. At least two weeks before the first due day we gather all our supplies and have them set and ready in case of an early arrival.
To keep things tidy and portable we use a small plastic one gallon bucket. We keep the bucket in the house to keep things from freezing and just grab it when we have lambs coming.
So here is everything we keep on hand.
Hand me downs or garage sale specials are perfect for this (trust me, you won’t want to use these as house towels after this!). We keep ours neatly folded in a plastic grocery sack. It takes about one bag of towels per lamb.
Hand towels are the perfect size to drape over a wobbly lamb trying to walk. Bath towels are for when they are extra slimy or cocooning a chilled lamb.
To trim umbilical cords.
Make sure it's 7% strong iodine, DO NOT get gentle iodine. This is what you dip umbilical cords in to dry them up and prevent infections.
Teat Dip Cup:
Originally designed to dip cow teats before milking, it works perfect to apply iodine to umbilical cords.
Gives lambs a boost of energy and calories to get them going until they get some colostrum in them. It’s basically fat and vitamins. Especially useful for weak or cold lambs. We also give it to ewes that look like they need a boost after lambing.
OB Lube and OB Gloves:
The OB lube is designed to help sterilize and help things slide out easier if you need to pull a lamb. OB gloves are shoulder length gloves should you need to pull a lamb or untangle multiples.
For chilly lambs and shepherds. If I have a cold lamb I will wrap it up in a towel with a hand warmer and stick the whole bundle in my coat with me to warm. I try to sit in the pen so mum sees her baby.
Some things we keep in the house, since we don’t need as ready access to these we do not keep them in the lambing bucket.
If we have a lamb that is just not figuring out how this whole nursing thing works, we will give 4oz colostrum to ‘top the tank’ so to speak. It gives them enough calories and energy to not freeze while figuring it out.
Also good if mum doesn’t have any colostrum for whatever reason.
Bonus points if you have it mixed and froze in single serving size portions for easy late night feedings.
The quickest and easiest way to feed a lamb that is too weak to nurse.
Not as important to have on hand, but saves a trip to the farm store later.
Cheap ones from the dollar store work just fine. Or whatever you have left from when your kids were little.
While I cannot ensure you will have a perfectly smooth lambing season (but I certainly wish you one!) having the right supplies on hand will help you cope with whatever comes up.
Welcome to Willow Farm's blog! I'm Kyle, farm manager and all things marketing