Friday, July 13, 2012

Dairy Sheep - Early Lambing or Late Lambing?

There are some advantages / disadvantages for both early and late lambing so we thought we would share some of our experiences on both.

Early Lambing:

  1. There are fewer parasites on the grass pasture due to the colder temperatures.
  2. Ewe lambs born early are more apt to breed as lambs.
  3. The earlier they are born the sooner you're able to place lambs at their new homes.
  4. Lambs will be ready to graze the fresh spring grass.
  5. Very few fly problems in the winter. 
Late Lambing:

  1. Ewe will require sheering prior to lambing which can be stressful.
  2. Lambs tolerate the cool weather better. Typically lambs born in a hot environment will not develop as quickly.
  3. Less grain is required  for late lambing.
  4. Ewe and Ram lambs will not reach breeding maturity until the following spring.

At Karras Farm, we have found that lambing in February has the best all around benefits. By May the lambs are at their new homes and we prevent some of the negative side effects that late lambing can promote. We believe that early maturity is key to prolific lambs.

Please stay in touch and feel free to leave comments with your experiences.


Andy Karras

Karras Farm

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