Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For the Love of Lambs: Lambing Basics

I am so excited to start my new mini series: For the Love of Lambs. A little look at Sheep Ranching. Many of you have asked questions, today & in the next few weeks I will start answering some of those questions.
Today we are going to explain a little of how our operation goes about lambing.
Lambing, as it is called, is the period of time that the sheep are having their baby lambs. Normally this time frame averages 60 days. This year because of when we were able to get our sheep initially last fall, our lambing season will be longer than that.
We have 4 hired Peruvians that work for us & are our sheep herders & they do a magnificent job!
So let me walk you through a little of how things work. We bring the sheep in off the fields or winter range & shear them towards the end of January. (A whole post will be dedicated to shearing later).
After they are sheared, thr sheep that are closest to having babies are all put into a pen, similar to this:

These sheep are in our day drop pen. We have a night drop pen that is closer to the barn & in a more protected area & we have our day drop pens. These lovely ladies are hanging out in the day drop pens. The herders will walk through the pens & as the momma has her babies he will move them inside our barn into a jug.

This is a momma & her twins in a jug. A jug is just a 4x4 pen for the momma & her babies so they can bond. This is vital, the momma & baby have to become attached & learn one another so they can find each other when there are others around.
After a couple of days they are moved outside into our 5 pens.

These our are 5 pens. 5 momma & her babies. Notice in the top picture the mom has a number on her side? We mark the mom & baby with the same numbers so that we can watch them & make sure they are eating & getting taken care of. If we notice anything wrong they go back into the jug for a few more days. If they are good in a week or so we move them into a 10 pen, & slowly increase the number of mom & babies in the pens.
We keep our moms with twins in groups together & our moms with singles together.

This is one of our 180 pens. You keep mixing them together until you get to a 1,000 or band as it is called of mommas. Once they are in a band & then you either put them out in fields or when the time is right out on your spring range.
So there you have it a little glimpse into a sheep ranch & my love of lambs.

- Tiffany


  1. So fun to see these photos... We have chickens on order for May, but also dream of bigger livestock eventually as well. Inspiring!!!

    1. Jk - Thanks for leaving a comment. I love comments! - I am excited for you to get chickens. I love chickens! We usually have chickens all the time. I love walking out to the coop & gathering eggs. It's so nice. As for getting more livestock, I am sure you will. We started years ago only with chickens & slowly got new animals over the years. Good luck with the chickens & let me know how it goes!

  2. So...will you be building a house at your ranch someday?! That's what I want to know!

    1. Probably not this ranch. We are only leasing it right now. Our goal is to one day buy our own land & then YES we will build a home & have everything nicely together. I cannot wait for that day! But it will probably be another year or two off, so for now I need to be patient. When it happens, I will share. I promise! Thanks for always leaving a comment! I love hearing from you!