President’s Message – March 2013

by Site Admin on March 8, 2013

It’s lambing time! The time of year all shepherds look forward to. We finally get to see if all the care and hard work pays off. Lambs are the lifeblood of most ARBA sheep operations. They represent future meat, fiber and breeding stock. Every lamb is important to the bottom line. We need to do everything we can to make sure that our lambs get a good start. To that end, I think there are three tools every shepherd needs. First, is the iodine cup. At our farm we dip navels in strong iodine. We snip all cords to a reasonable length and then dip them, this will do a great job in preventing navel ill. Second, is the stomach tube. Every shepherd needs to learn how to tube feed a newborn lamb. Most of the time our tube just sits in the lambing toolbox. But, when an ewe’s first milk is too thick or the ewe needs more time to recover from labor, tube feeding is the best way to get that lamb going. Lastly, the scale gets a work out this time of year. We weigh our lambs early and often. Weighing lambs is the best way to know how they are doing. We check weights at birth, 3 days of age and again at one week. We want to see steady growth each time we weigh lambs. If a lamb is not gaining, something is wrong. It is time to check the lamb and ewe more closely. Many of you know all of this and I am sounding like a 4-H leader. But, to those new to lambing, please talk with an experienced ARBA member, and also develop a relationship with a veterinarian. Let’s make sure our wonderful Romney lambs grow and flourish. Good luck with the 2013 lambing season.

Ron

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