Over the years, we have try a few different ways to manage our ewes while lambing. We have lambed in large pastures, small pastures, paddocks, and in a barn (as a group). We have tagged lambs within 24 hours of birth and we haven’t. We have moved ewes with lambs and we haven’t.
Last year, I set up small paddocks using electric netting and move the ewes every day. The ewes with new lambs would stay behind while the other ewes moved. I would then combine the wet ewes with the ewes with new lambs. Basically, I had a wet flock and a dry flock. The biggest drawback for me was the amount of time it took to keep the electric netting going. (I don’t typically use netting with my sheep.)
This year I am penning the dry ewes into a lot at the barn (approximately 2.5 acres) at night and turning them to pasture during the day. Each evening I would move any ewes with new lambs to the wet flock. (If the lamb was dry and walking good with mom.). This works well for me to keep the wet and dry ewe seperated, as at the end of lambing season, all dry ewes go to town.
However, this year I have had an increase in the number of orphan lambs. They are usally about 48 hours old when I discover no ewe is taking them. The daily moves of new lambs is what I blame. So, how do you manage ewes during lambing and with new lambs?