Lambing mob size

As few as possible, to an extent. 50-60 would be my maximum but usually aim for 40 or so in a 2+ha field/paddock. We're lucky to have lots of small fields here. Some fields make better outdoor fields than others mind.

No matter how big the field is they seem to find a difficult corner furthest from the entrance they all like to lamb in and then wait until it's pouring with rain before they all start lambing.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
5/6 twin bearing ewes to the acre. Average field size we lamb in would be 4acre, the 15+ acre fields the singles get turned out to.
Set stocked for 3-4 weeks and then merged from groups of 20-25’s to 60-75’s as handling system shed won’t take more than 75 ewes and 150 fat lambs
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
As few as possible, to an extent. 50-60 would be my maximum but usually aim for 40 or so in a 2+ha field/paddock. We're lucky to have lots of small fields here. Some fields make better outdoor fields than others mind.

No matter how big the field is they seem to find a difficult corner furthest from the entrance they all like to lamb in and then wait until it's pouring with rain before they all start lambing.
Singles 600 twins 900 but try to give more acres than the singles.
🤣
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I think that for a successful lambing population density is less important than having ''nesting'' places for ewes to lamb in
They like a bit of privacy & somewhere to hide away to birth
It doesn't have to be much more than a tuft of long grass, a few rushes or a dip in the ground (hedgerows are ideal)
The above will lamb more ewes with a higher stocking density than a larger flat field with only electric fencing around all edges and fewer ewes
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I think that for a successful lambing population density is less important than having ''nesting'' places for ewes to lamb in
They like a bit of privacy & somewhere to hide away to birth
It doesn't have to be much more than a tuft of long grass, a few rushes or a dip in the ground (hedgerows are ideal)
The above will lamb more ewes with a higher stocking density than a larger flat field with only electric fencing around all edges and fewer ewes
i wouldn't want electric fences around my lambing fields.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I've had to do it and it's fine as long as there are other shelter features within the lambing area
Used to fence 80 care blocks of scrub/downland for lambing & it worked well

Flat exposed leys with electric fencing is another matter
there's plenty of small fields and hedges here, ideal for lambing especially as ive allowed a bit more height to them over the yrs.
one reason what they were intended for i guess.
Flat field ?im not sure i know what that is. :unsure::D
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
What ewe breeds are you working with? I would suggest that makes a big difference, with mules especially being great at finding one spot for everything to lamb in:banghead:, Romney’s and their crosses find their own quiet spots.

I start with all my twins (300?) on a 20ac block of wooded parkland for maximum shelter, but would prefer to stock at 5/ac. I thin them out as quickly as possible to get down to that, once they’ve lambed, and mis-mothering reduces when I do (not bad with Highlanders anyway). I would like to spread them out at 5/ac to start with, but most other fields have far less shelter, so always a toss up.
Twins and ewe lambs (200-250?) lamb on an adjacent 10ac block of similar ground, with lambed ewes drifted out as they lamb & stand near a gate. Can’t keep singles & hoggs stocked tight enough ime.
 
i wouldn't want electric fences around my lambing fields.

Nearly all of my fields have electric fences around them, I would love to lamb in stock fenced fields with hedges and cover etc and have in the past, but hVe spent more time lambing in open arable style (grasses down) land with electric fences around, and mainly contours and the odd patch of thistles for cover. Although try to get a wood edge if possible, which if I plan usually is.
 
As few as possible, to an extent. 50-60 would be my maximum but usually aim for 40 or so in a 2+ha field/paddock. We're lucky to have lots of small fields here. Some fields make better outdoor fields than others mind.

No matter how big the field is they seem to find a difficult corner furthest from the entrance they all like to lamb in and then wait until it's pouring with rain before they all start lambing.

I heard it said before that waiting on rain to lamb is an evolutionary thing, washes away birthing fluids faster as regards to predators.
 
I heard it said before that waiting on rain to lamb is an evolutionary thing, washes away birthing fluids faster as regards to predators.

Always thought it was the effect of lower atmospheric pressure which tends to cause this as well.

We have to use lots of electric fences when lambing to stop the silly beggars lambing on the side of the ditch banks and dropping them straight in the water. Lamb survival in water births is not very high!!
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Just a quick question. What numbers do you look to limit your outdoor lambing groups at?
Mine are anything from 200 down to 50 depending how fast they lamb move the ones that haven't lambed once maybe twice a week till they get down to about 50 in the field by the house at the end of April then that's when I probably loose the most at the end when I'm busy doing other things and don't go around as much as I should
 
Always thought it was the effect of lower atmospheric pressure which tends to cause this as well.

We have to use lots of electric fences when lambing to stop the silly beggars lambing on the side of the ditch banks and dropping them straight in the water. Lamb survival in water births is not very high!!

Out lamping foxes one night in my own place, I could hear a ewe bleating frantically. Looked around, couldn't see much and then I spotted her ram lamb. She'd had him on a little hill that has a steep decline into a drain on one side. I guess when he was trying to stand he zigged when he should've zagged and staggered downhill with each attempt until he was in the water. Discovery was like a scene out of a nature programme with alligators or crocodiles where they just have the tip of their nose out of the water to breathe. Literally that's all this lamb had above water, stretched out tall as he could on his tip toes of the back legs. Down into my sisters house for hairdryer & hotwater bottle re-heating. Christened him "Lucky"!
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Mine are anything from 200 down to 50 depending how fast they lamb move the ones that haven't lambed once maybe twice a week till they get down to about 50 in the field by the house at the end of April then that's when I probably loose the most at the end when I'm busy doing other things and don't go around as much as I should

Does lamb birth weight creep up at the end, when you're down to a low stocking rate and the grass is growing better. That would certainly be what would create any issues here if stocking rate got to low.

Stocking rate is more important than mob size, if you run reasonably maternal ewes of course. One in a pen is about right for some breeds, in order to avoid mismothering. :censored:
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Does lamb birth weight creep up at the end, when you're down to a low stocking rate and the grass is growing better. That would certainly be what would create any issues here if stocking rate got to low.

Stocking rate is more important than mob size, if you run reasonably maternal ewes of course. One in a pen is about right for some breeds, in order to avoid mismothering. :censored:
Not bad they wouldn't have a huge amount of grass in front of them and would be cutting the cake down only twins lambing out and hill ewe singles all x bred ewes and draft ewe singles lambing in
 

Henery

Member
Location
South shropshire
Mob size is not the issue, as others have said, we are lambing NZRomneys, 4 twins to the acre and 6 /7 singles seems ok without too much mismothering as they progress.. Definitely some fields batter than others.
If the sun is shining and weather kind ..... if if if 🥵🥵
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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