Several gimmers rejecting lambs at same time


New Member
Hi guys

Any idea why all of a sudden every gimmer decides to reject the lamb? We never usually have this issue and the gimmers this year have been exceptionally good mothers up to that point. But all of a sudden, pretty much from one day to the next, every gimmer in the polytunnel that lambs does not accept her lamb, regardless of whether she does it herself or whether we lamb her. Some might tolerate it and cry for it if you take it away but none of them will stand for it. The older ewes are still fine and no bother and these are gimmers from different sires and different management groups, all managed the same way as the ones that have already lambed. We've also got a whole bunch of gimmers from two other management groups lambing outside in a field and they are all fine and great mums.

We've switched onto a new load of haylage from a different farm recently which is fed to the polytunnel and outside ones, but could something in the haylage be locking some trace elements up that stops the mothering? Or could there be something in the water that feeds into the polytunnel which is accumulating in their system, but for some reason only affects the gimmers?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!


Livestock Farmer
As every year, we have had some gimmers that won't stand and aren't right with the lamb. Happened at the beginning of lambing and the start of the 2nd cycle.

Without exception, every case was cured with 20ml calciject (warm under the skin over the ribs), some needed 2 doses a day apart. This is the first year we've done this and haven't had to use the "stocks" (adopter) once. We also give them 1.5ml loxicom/metacam as some are grinding their teeth, indicating some sort of discomfort which isn't obvious. Possibly due to constipation and gut slowdown which goes with calcium deficiency.

These are not sheep that are showing clinical signs of deficiency - twitching, cold ears, etc. They aren't that bad, but are definitely lacking. If it is to hand we give TLD dose also, just to perk them up.

Regardless, they won't be staying for another year.

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...