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6 Tips for Farmers During Birthing Season
Spring is a wonderful time on farms as it’s when most animals will be giving birth….there’s nothing better than seeing new born lambs, foals and calves stumbling around the fields. It’s also an extremely busy time for farmers, which is why we’ve gathered a few useful tips for when lambing, foaling and calving season starts.
- Happy Mums – the most important role a farmer plays during lambing, foaling and calving season is to keep the Mums happy and healthy, which in turn leads to happy, healthy babies. Pregnant animals will need more water, protein and energy than usual, especially during their final month of pregnancy to ensure they have plenty of milk.
- Fatter Isn’t Better – a common mistake is to ‘fatten up’ the Mums during pregnancy, but this can actually add extra strain for the Mums and cause damage. The foetus will be putting extra pressure on their stomach(s) so try small and frequent meals instead.
- Let Nature Run The Show – farmers have a lot invested in their livestock, both financially and emotionally, so it’s easy to become very stressed and anxious during birthing season. It’s important to remember that giving birth is natural and something the animals bodies are designed to do. Try not to become too anxious and over-involved and let nature take its course.
- Keep Watch from Home – We speak to a lot of farmers at this time of year who are preparing for the birthing season as they want to be able to keep an eye on their livestock from the convenience of their home. Rather than sleeping in the barn to be close to the animals whilst giving birth, they want to be able to hear and see what’s going on from the warmth of their home.Our farm and breeding kits are a great way to see what’s going on from your TV, computer, laptop or even your smartphone or tablet. Even if your home is quite some distance from your barn, our long range wireless camera kits will get the job done.
- Colostrum – colostrum is the first milk produced by animals and humans which contains important antibodies to protect the babies from infections and diseases. This milk is produced during late pregnancy just before giving birth, so it’s important that the babies get this milk as soon as possible. In some cases, such as rejection, illness or death, this may not be possible. Many farmers keep a frozen stock of colostrum or you can buy it.
- Trim the Wool – it may make your job easier if you shear or crotch the pregnant sheep as it will help you identify when the sheep will give birth, it makes it easier for you to help her give birth and it’s easier to lambs to find the teats.