Among the rolling hills of Maine’s Midcoast Region, we welcome you to experience the first signs of spring at Waldoview Farm with our hands-on Lambing Workshop. This unique educational opportunity is designed for animal enthusiasts, aspiring shepherds, homesteaders, and anyone with a passion for learning about the miraculous process of lambing. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a working sheep farm at the peak of lambing season, all while gaining valuable, real-world skills in lamb care, from how and when to assist with births to ensuring the health and well-being of both ewes and their newborn lambs. Our expert instructors, with years of experience in sustainable farming, will guide you through the intricacies of lambing, offering insights into animal husbandry and the nurturing practices that make Waldoview Farm a nationally-recognized leader in sheep breeding and flock improvement. Don’t miss this unforgettable opportunity to connect with nature, learn from the best, and participate in the life-affirming cycle of birth and renewal at Maine’s premier Lambing Workshop.
At the lambing workshop, participants can expect a variety of subjects that cover both theoretical topics and practical skills related to lambing and sheep husbandry. Here’s a list of topics that will be covered:
- Breeding Strategies and Genetics: Insights into breeding programs, genetic considerations, and improving flock quality. Learn to use a marking harness to monitor matings and better anticipate birthing dates.
- Understanding the Lambing Process: An overview of the stages of lambing, signs of labor, and the biology behind the process.
- Preparation for Lambing: Setting up lambing facilities, necessary equipment, and creating a nurturing environment for ewes and lambs. Participants will leave with a knowledge of what to have on hand in their “lambing kit” to ensure a successful season.
- Ewe Health and Nutrition: Managing the nutrition and health of ewes from prebreeding through gestation, lactation, and weaning to ensure a healthy lamb crop.
- Lambing Techniques: Training to recognize when labor is progressing normally and knowing when ewes may need assistance.
- Recognizing and Managing Birth Complications: Learn how to identify various complications during the birthing process such as dystocia (difficult birth) and malpresentations. Learn how to address common complications to ensure the wellbeing of the mother and her lambs.
- Care of Newborn Lambs: Immediate post-birth care including clearing airway, feeding (colostrum management), and techniques to ensure that each lamb bonds with its mother. Learn how to milk (“strip”) a ewe and how to use a feeding tube with confidence.
- Identifying and Treating Health Issues in Lambs: Recognizing and addressing common health problems in newborn lambs.
- Vaccinations and Preventative Health Measures: Information on routine vaccinations and health practices to prevent disease in your flock.
- Record Keeping and Data Management: Keeping track of breeding information, lambing records, growth and health data. Learn about the importance of tagging, numerical conventions, and how to properly attach ear tags to ensure long-term retention.
- Handling and Husbandry Skills: Techniques for safely and effectively handling ewes and lambs from birth through weaning.
- Post-Lambing Management: Care of ewes and lambs in the weeks following birth, including nutrition, creep feeding, and health monitoring.