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Keeping lambs cool


juliepoudrier
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So I have a few September (well, late August) lambs. One ewe didn't have enough milk for her twins, so I borrowed a head gate and jugged a ewe who lambed yesterday with her lamb and one of the first ewe's twins. Temperatures are now soaring to the upper 90s and the lambs in the jug are doing some serious panting. I put a fan on them (something I don't like to do because of risk of fire). Is there anything else I can do to help these lambs stay cool? The ewe is not panting, and the younger of the two lambs, who is now around 36 hours old seems to be in the most distress--I'm guessing because she just doesn't regulate her temperature as well yet, being so young.

 

Do I abandon my plans to try to graft a lamb to this ewe and let them all out where at least they might catch something of a breeze (and go back to the other option which is bottle feeding)? Or is there something else I can do to help them cope until the temps break at the end of the week (supposedly)?

 

I am *so sick* of this hot, dry weather.

 

J.

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We pasture lamb in May and last year we had high 90s for some of it. The ewes and lambs are in open pastures with little or no shade. We put a few flat bed trailers out in the field, but found it lead to some mis mothering so we pulled them out. I had very young/newborn lambs panting and while it did bother me, and was probably not great for them, other than some sun burned ears i had no other long term problems.

 

This year we had 40 and rain...but that is another topic :rolleyes:

 

Lana

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Thanks Lana. I ended up putting up reflective shade cloth that I have for my van when traveling with the dogs. It lets in a little more light than the tarp that was up there, but also allows air circulation since it's loosely woven. I also hung a fan in the stall to provide additional circulation. It actually circulates air higher than the floor space where the lambs are (at about the height of the ewe's back), but it seems to me that those two things have cooled that stall a little bit. At least the lambs aren't panting with their tongues hanging out today. If it's bad tomorrow I also have frozen water bottles I can put in their (same thing I did for pups born in the summer). It's supposed to cool down to the mid-80s for the weekend, so I just need them to get through a couple more days of intense heat. I have to be out of town setting sheep for a trial over the weekend, so I'm very glad that the temps should be lower then.

 

J.

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